Throughout my journey to Mount Kinabalu recently, I had noticed three couples with three types of attitudes. It made me realized that everyone’s relationship is different and making comparisons is always pointless. To build-up a strong relationship, trust and congruence will always be the main ingredients.
The ‘supportive’ couple:
It was Jane’s first experience to climb Mount Kinabalu under the encouragement of her boyfriend, Tom. Jane wasn’t an active person and hasn’t she done any training for the climbing due to Tom’s last minute decision. During the journey to Mount Kinabalu, Tom accidentally sprained his knee and felt mountain sickness on the way up to Laban Rata. Despite the tiredness she felt, she supported Tom and continued walking up the hill until they reach their destination.
The next day after they reached Laban Rata, Jane felt both of her legs muscles were terribly aching but the time wasn’t allowed them to rest as they had to walk down the hill and get back to Timpohon again. Both Jane and Tom supporting each other, step-by-step walked down the hill and reach Timpohon safely.
The ‘traditional big-man’ couple:
Felicia and her boyfriend, Ken, had been going through training together, months before their journey to Mount Kinabalu. Ken had always be the leader who leads Felicia during the training. On the way up to Laban Rata, Ken had tried his best to take care of Felicia who was also a first-timer climbing up Mount Kinabalu. Unfortunately, Ken felt mountain-sickness when they reached 4km (another 2km from their destination). Felicia takes the role to take care of Ken and continued their journey. Felicia gave up on climbing to the peak of the mountain and chose to stay at Laban Rata to take care of Ken.
During their journey back to Timpohon, Ken wasn’t fully recovered but he insisted on carrying their bag and leading Felicia all the way down to hill. He showed his concerned towards Felicia and tried to ensure Felicia reached Timpohon safely.
The ‘independent’ couple
Jack and I were both a first-timer to climb Mount Kinabalu. We started from Timpohon together, leaving the other two couples far more behind. Half-way through our journey to Laban Rata, I left Jack at a resting point as he wanted to take a longer rest. Without noticing my speed, I walked alone and reached Laban Rata earlier than the time estimated. Jack reached alone after 40 minutes later.
Both of us continued our journey to the peak together during the midnight and stopped at 8.5km (0.2km away from the peak) due to the bad weather and my energy level. As both of our stamina was quite good, Jack and I walked separately most of the time and only observed each other to make sure we were safe and still in a good condition on the way back to Laban Rata. Jack wasn’t worried much about me as he had asked the ‘guide’ to take care of me until I reached Timpohon as I was totally out of energy on the way downs the hill. Only right after he saw his buddy, Ken, had been lending me a helping hands to go downs the hill from Laban Rata, he tried to take the lead and walked together.
It doesn’t really matter whether we had successfully reached the peak of Mount Kinabalu, the most important things is the trip had bring each of us a significant memory and a lesson that can never be forget.