I have been training with and applying to become a member of the UP Mountaineers. Known for its discipline and hard-core training, the organization demands focus, determination and dedication from its applicants as well as its members.
It has been such a treat then that I have officially passed the first level of three yesterday. Consisting of a 6.6 Km run in 45 minutes, a pre-climb, level 1 climb and a post climb, I am still in the running to becoming a UPM member.
For my run, I finished 15th out of 32 runners in my group, clocking in at 43:44. I cannot get all the credit though as I was only pushed and motivated by Ms. Elaine–a member of the UPM who I met at the third loop of the run. Although I have been training, it still bordered in mediocrity. I therefore still have lots to work on.
Passing the 6.6 Km run allowed me to climb the first level last Saturday and Sunday at Mt. Balay Kalo in Lipa, Batangas. Main problem for me was the weight of the 50-liter bag I brought to contain 6 Liters of water among other essentials such as sleeping bags and clothes. I admittedly is still a weak mountaineer. I learned a lot from the climb though and has been inspired more than ever to train even more.
I enjoyed the entire trip, even na cuts and briuses, the slides and crawls, the muddy and slippery terrain thanks to my groupmates (Mia, JB, Drew, Kid, Ambo), group leader Mo and assistant group leader Les. Learned about knot-tying, tents and ropesmanship that I have yet to master.
One thing I have to particularly learn though is how to accept clashes of different ideas and perspectives of co-mountaineers without getting so much affected. Homophobia, self-sufficiency VS group cooperation among other things bothered me in a not-so-slight-way. I guess this is one of the things one has to learn as he grows up.
By the end of the day, every bit of Mt. Balay Kalo was appreciated and will be treasured. So much more to learn and experiences to live.
For now I have to prepare for the 10 K run that I need to finish in less than an hour and 15 minutes. Can’t wait 🙂