It is important to keep focused on our ultimate sporting goal, but it is also crucial to stay light hearted and burden free as we compete each week. Here is an example of one of the ways we like to have fun and balance the yin and yang of our sporting travels!!
This past Saturday we committed to taking a break from Volley and we hiked a famous Norwegian Fjord with the most amazing view. The ultimate goal of the hike is Pulpit stone which consists of a flat rock on the edge of a 604 meter vertical drop. That is right, a 1800 foot drop from the edge of a completely natural and pristine mountain!
What a beautiful hike it was and full of lovely treats along the way! Ahren and I, along with an Australian ladies team and a Norwegian friend spent 4 hours indulging in Norway's abundance of natural landscapes.
We took a ferry across a body of water to a city called Tau. From there hired a taxi to the bottom of the hike and began our ascent. With a fit crew of 5, we set a quick pace with the odd competitive sprint along fun rock sections. We looked at the climb like a bit of a fitness session so Becchara and I had a few competitions along the way! About 3/4 of the way up we came across a set of beautiful lakes which we eagerly jumped into! The water was a perfectly refreshing temperature and we spent ten minutes floating, splashing and snapping underwater pics. Lazing on the rocks, we dined on some of Hilda's (our Norwegian friend) award winning banana bread and a few chocolates before crushing the summit with a final push.
The last section of the trail propped us right under the pulpit stone with a near 600 meter unassuming vertical drop to our left!! It was such a shock to be so vulnerable on the side of a mountain that it took a few minutes before I was able to tickle the edge of the cliff! Once on top of the flat stone called Pulpit Rock, it was breathtaking. Every minute brought new challenges as we pushed our personal limits; aspiring to hang our feet over the edge.
Trusting those around us, we warmed to the reality of being feet from a lethal free fall and finally put our toes as far as humanly possible over the ledge. We shared some nervous laughs and a few jokes but calmness didn't settle back in until we began the descent.
It was one of the more surreal views I have ever seen as we came as close to a sky diving view as possible without dropping at terminal velocity. A worthy day out of the sand for sure as the light climb challenged us outside of sport, developed c with other athletes and brought attention to the bigger picture which is so easy to forget as we are consumed by refined goals and a focused lifestyle.
A wonderful breath of fresh air indeed. My step is that much lighter now and I challenge you to take time out of your busy schedule to conquer a mountain, a walk or a series of breaths in nature to ground you and allow you to take a step back and see the bigger picture.
All the best from Gstaad, Switzerland.