What’s the biggest thing in Japan? I think we should pay to climb it.
I don’t know where this idea came from, but on Friday I found myself, and 5 of my lunatic friends, leaving school and heading to Mt. Fuji! Not just to look at and take photos, but climb that bad boy all the way to the top!
5pm saw the journey begin and the first two hours were filled with thoughts of ‘woah, this is crazy beautiful’, ‘woah, this is kinda getting tiring’, ‘woah, we have A LOT further to go’, ‘woah, my head is starting to hurt a bit’.
We soldiered on and as night began to fall and we kept ascending, the end seemed so far. After having a conversation with Alicia about how good we felt, and how determined we are to climb this mountain, things began to start taking a turn for the worst. With the headache starting to pound more and more, the negative thoughts began flowing. Eating wasn’t possible and something just wasn’t right.
Unfortunately, myself and some of the others began to lag. Something that I took a long time to admit to myself. As a very competitive person, to be struggling hurt my heart just as much as my head was hurting. Alicia and Michael took off in order for us to check in time (9pm). 20 minutes from where we planned to sleep the night, things definitely weren’t as they should be.
I left the others in search for the nearest bathroom. I’d had this feeling before, except last time I think I was drunk and had one too many tequila’s. Next thing I know, head in the toilet and my Melon Pan was making a second appearance. If only I could be this lucky all the time….
I finally found the others and explaining my situation was funny…until I started to feel again.
Unfortunately for everyone else, our cute and cosy futons were VERY close together and I wasn’t spending much time lying down in between bathroom visits. Sorry guys! But I guys we just became super close friends that night….I mean, they must’ve been getting used to hearing the big white girl jump out of bed and RUN to the door. I must admit a couple of times i pushed the limit and only just made it outside before even more Melon Pan was coming back again…
Much to my embarrassment I only made it to the front steps the first time and gave the Japanese workers at the Hostel a great clean up job in the early hours of the morning. Much to my embarrassment, the workers continued to bring me plastic bags throughout the night to avoid any more cleaning jobs for them.
Purchasing some canned oxygen I tried to get some sleep, determined to climb a further 1hr at 2.30am in order to see the sunrise. When the others awoke I tried to push the horrible stomach feelings aside by using my oxygen to be Darth Vader “No Luke,,,,I am your father!”
About 50metres into our morning stroll up the top of Mt. Fuji I realised things really weren’t ok.
Admitting defeat still hurts me to this day. To climb 6hours and get so close to the summit of Mt. Fuji and have to quit? absolutely soul destroying, heartbreaking, literal gut-wrenching feeling. I was so disappointed in myself. Why wasn’t I strong enough to get to the top like the others?
This is something that is going to continue to disappoint me for a very long time. But i’m proud of myself for looking after my health.
I returned to the hut and stayed there until sunrise.
From there I continued down the mountain alone.
After 1.5hrs of descent I took a pit stop, my head still pounding. An elderly gentlemen approached me and asked in Japanese: “is your head hurting?” the look on my face must have said it all as he began giving me perhaps the most painful and intense head/neck massage i’d ever had in my life. I wouldn’t wish that discomfort on even my own worst enemies!
Surprisingly, once he finished I felt must better and spent the 2 hours descending until I reached the bottom.
Here I heard an ‘OH MY GOD’ and Alicia ran over and gave me a hug. It was nice to know someone was concerned about me and definitely returned the smile to my face that had gone Missing In Action over the last 12 or so hours.
I sat down and proceeded to fall asleep on the ground. (More like the middle of the road). When I awoke we made our way inside for breakfast, where i struggled to stomach some toast.
This, according to Michael was the absolutely perfect time to film me and ask of my opinion of the climb and Altitude Sickness. The result was a not-so-classy conversation in which i referred to having Altitude Sickness as ‘Having the Devil Inside of Me’. Eloquent I know.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to get on a bus and get home.
Catch me in my finest moment here:
Ready for another week at school?
Not so much. But i’ll give it a go!
Bring it on!