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  • Writer's pictureSonal Goel

Ascending Beyond Limits: A Journey to Rupin Supin Valley

When Passion Meets Perseverance at 12,400 Feet

As an IAS officer, I've always believed that to lead effectively, you must be willing to do what you ask of others. It's easy to talk about values like passion, patience, perseverance, and positive self-belief, but living them out can often be a different story. This philosophy led me to embark on a trek to the breath-taking Rupin Supin Valley, not just to explore its natural beauty, but to challenge my own limits.

The Prelude to Ascension

The inspiration struck unexpectedly. I was en-route to someplace and at mid-flight, a movie titled as ‘Unchaai’ with the plot about mountaineering lit a spark within me.

Despite my desk-bound career and a long hiatus from any serious physical challenge since my training days at LBSNAA, the urge was undeniable.

So, armed with a resolute spirit, I planned my journey to the valley, set at an imposing altitude of 12,400 feet.

The Unexpected Hurdle

Everything was set, my bags packed, my spirit high, and my itinerary meticulously planned. However, life, as it often does, threw an unexpected curveball. The day before my departure, I was struck down by a severe fever and throat pain. The timing couldn't have been worse. Reluctantly, I stopped in Mussoorie, considering whether to turn back to Delhi. The comfort of the guest house beckoned me to choose the easy way out.

A Morning of Resolve

But the next morning brought with it a revelation. Despite not being fully well, the thought of giving up before even starting was unbearable.

How could I preach about pushing limits if I surrendered to mine at the first test? With a heart full of resolve and a body supported by sheer will (and a fair share of medicine), I decided to continue. This decision wasn't just about reaching the summit but proving to myself that the mind's strength can indeed conquer the body's weaknesses.

The Climb

The trek was nothing short of a revelation. Each step upwards through the enchanting trails of Rupin Supin was a step inward into my own capabilities. The physical challenge was anticipated, but the mental and emotional journey was profound. The landscape was a vibrant tapestry of nature's best – from lush greenery to stark, imposing mountainsides, each turn presented a vista more stunning than the last.

The Summit

Reaching the summit was a moment of triumph not just over the physical altitude but over the mental barriers I had imposed on myself. Unfurling the tricolour at the summit, I felt a surge of pride and accomplishment. It was a testament to the 4Ps I always talk about: passion led me here, patience saw me through the difficulties, perseverance kept my feet moving, and positive self-belief filled me with the courage to continue.

Reflections and Revelations

Looking back, the trek was more than just a physical journey; it was a transformative experience that redefined my understanding of personal limits.

The challenges, especially those exacerbated by the unexpected illness and adverse weather, were numerous. Yet, with each step, my resolve strengthened.

This trek taught me that our biggest challenges can indeed become our most empowering victories. It reaffirmed my belief that the real journey is the one within. As I share this travelogue, my hope is to inspire not just aspiring UPSC candidates but anyone who reads this, to challenge their own limits, to venture beyond the comfort zones, and to truly discover what they are capable of achieving.

My Message Home

To all those dreaming of their next challenge, remember: themountain ahead might be steep, but the view from the top is worth every step. Keep climbing, keep striving, and most importantly, keep believing in yourself. Your Rupin Supin is waiting.

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