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Challenge -Defying Gravity

Isn’t life about continuously fighting against all sorts of challenges? It’s kind of like the natural force of gravity that we can never escape as a physical existence of this world. The gravity will either work for or against you depending on what you do. Running upslope is hard because you must fight gravity and running down slope is easy because gravity will push you. The higher and faster you want to go, the stronger you feel the resistance.

So to me, “defying gravity” is a perfect metaphor for “taking on challenges in life”, which we all must do in life. I made this art piece to express my gratification for facing and overcoming challenges that ultimately lead us to somewhere incredibly beautiful.

While being challenged in life is inevitable, how do you want to go about it? What can you expect out of a challenge?

The best way to describe this for me is through my love of nature and backpacking. It’s one of my favorite things to do in life. Whether through evergreens in the high sierras or trails blazed deep into the magnificent canyons of rocky mountains, it can undoubtedly be a once in a lifetime experience.

I believe it is part of human nature to be curious about new possibilities, and despite foreseen pains and discomforts, push ourselves to seek out our highest potential. Each time as I head off for the mountains, I am filled with both excitement and anxiety for what I am about to experience.

Uphill climbs are especially tough when carrying a third of your body weight on your shoulders. I feel my legs burning and am constantly struggling to defy gravity.

I often think that backpacking is like our life journey where not only our physical and mental strength is pushed to the limit but our intellectual capacity for survival, patience, resilience and judgment is tested.

When you are with others, your ability to care for one another and act compassionately for one another is tried because together you must accomplish what one alone cannot. The emotional highs and lows are all part of the experience of backpacking. All at once, everything you have inside will be put to an extreme test with the single purpose of making it to that destination.

In life, challenges arise in many shapes and forms. Whether academic, health, relationship, or financial challenges, we are constantly tested for our preparedness and willingness to fight to overcome obstacles.

You may hear voices in your head saying that your goal is too difficult to reach or that you are not good enough… so called negative self-talk. There will be tons of opportunities for you to quit and turn around along the way. You will have to ask yourself what this fight means to you, if it is even worth fighting for, and how badly you want it.

Despite all these, the reason why I keep climbing or keep doing what I do is simply because quitting is not an option. It's tough to keep going when I cannot see the finish line, the only thing that I can do is to focus on each step and each breath, and simply continue to put one foot in front of the other, trusting that action to eventually take me to where I want to go.

Even if we face setbacks in the midst of the challenge, we must trust the process through which we learn valuable lessons in life, grow, and learn about true self, and our true missions.

What motivates me above all is the longing for an incredible view that is waiting for me at the top of the mountain. The most strenuous paths can often lead to the most beautiful sceneries. The rewarding sight at the peak and the ultimate feeling of fulfillment are reserved for only those who go through battle to get there and didn’t quit.

But the truth is though, the challenges in life will never end. Winston S. Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”.

When you arrive at a destination, you will see another higher peak somewhere off ahead of you. And again, your next adventure and challenge will begin.

I wish you all the best with your own challenges!

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