Over the course of the last few weeks, I have experienced multiple adventures walking both up and down various hills and mountains throughout Greece.
Now, those of you who know me know that I do not like cardio. At all. You might get me to do a fast walk, but climbing and running?
I started preparing for just this kind of situation some six months back by losing a significant amount of weight and getting in better shape. I’ve been happy to find that while these treks can be strenuous and challenging, they were not impossible.
Six months ago, I would have looked at these mountains and flat out told myself I couldn’t do it. I would have said it was impossible and I would have given up before I had even started. But ya know what? I’m not that person anymore. Through the motivation and support of new friends I’ve made (as well as the mandatory aspect of some of these hikes that were class trips), I have learned that I can accomplish a lot more than I give myself credit for.
Even if my lungs were on fire, I felt like I couldn’t breath and my thighs were screaming at me to stop, I was never alone. In fact, I like to think that the first major hike I experienced actually ended in the birth of a friendship that I hope will keep growing.
As we walked down the mountain, following sign after sign that said the monastery was just up ahead, Morgan, Ellie and I all warned Sophie that we were going to have to crawl our way back up the Metsovo mountain side, if we even ever made it back up. But, as a dedicated photographer, and admirable lover of the scenery, Sophie continued on, and of course, we
followed. Long story short, after visiting the monastery (which was, in fact, essentially in the valley between mountains), it took us an hour to hike back up the mountain. But hey, I burned a ton of calories, and we ate so good that night. Nothing but cheese, bread, meat and wine.
Above all else, though, I felt like I had actually climbed toward relationships. It seems silly, almost fictional, but I really felt closer to these girls by the end of our laughter-filled, hour-long, sweaty hike up the mountain.
Better yet, I was much more prepared, both mentally and physically, for hikes that, unbeknownst to me, were in my near future.
Within the two weeks following this adventure of friendship, I hiked up the Lycabettus Hill in Athens with my anthropology class, and I hiked up to the Menelaion archaeological site overlooking Sparta with my art and archaeology class during our field trip to the Peloponnese.
So, I guess, above all, I want to thank my friends who have embarked on this journey with me, and who have supported me through all of the ups
Here’s to all of the adventures that lie ahead of us.
Thank you Morgan, Sophie, Shannon, Ellie, Sofia, Maria, and Emilee.