Climbing a Mountain
The enormous formation stretched menacingly up into the scattered, pale grey clouds. The aromas of recently fallen rain on fresh grass, along with crisp spring floral scents drifted towards us. There was excited chatter amongst the group as we huddled at the foot of our spectacular challenge.
Swiftly and without hesitation we equipped ourselves with the necessities we required for what was sure to be a strenuous climb. Even with the intense training we had undertaken, this was sure to be our mountain climbing group’s toughest ascent yet! We were a small group of 6 and had immediately bonded due to our common interests; our first climb had then cemented this bond for life.
Anticipation was bubbling up inside of me as my close friend and climbing partner, Holly, turned to me and gave me the nod – it was time! We smoothly managed the first stage of the mountain, we were a third of the way up and confident in our abilities so we eagerly carried on. The mountain was getting steeper and the air was becoming thinner; I recognised the start of my asthmatic wheeze and out of habit, reassuringly tapped at my trouser pocket where I always kept my inhaler – it wasn’t there!
“Holly!” I cried, “I-I don’t have m-my inhaler,” I stammered as panic crept in.
“What?! Lize, we double checked everything! Are you sure?” she asked anxiously.
The look on my face told her everything she needed to know. “Ok, don’t panic, come and sit and just breathe slowly,” her voice was patient and kind.
I put my head between my knees and breathed slowly, I felt as foolish as an overconfident cat stuck in a tree. I had ruined the climb for Holly as we would soon have to descend back down to base. No sooner had I come to grips with my carelessness, that Sam, our group leader appeared brandishing a smallish, cylinder object in the air – my inhaler! Apparently he had found it just 20 metres from where we were. Immediately, I took a deep and satisfying puff on the small device that I relied so heavily upon. A few more puffs and my breathing steadily returned to normal. On closer inspection, it appeared that the zip on my pocket had torn.
Ten minutes later and not a moment too soon (with my inhaler safely and securely in my backpack), we had completed the second stage, just one to go! We stretched, pulled and sweated our way up the steep incline until finally we reached the magnificent mountain top of Mount Fox. The view was indescribable, the sensation of achievement immense and the air? Well, after a few well perfected puffs of the inhaler, it was the best I had breathed all day!