Today was my fourth day at New Life Foundation as a volunteer. I had heard that every Sunday New Life Foundation hosts an excursion to visit beautiful places in Chiang Rai, so I simply signed up for it. I had no idea that I’d be walking into the impossible.
Living in cosmopolitan cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, “I have no time” was always my excuse for not exercising. I have only gone on three hikes in my whole twenty-four year life! Every time I went on a hike, my battery died within 2 hours, and then I’d whine about how tired I was and urge my family or friends to give up and go back to an air-conditioned environment. Simply put, I’m an indoor animal and “sport” is non-existent in my life!
It wasn’t until 8am the same morning at breakfast that I realized it would be a five-hour trekking trip…
Struggling over whether I should just back out and have a nice nap after breakfast, I recalled the intention I made before coming to New Life Foundation – to do something different! So, I decided to take on this challenge!
After the first hour, I was already breathless like a fifty-year-old woman, and painfully understood that what “trekking” means is that the paths are either comprised of muddy ground, or covered with spiky plants. My palms and feet were covered with thorns, my back was covered in sweat, my face was covered with sunburn marks…it was just so tough!
At the very moment I wanted to give up, I recalled Carrie’s words. Carrie is my favourite Yoga teacher at New Life Foundation. She always said, ‘The difficult or uncomfortable yoga poses are not to showcase your flexibility. To breathe through these difficult poses trains us to be calm through difficult times.’
After that I started to breath deeply like I was practicing yoga, and kept on going. I finally completed this five-hour trek with a lot of sweating, muscle fatigue, wounds from falling down – but most importantly, a lot of happiness and calmness.