Peaks And Pause Power

Peaks & Pause ATC Event

My first thought when I sat down to listen to the Peaks & Pause  ATC 2018  Event was how comfortable the area was (which by the way looks like someone’s living room)  filled not only with comfy sofas but with like-minded woman (few noticeable men too!) who enjoys outdoors and appreciate wellness in sense of body, mind, and spirit.  Great to see attendance represented by different colors and country origin, of different age and background but with similar interest.

The event was co-organised by Amazing Trekkers Club (ATC) and PAUSE Magazine aimed at creating space and time to collectively listen and ponder at discussion brought by main panelist Denise Keller (Award-winning Travel Producer/Presenter, Eco-advocate & Yoga enthusiast) and being joined alongside Hazleen Panayiotou (ATC Founder, Ferina Aziz (PAUSE Magazine’s Founder) and Dr. Kiran Kashyap (General Physician and ATC Trek Member).

The panel discussion was handled well by Kisha Tan (PAUSE Magazine’s Editor) who allowed each panel to share their own unique experience, all beautifully expressed and presented:

Below are some notes and thoughts:

  • Hazleen who summited 36 peaks from 2014 stressed out the beauty of being on a mountain which in itself an act as switching off from technology (when there’s no connection) to be able to pause in surrounding nature. She also mentioned about having the right attitude when conquering mountain – no place for ego. Being on a mountain is like being a stage to express ourselves.
  • Denise on finding balance in her crazy schedule (e.g. stressful high flying Oscar red carpet coverage) – Being agile during the stressful/hostile situation and keep calm are keys to be original, authentic and raw.  It’s important to keep focus and have the eye on the target like an eagle or falcon. She suggested paper journaling – not only as recordkeeping but a tool to let go when words being poured on paper. She emphasised the must-have ability (despite being seen as selfish) to say NO, something like locking yourself in a room to bring yourself composed and grounded. Only unlock it once ready to face the world.
  • Ferina in overcoming her anxiety disorder and depression. She stressed the importance of being healthy from the inside (mentally and spiritually) not just on the physical being (because it’s ok to love your body as it is, the necessity in taking a pause to calm you, gain strength and bounce back which does not mean quitting or giving up. She talked about the power of connection with people, stillness, and silence
  • Dr. Kiran on her professional thought and experience conveyed how tenacity was indeed the quality shown in each of the speakers above. Tenacity is not simply what you born with but can be built – she suggested to engage in something difficult or challenging on daily basis, and stick to it regardless what obstacle facing you from proper planning to effective execution.
  • Having tenacity quality is to grip something firmly with determination, grit, and perseverance. For me, it’s like relentless forward motion or when climbing mountain – relentless vertical motion.

Later on, we were brought to an eye opener video on ATC’s trip to Nepal where they visited Maiti Nepal, an NGO dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking. It’s an insightful yet a bit disturbing to learn how such human tracking exist in beautiful mountain setting backdrop. It touched me how trekkers helped out to educate village dwellers mainly the children by distributing leaflets on the route they were trekking and warning them to not follow those man who allured them about a big job in the city. Great to hear proceed from ATC’s Tshirt sales and other initiatives in future will go towards Maiti organization.

Certificate of achievements and spa award were given to ATC members who summited mountain once in each category: local/nearby,  region and international.

Finished off with munching really delicious canapés (glad it wasn’t the usual Asian flare of dim sum and siu mai), I could not stop thinking how events like these are so uplifting and refreshing. It brings all those with the shared love of hiking and all those who understand the dedication and hard work it takes to reach each summit (and come back down). Beyond summit what’s really stay on is the value each learn that will be lifelong lessons, lasting memories and friends made.

The higher pursuit instead of the joy of hiking and visiting extraordinary mountain destination is to remember those less fortunate where we can use whatever power we can to make a little difference to their life. Because this sport we do and passionate about can impact others. To me, this is why we do what we do – beyond medal, personal best and certificate. The Peaks & Pause  ATC Event was for me a medicine for mind, body, and soul for a new soul on this island. Maybe it’s about the tribe, mindset or simply – bunch of diverse type of people who love nature, trail, and mountain who get together and sharing the love. What equalises is the effort, sweat, and tears on the trail – just like on the running scene I can relate very well.

 There’s so much can be gained from growing together as a better version of hikers, climbers and mountaineers especially this one is exclusive for woman – so check out here for more detail on Amazing Trekkers Club (oh that 7 days Mongolia trip looks tempting!). And for you wellness warriors, check out Pause Magazine here, or why not join their PAUSE session – a collective bunch on weekly basis. 

To echo what Hazleen ended the night with “find your mountain, set a goal and take action”. I’ve just look into plotting and planning for first half of 2018 race and mountain destination to train, hike, climb, and summit or simply to have a picnic at the top – another year of challenge and adventure await.

And remember to pause, ponder + breathe before life takes over you. No need peak or summit for this, just mental practice to shut down on daily basis at wherever you comfortable. Then restart and reset. 

Thank you again – ATC, Pause Mag, wonderful panelists,  chef of the evening, and yes a little purple goodie –  Bali herbal feminine wash to keep me poise and pure!

Live to thrive,


P/S: I shall be treading the trail at Mount Gede Pangrango National Park, not far from Jakarta city this weekend for a good hike and trail race.