Today my group and I faced a very different challenge than the previous five. My group woke up before dawn, when the stars were still bright in the sky. We met up quietly, without speaking a word. Once we were all together, we started the hike up the nearby mountain, without the aid of any light but the moon. It took our group around forty-five minutes to reach the top of the mountain. Finally, after the long walk, we split up and found our private spots where we would spend the next five hours, quietly taking in our surroundings. The only thing on our persons were a water bottle, one pencil and a blank flashcard. Our task was to sit alone for five hours in the mountain, and write down our thoughts.
It turned out I didn’t need my alarm, I woke up just from the nerves caused by the thought of what I was about to do. I got dressed in my warmest clothes and walked out of my tent, into the crisp night air. I met up with the group. We decided the previous night that we wouldn’t speak or eat until we completed our task of the day. Once everyone arrived at the meeting spot, we set off. It was hard to get our footing on the loose rocks in the dark. Eventually, our eyes adjusted and our pace quickened. We reached the top and Dev, our leader of the day, gestured for me to sit. I settled myself on the cold ground, trying to get comfortable and prepare for the next five hours.
Everyone in my group got something a little different out of this challenge. Speaking for myself, it was all about self control. I wouldn’t allow myself to adjust from the first position I sat down in. I diverted my focus from the physical uncomfortableness to the world around me. I watched as the sun rose over the nearby ridge, and saw the bugs slowly emerge from the ground as the light warmed the air. Next thing I knew, the signal bell was rung which told us it had been five hours and that it was time to hike back down. Our group met back up, and we spoke our first words of the day.