“Tis the season to be jolly!” sing billboards, churches, and more. Yet for many of us, the festive season can feel like the complete opposite. The voices of Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey echo a dissonant soundtrack through shopping centres, as stressed faces search for last minute gifts or that perfect Christmas ham.
2018 has been a significant year for our team at EarlyLinks with several new members joining our team as we “make life easier for all Australians”. To celebrate, our Christmas party this year was a trip away. We brushed off our hiking boots and headed over to the beautiful Snowy Mountains. With a glint in our eyes and stiff legs from our 6 hour drive, we began our journey with one goal: to conquer the modest 2228m peak of Mount Kosciuszko.
Our imagination and hearts were captured by the sweeping landscapes and rolling windswept hills of the Australian Alps. Away from the busyness of Sydney, these were precious moment to pause and reconnect with nature.
Visiting the Blue Lake was one our highlights, where we each spent time alone reflecting as the gentle glacial water streamed down its granite cliffs. The surprising abundance of snow was an irresistible invitation for some of us to engage in playful winter warfare (aka a snowball fight in the middle of summer), which provided a much needed boost at the halfway point in our long walk!
Along the journey our resilience was tested a lot as we pushed through rocky ground, steep climbs, wet feet, and sore muscles. At times we were tempted to turn back as the peak seemed an unreachable eternity away. Would we be able to reach our goal in time? With linked arms, however, we pressed on together through narrow cliff passes and through snow capped hills, till our goal was almost in sight.
The final push followed a spiralling path around the mountains to a lonely rock monument, indicating that we had reached the top. It was an emotional moment for our team as we walked up, pushing through weariness and sore feet and finally reached the peak.
Together. We had done it!
The descent proved to be the final challenge as the sun was quickly falling behind the hills. We rushed together despite our tired legs to finish the last 7km of our journey.
10hrs. 26km. 38,000 steps.
With sore muscles, sunburn and deepened friendships our journey around Mount Kosciuszko had come to a close. Despite the physical fatigue, we came away from that weekend refreshed, filled with music from our driving playlist and ready to face the challenges of 2019.
Getting back into nature and finding playful moments to connect with those people who bring you joy and laughter is so important at this time of year; we learned that on our hike. After reading this BLOG it’s my challenge to you…
Find a way to spend 30mins in nature this week,
Have a really honest laugh with someone you love or respect, or
Set yourself an achievable goal which relates to physical fitness.
Co-written by: Jacky Peile and Reuben Seah