Veni, Vidi, Vici: Climbing Mt. Vesuvius

I somehow climbed to the peak of a 1,281 m active volcano – Mount Vesuvius.

… Wait, what?

That’s correct, I, Yasmin Shamim Wamala, willingly woke up early to be an active human being. And oh my goodness, it was difficult in more ways than one. I am not a morning person, especially during the summer. The only form of physical activity I will willingly and happily participate in is dance. Not to mention that my body was rebelling against my decision the entire way up with my shin splints, ankle pain, and calf muscles simultaneously acting up. There was one point where I got so overwhelmed, with the pain more than anything, that I was on the verge of tears. Then, I had the opportunity to call it quits but I didn’t. 

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I’m still not exactly sure what possessed me to keep going. Maybe it was indirect peer pressure, not wanting to feel left out. Either way, I somehow ended up making the decision to continue onward. (Side note: from this point on, there was no railing. This part of the trail was steeper and easier to slip on, probably because it’s not used super frequently.)

Between my ongoing pain, the swarm of bugs, and number of times I almost slipped, I found myself questioning my sanity the entire way up. Why in my right mind would I subject myself to this? Am I even going to make it all the way up? WHOSE BRIGHT IDEA WAS THIS?!

Then we made it to the peak.

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I honestly cannot remember the last time I felt such a deep sense of accomplishment. Of course, there was the obvious reason: despite the odds, I had managed to make it all the way to the top of an active volcano. I don’t know too many people who can say that. I didn’t even think it was something I would ever be able to say. But I can, and it’s an amazing feeling. There’s more to this feat though.

Over the past year or so, my life has taken a turn that I did not expect it to take and though people tell me time and time again it’s not my fault, I haven’t been handling things very well. It feels like lately it’s just hardship after hardship and that there are more bad days than good ones. I constantly find myself wondering how I can possibly continue on like this. It’s become so much easier to be pessimistic and always prepare myself for the worst.

But as I stood at the top of that mountain and looked over the city, as it truly sunk in what I had just accomplished, I had an epiphany of sorts: Maybe, just maybe, things aren’t as hopeless as they seem. Though it’s difficult to motivate myself a lot of the time, nothing is completely unconquerable. And this doesn’t have to be the first and last time I experience this feeling.

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Veni, Vidi, Vici: I came, I saw, I conquered. And hopefully, this won’t be the last time.

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