under pressure

April 23, 2007 at 2:13 pm | Posted in Affiliations, Something, Travels, UP Mountaineers | Leave a comment

pico de loro has officially become the first mountain which i have summited twice. i went back two weeks ago with my upm pals, and i find that i could still remember the trail, except for the descent part where i took a wrong left turn for 30 seconds instead of going down the big rock wall. and knowing what was in store i had the foresight to being along only the essentials. my 30L was more than enough.

what got to me during the climb, however, was the knowledge that we were registered under upm, since jec was team leader. i have no idea if that presents any organizational problems, but all but four of the ten who were there were members anyway. but that wasn’t my concern either. when we were assaulting the summit, i had the same panic attack i had a year ago with the steepness. i had no problem going up when we were still at the forest area, but at the summit itself, i was hanging on to dear life. i figured summit assaults were not my strong suit — i just took pride in knowing it could be offset by my perseverance, and thus the “mother snail”, as i am now called, pulled it off yet again.

but what really bothered me more than the sight of ravines and loose rocks was the idea that i was climbing with that label, and true enough, fellow campers at the summit asked us if it was our group that was registered as upm. we didn’t want to lie so we said yes. and i felt embarrassed all at once because i was moving like, well, a snail.

it dawned on me how the assault used to be embarrassing for me last year but how i didn’t care since i was still having fun even though i had a damaged backpack and i wanted to take a dump as soon as humanly possible.

this time around, i felt the burden of association weigh down on me. i could have said ‘you know, technically speaking…’ but that’s intellectual dishonesty. i’ve overcome the 15km and i can do it again, and all i need is just one more climb, so the technicality of membership is not an excuse anymore.

so there was a certain level of shame because the reputation has preceded the face. like i had to prove something just because.

and i guess it’s not right of me to keep harboring such an attitude. while it is true that it is a sports organization, the rule in trail movement has always been — follow the pace of the slowest member. nobody gets left behind.

so i guess i’m okay with the snail tag. while aware that those around us might have been keeping an eye on our conduct, i just have to remind myself that i do this because it’s fun, and not because i’m out to compete with anyone. well, actually maybe i am competitive, but who cares. the only way to speed it up is to keep doing it anyway.

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