What does it take to push your body to the limits? What is one's limit? Is there one? Is it a factor of the mind's tenacity?
A trek is probably a sneak-peak into the myriad of answers these questions pose.
Nagala 37 was my first CTC trek. It was also my first trek ever. In rhetoric, it is safe to say that I was a victim of the fallacy of saying I've trekked before.
I felt I had the experience to conquer N37 with ease - my experience being a few Tada escapades 12 years ago. Those were trekking along the stream unto the highest waterfall - scaling merely one hill.
N37 brought everything into perspective. What CTC means by a "trek" is nothing short of a "trek".
Everything was under mental control until the first pool. I could keep up with the group in front with ease. And then it started. First the trip through the valley with a slightly challenging steep climb. Then to scale a mountain. Then to climb down. And then to scale another. And another. I was ready to give up. Not once, but over and over again. My nimble dilapidated body swore to give way.
When it seemed like the final climb had been scaled, and what seemed like the peak to me - Peter announced another 4 hours to go. I complained and whined. Peter simply said "Mind Over Body" and resumed to lead.
That's when Mohan, Senthil, Nachu, Mukund and a few others came to my rescue and goaded me into perusing the psychologies of distraction. The CTC group is a fantastic one. I've seen the emails. I've seen the pictures. I've heard the stories and I had seen the evidence. But to be a part of it and experience the brass-tax was a revelation in itself. The power of +ve thinking. The power of numbers. The power of unity when 40-50 souls come together in one cause. It was evident beyond any quantitative measure.
When we scaled the peak - everything was worth it. The toughness. The adventure. Everything.
The second time I felt incompetent was when we did the steep climb down to the stream. Most (if not all but 2) had completed the climb down. I was virtually the last. Baskar and Raja gave me company when they didn't have to - really. I took my time, slipping often (yes I am a clutz), falling even more often, and I swear to god that every sensation that I had 2 feet had long left my senses. Again - when I reached the stream - it was all worth it.
For most trekkers, this would have been a fairly easy trek - the pace and water scarcity being the only challenges. To me it was a lesson in "mind over body" as Peter so eloquently put it. And to anyone who in their future treks feel that it is getting too tough - I can say with fair certainty that your only job is to WILL and I guarantee you that the rest of the trekkers will go to any extent to ensure your body cooperates. It was a lesson also in doing one's part in a collective group with no expectation of laurels or accreditations in return.
Finally - in an era of Global Overconsumption and utter disrespect for Nature, if we, as fairly level headed humans, extricate the compassion and play our part in conservation, non-pollution, conformity to cause and a green vision, it will go a long way towards maintaining a green planet. CTC is certainly a school to learn that art.
Written by: Sriram
Organized by: Peter
Image Galleries: Peter
Posted by: Karthick Sundararajan