The dictionary describes “fear” as unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. That is a very strong definition. In fact, fear itself has many types. One of which is “fear of heights” or “Acrophobia”.
I have Acrophobia.
They say, you cannot keep running away from your fears. At one point in our lives, we will have to build the courage to face and overcome them.
Last week, I literally faced fear. I signed up for the TRILOGY. A whole day hike up three mountains in Montalban, Rizal. I knew deep within that it would not be a walk in the park. Knowing that 3 weeks prior, I fractured my right middle finger from a basketball game, the injury itself would be a challenge on its own. But nevertheless, I wanted to test the limits of my body.
Similarly, being an Oleia Topical Oil user for a few months already, I wanted to bring the product to really see how powerful this tiny bottle is for pains. Take note, I did not bring any other pain killers with me as I kept my faith that Oleia’s not going to fail me. And so, this journey is not just about my trek up the mountains but also on how Oleia helped ease my pains throughout the day.
This was not my first time going up the mountains but my first time to have more than one mountain hiked in a day. The itinerary said we will be meeting in Jollibee Cubao at 2:30 in the morning. And so I was all packed and ready to go. My bag literally had the following:
- Extra Clothes and a Towel
- Jacket/ Raincoat
- Plastic bags
- Trail Food (Jelly Ace & Chocolates)
- My Oleia Topical Oil Peppermint Scent
I tagged along a couple of friends for this hike. The rest, we didn’t know personally as we met them in Facebook for this particular event. (Apparently, with the power of social media, such adventure escapades can be organized seamlessly.)
As soon as we left Cubao, it started raining. Although I anticipated there would be some as per the weather forecast, I was hoping it would be after I ascended and descended the mountains already. That’s when I started feeling the first challenge.
I was uncertain the hike will push through. I was pretty sure the organizers won’t endanger the participants’ lives due to bad weather. If the event goes thru though, I was hesitant to continue. I had all the excuses not to go… I have a fractured finger and a bad balance. I knew the soil will be wet and slippery and add to the fact that I have “fear of heights”, I was a disaster waiting to happen.
You see, our greatest battles are with our own minds. If you tell yourself you can’t, you will not be able to. If you tell yourself you can, all the excuses go away.
I had a choice to make; to let doubt sink in and back out or to go ahead rain or shine. I chose the latter.
We reached the jump off point in Montalban, Rizal at 4:30 AM. There, all the safety guidelines were discussed. Everyone was reminded not to put themselves at risk just to have an awesome selfie or a stunning photo. I like what the guides said:
There’s not a great photo that can compensate the loss of a life.
That stuck in my head all throughout the hike. I told myself, “when in doubt, don’t.” We let the rain stop and at around 5:00 in the morning, while it was still dark, we made our way up the first mountain.
I expected that I will have bumps and bruises as well as muscle pains. That is where my Oleia Topical Oil came into play. I put a generous amount on my back and arms as well as my injured middle finger. I was told that this is in its best if applied before and after strenuous physical activities.
The first mountain was 426 MASL (meters above sea level) with a trek difficulty level of 3/9. The soil was slippery and wet. And so, I knew from the get go that I wore the wrong set of clothes. I should’ve worn a dark colored jacket not white. But then again, I expected to be dirty so I went along anyhow.
Most if not all of the hikers left their bags at base camp. I did not. I told myself, I can carry the bag. I was dead wrong.
I got tired fast! That itself was a testament that I was not physically fit yet and my endurance was way below the average.
But there was no turning back now. Quitting was not an option. Although to be honest, I thought of the word more than a couple of instances.
When we are facing difficulties, our emotions try to take control of us. When we’re already overwhelmed, it’s easy to talk ourselves into giving up. But giving up too soon could cause us to miss out on success.
I was 30 minutes into the trek and I was so tired, my injury aches so bad and I was catching my breathe more than I do when I am playing basketball.
I knew it would not be easy but I never thought I was really out of shape and that it will be harder than I imagined.
I could hear the other hikers whining and wanting to give up too.
But where was the fun if I quit? All the goals that I’ve set for myself on this trek; to get an amazing photo, conquer my fears, enjoy nature, and refresh my mind… all these will go away if I stop and say, I QUIT.
That is not what I signed up for. And so, through all the pains, I had to GET GOING.
What kept me going was actually the thought of bringing my Oleia Topical Oil up the peaks of these mountains. Yes, that small bottle… I wanted it to share the joy I’ll have when I reach the summit. I probably look like I am promoting the product here (yes I do! I am a marketer by day 😉 ) but the thought of bringing it where no other pain relievers have gone is an achievement in itself. A goal that I set my eyes on.
Call it funny, but sometimes, when we set goals of doing amazing things for others, you find yourself working & pushing yourself harder. When we opt not to be consumed by our selfish ambitions, we overcome challenges we never thought we can. It is just a state of the mind.
