In August 2008, I had the pleasure of climbing Mt. Fuji with a dear friend of mine, Mike. We started the climb at the fifth station at 9pm at night. What started as a simple walk through the woods, slowly became a challenging adventure that left me weak and at one point in tears. The climb took seven hours and every meter we climbed higher, it got colder. The backpack I was carrying, which was full of water, snacks, and layers of clothing assisted in slowing me down, though the higher we climbed the lighter it got.
At one point I realized the power of music and zoned out. Climbing without talking to anyone and using the music as a distraction from the pain in my legs, the exhaustion and the difficulty in breathing. Breathing became so difficult at one point that I had to purchase oxygen. Despite the obstacles, I finally made it to the top, albeit not at the same time as my friends. I think around the seventh station I told them to just leave me. This is where the tears began as I watched children and grandmothers pass me by.
After resting for twenty minutes and convincing myself I could in fact finish, I powered through and made it to the top.
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