I never thought that I’d be keen on hiking mountains; the dusty sometimes moist earth clinging to every exposed part of my skin, the seemingly endless trail, hours of asking “malayo pa ba?”, the blazing sun rays that my SPF50 sunblock has no match against, my fear of heights, getting lost and anything and everything that crawls and has tiny feet as well as my excessive request for pitstops create a weird juxtaposition with that of my usual self.
When I told a close friend I was going to hike she virtually laughed at me.
I, too, laughed at myself at first. I never imagined myself as a mountaineer mainly because I lack the proper attire. I only have one pair of rubber shoes (something that I was forced to buy when I signed up for Fitness First). Everything else in my shoe cabinet are high heels, stilettos, pumps, peep-toe sandals... well, you got the idea. I didn’t have a loose shirt, hiking shorts or a backpack. I had to borrow stuff from my brothers to their dismay. Also, I have a weak lung, knees, legs and feet. My biological composition was not made for this kind of stuff. I love virtual shopping, dining, watching movies, reading books, getting a massage and everything that spells relaxation (and boring to some). I don’t like sweating too much and getting dirty. For a couple of years, I didn’t have any sports aside from shopping and Dance Dance Revolution and I was physically unfit to the 100th power.
In fact, a year ago I went on a trip with my friend to Calaruega – the chapel on the hill. It was a hill and for Pete’s sake – I couldn’t even manage to hike and reach the summit. Instead, I wished my friend good luck, told her to take lots of pictures while I ended up lying on the grass with a good book.
But fate has its way of finding me (naks!). My first brush with hiking came when I dated a nature lover in the middle of 2009. I remember him asking me to go out on a surprise date. He specifically requested for me to wear a short skirt. Eager to please my man, I did wear a short skirt complete with platform heels only to find out (surprise surprise!) that he was taking me to the National Museum, Rizal Park and Intramuros. Nakakaloka talaga, naglakad ako ng nakaheels at mini skirt sa Luneta of all places at kebago bago ng sandals ko napudpod agad ang takong! For a few seconds, I was scared that Jose Rizal will haunt me in my dreams. I considered dumping the guy right then and there but being the forgiving kind-hearted woman that I am, I gave him a second chance. On our next trip, he took me to a nice beach and I almost considered it a relaxing weekend until the next day when he at 12 NOON asked me to go hiking. When I refused, he called me lazy so I convinced myself to take the challenge, put on tons of sunblock and eventually gave in. I was burnt so bad after two hours of walking plus he jokingly called me "negra" on the way back. I didn’t talk to him for weeks after that and eventually broke up with him. I asked myself why I always attract the wrong kind of guys and prayed hard for God to let me find a guy who goes to a spa every week and only plays chess as his sport.
I almost did. Almost.