At 9:30 AM, we reached the summit of Mt. Pamitinan and here’s what I had to say:
Reaching the summit was indeed satisfying. I felt a sense of fulfillment that amidst the multiple slips, the aching joints and the really painful fractured middle finger, I was at the top. And as promised, I brought Oleia with me. She herself was able to sit on top of Mt. Pamitinan! All of that 426 MASL!
Certified Pain Killer
I have been using this product for a while now but I haven’t tested its full capacity until that day. I already knew the facts – Oleia Topical Oil is a natural remedy for pain and inflammation. It gives relief without side effects and that it penetrates deep within the cells and attacks where the root of the pain is. But never have I done this much of a physical activity. Almost 4 hours of trekking up the mountains will take a toll in your body. I guarantee.
So every stop, I was applying Oleia Topical Oil on my arms, legs and back. I had a good amount put on my hamstrings as they were probably my most overworked muscle that day. You have to let it penetrate your skin within 5-10 minutes. After that, you’ll feel the relief. Fast! It would be like you are ready to begin the next hike! Onward you move soldier! 😉
The Next Challenge
Here’s where it got tricky. Going down the mountain was as hard as going up! I’ve said earlier that I have “acrophobia/ fear of heights”. When you are going up, you can opt not to look down. But when you are descending, you have no choice.
And boy was I scared! Super scared! No sh*t!!!
If I was cautious climbing the rocks, I was twice as much going down! To give you an idea of what it was like for me, check out the video below!
I know, I know… you’re probably thinking, “looks like you’re having fun”! Well, what else can I do? If I sulk in worry or think negatively, I wouldn’t enjoy the beauty of nature.
God has given us all of these to appreciate. And sometimes, just because we live in the city, we fail to appreciate the wonders of nature.
It’s been a while since I hugged a tree… (I lost my balance on the way down and had to cling to one!) Been a while since I heard real birds tweet!… (made me realize that Twitter is not in the same flock!) The breath of fresh air was refreshing. The view was captivating! And that’s why I just embraced the whole thing and had fun!
When you’ve reached the top of one mountain and you know there’s another, sometimes it feels like you’d do just fine the next round. But the thing is, the next mountain we had to hike up was higher! 517 MASL high.
This time around, it was less slippery but more of rock climbs. This experience added “er” to the word “hard”.
I was telling myself, “you’ve already conquered one, why not try another?”.
That’s when I knew I may have overcome my fear of heights…
As I was literally walking/climbing the rocks, I had to focus or else I fall- and there’s not a chance I’d survive!
I think as I climbed the rocks, I was able to practice concentration by turning off all distractions and committing my attention to a single task. – DO NOT FALL.
Losing focus is easy, really easy, it’s getting it back that’s the hard part. Same thing in life- our careers, business, relationships… when we get distracted, we tend to forget and when we do, it puts everything at risk.
It took another 3 and a half hours to reach the summit of Mt. Banoi. But seeing the beauty of the hardships I and the rest of the hikers had, made me proud.
I told myself, I conquered not just the mountains but doubt, fear, and pain. And just like in the 1st mountain, I had my Oleia celebrate the proud moment with me. 🙂
What I Learned
“You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” You’ve heard that saying, right? It’s easy to take for granted things like the ability to walk, crawl, see, smell, and hear. Going up the mountains taught me to just appreciate everything while I enjoy the journey. If I put it in perspective, we climbed a couple of mountains and visited a waterfall. I met new friends and saw how amazing nature really is. Wow! What an experience!
As I try my best to overcome my fear of heights and rise up to the challenge, I found myself learning a few life lessons along the way too. Before I end this article I want to mention a few people who I am grateful to do this trek with:
- Tour guides Eagle and Raffy – These twins made sure we were safe throughout the hikes. They made sure we got amazing photos to show for it too. If ever I’d do this again, I’d want both to watch my back all the time. Raffy also offered to carry my bag when he noticed I was slowing down. I appreciated that big time.
- My good friends Jas and Szea – well, simply put, they were a good company. Seeing them tough it out made me not quit in the middle of the hike too. We had great conversations, laughter, and just really encouraged each other to not give up. Not bad for amateur hikers!
- The Two Dogs – believe it or not, there were a couple of dogs who were hiking with us. Climbing the rocks and everything. I was amazed to a point I wanted to piggy back going down. But seriously, it’s inspiring to see them too.
- The Locals- This is not a premiere mountain hiking spot if not for the friendly people around. They were awesome!
And last but not the least, my Oleia Topical Oil, who through all my bumps and bruises made sure that I continue to just #GetGoing!
About The Author
Wendell is a "TRY athlete". He tries every sports. From basketball, to boxing, to beer pong. A businessman by day, a husband and a father by night. A self confessed Oleia Topical Oil user everyday.