We do not ask participants of creative hikes in the Dolomites to give feedback on purpose. We have tried once. It didn’t work. They are the first ones to share their new impressions, experience, and changes in their lives with us.
— I want to keep everything we found inside us during these 7 days of creative hiking in Pale di San Martino in the Dolomites. I want to save and multiply it.
I want to go to many more mountains.
I want to find answers to millions of questions. And I want to answer the question “how to live on?”.
I want to remember all the difficulties we had, all the emotions that we experienced.
I want life to be different after the hike, because it just can’t be the same. Because it will be an insult to the mountains, if, having passed through all their strength and wisdom, you do not start applying it.
I was going hiking in Pale di San Martino in Dolomites without really thinking about what was waiting for me there. I just bought everything from the Vanya’s “Gear List”, having told him about my experience, I just trusted him and Tanya.
I didn’t know we were gonna be climbing rocks, walking through so steep mountains.
I didn’t know that hiking in the Dolomites would be so similar to running, which I’ve been doing for years.
This parallel with overcoming in running lends itself very well to hiking in the mountains. Because everything is absolutely tangible here: the difficult climb is followed by a spectacular view that takes your breath away. Here you understand precisely and clearly what all this overcoming of yourself was for, all these “a little bit more…”. And running teaches you stamina, which really helps you get to “the view.”
And the September hike reminded me of this: that when it’s difficult, hard and seems impossible to endure, in fact there’s still strength to go and there’s definitely something to go for.
Because at the top there will be such a view that you’ll forget about your knees, lack of air, and the backpack behind your back.
I understand that every person goes through such an experience differently. For me, things like this are a reason to think about what I really want and can accomplish, what I can do. And maybe the things that seem unrealistic and unfeasible to me actually lie there, beyond just one pass. And it takes a little patience to see all the beauty.
I didn’t know that the day before the hike, I would feel 100% overworked and scared I wouldn’t make it.
I knew it would be beautiful, but I didn’t know how hard it would be.
I didn’t know 7 other people I was going with.
I told our group that on this journey inside me, the universe had grown several times larger.
I saw how much more there was in life, on earth, and most importantly, in my own head and body, how much strength, patience, courage, and perseverance.
I am madly grateful to Vanya, who was able to show this to us, to show us who we are, who is real and who has no outside husk.
It is not just hiking in the Dolomites, it is a journey to the real.
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Original publication in Irina’s Instagram.
Cover photo: final kilometers of 4 days hiking in Pale di San Martino in Sept. 2018, to Passo Cereda (1361 m) to take the only bus that day back to home © Ivan Kuznetsov.