But when we climbed up Tiger's Nest, which is 500 meters above ground, we made the impossible possible. Although it was a steep climb that strained our muscles and lungs, we were able to make it all the way to the monastery - and all the way back down - and marvel at how far we had come, both literally and figuratively.
We wouldn’t have been able to make the impossible possible without each of us leading and guiding each other. It was amazing to see the different kinds of leadership at play as we climbed together. Some of us were pioneers, exploring the way through the difficult terrain for the rest of us and inspiring us with their initiative; some of us were mood-setters, keeping up team morale and setting the pace; some of us were healers, looking out for the needs of each other and how to address them; and some of us were guides, keeping us focused and on-track. The very best part was that each of us exhibited these different qualities at different times; we not only played to our strengths but tried to lead us each other in the best ways possible.
The trek also helped us grow stronger as a team, from our discussion on religion and spirituality that began in the car ride over to remarking on how far we came in our hike. We are more comfortable questioning and challenging ourselves and each other. We learned about our team on a much deeper level, and as a result, the bonds between us have become much stronger. It’s just one way being in a new country and a new society –even for such a short period of time--has transformed us.