Lessons from Failing to Hike Mt. Zwegabin

When I was in Hpa-an, Myanmar, I was planning to hike Mt. Zwegabin. I’d wanted to do this because I hadn’t hiked or trekked for a while – after I’d gone back from the States. We’d planned to hike on second and last day visit in Hpa-an. To hike this 732 meter mountain, we would need around 2.5 hours, and 2 hours of going down. In the top of the mountain, there’s a monastery. I’d been intrigued to hike because I read Sarah Wilson’s blog where she does lots of hiking trips.

We arrived there just after the sunrise. The sun started to rise but we still could see the morning dew and the soft sunlight. With a 732 meter height, Mt. Zwegabin looked so mystical and beautiful in the morning light.

Mt. Zwegabin in the morning dew

Mt. Zwegabin in the morning dew

In the mountain area’s entrance, we could see hundreds of Budha’s statues. Some were old ones, and some were still new. Done with taking some pictures, we started to hike. We’re so excited. The path leads to the mountain top has been built with concreted, with railing in both sides. BUTTTTT, after about 15 minutes hiked, I started to breath hard. I did not know why. I suspected, because I had not done this for a long time, and I no longer run intensively to exchange it with a softer exercise. But still, I guess, I did not have enough breathing exercise. Or, it’s just the sign of getting older. J J J

So, Teo then offered me to just cancel the hiking thing and to do other things instead.

railing on the stairways to the top of Mt. Zwegabin

railing on the stairways to the top of Mt. Zwegabin

What I learned from this failure? The fact that I’m getting older is true. My energy level is sometimes is not the same when I was in my late teens and early twenties. When being all nighters were no longer a problem because sleeping just a few hours was enough. Now, it’s not anymore. I exercise every day, but it’s no longer the hardcore one. I biked or walked almost every day. But was that enough? Well, I did not think so. I biked not so much. I walked not so much. I’d prefer to take the elevator to the stairs. After this failure, I really realized that I haven’t done much.

So, I made a little change. Habit change. Instead of biking everyday to the main road like I used to be, I’d prefer to walk to the main road. It’s 1.5 kilometer. So, if I walk round trip, I would at least walk for 3 kilometer/day. In addition to it, I’d take stairs to elevator. It’s not so bad taking stairs to the 8th floor. I found it a little meditative. It’s also fun. It was difficult at the beginning. On the first day, I stopped at the 4th floor, then, took the elevator to the 8th floor. Sooner, my breathing began to adapt. On my short trip to Trawas during the weekend, I also had a little hike – which I found it really soothing and calming.  I also started breathing exercise. My breathing is getting better and longer, and my energy level increases day by day. We can’t avoid getting older, but there’s no way to skip exercise.

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