started hiking with Lia in 2014, when she was only 23 months old.
I’ve hiked a couple of mountains before that, but I didn’t really
know a thing about mountain climbing then.
I climbed with her as a form of rebellion. Part of me wanted to prove
to people who said I can’t and musn’t do certain things (because I am
a woman) that I am more than who they think I am.
carried her in my womb for 40 freaking weeks. I went through hell
just to release her into the world. I certainly can bring her up to
the mountains and take her home safe,” I thought.
over the years, there has been a change in mindset. I no longer do
this because I want to prove my strength or my worth. It no longer
matters to me what people say or whether they think it’s right that I
let my daughter climb at her age or not.
over a dozen mountains and braving foreign territories with her, I’ve
gained both the confidence and humility to learn that we must fight
for what we love, but also accept our limits.
with my daughter now because mountains are already part of us.
Because we long for the profound changes and happiness that they lend
to us. They bring us close to the primal joys that we often forget in
the midst of busy schedules and technology: the peace in off-beaten
paths, the beauty of getting disconnected from the rest of the world
and coming home to a cold drink and a good bath, new friends we
discover along the way, the lessons in taking time to conquer hurdles
step by step.
We hike for the joy of doing all these together.
There is faith and fortitude to be found in the mountains – one that
emboldens us to believe that we, women, can do great things if we
listen to that voice that tells us, “Go and defy”.
Pinatubo, January 2016. 3 years old)