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The power of the will

| February 1, 2010 | 1 Comment
They tell us while we are children:”If you set your mind to it, you can accomplish everything.” And as children, we believe that if we want something badly enough, that it is achievable. And you know what, it is true, as long as you never give up.

Today, I’d like to share with you a more personal story. And it begins few weeks before this Christmas vacation. My wife has persuaded me to check out and eventually book a trip to Ao Nang (Thailand) for the Christmas holidays. Before the trip, while doing a research of all of the interesting places to visit, I have stumbled upon a photo that left me speechless. It was the photo of the view from the top of the mountain above the Tiger Cave Temple, just outside of Krabi town.

Emerald Pool

Emerald Pool

Since I knew we will eventually visit this place (as it was one of the top attractions around Krabi), I began thinking on how will I take a photo of the view on top of the mountain. I have read reviews on TripAdvisor, saying that it was something truly incredible. One of them mentioned it was a hard climb and not recommended  unless you were an athlete.

Finally, the day came. Tiger Cave Temple was a part of a bigger tour, visiting first the hot springs, bathing in the emerald pool, followed by a lunch and elephant trekking. It was a wonderful tour, except for the one problem I did not foresee. On the road towards the Tiger Cave Temple, the tour guide told us that that we have approximately 40 minutes to spend there, and that we will probably not make it, since it was 1237 of difficult stairs (one way), and 800m in height.

Imagine the disappointment. This was to be one of the highlights of our trip, and then they tell us that we will not make it. I knew that if we did not get up there, I will not be able to live with myself. I had to try. I looked to my wife, and saw the same determination. It was decided. We will make it !!! I put my Pentax over my shoulder, took a bottle of water in hand, and we started to climb.

Climb to Tiger Cave Temple

Climb to Tiger Cave Temple

The climb was excruciating. I have climbed approx 1237 stairs once or twice in my life (never in that time frame though), but these kind of stairs were completely crazy. There were few people from our group that joined us in the attempt. Some of them stopped at 300, some at 700th step, due to various reasons. They said, 700 is good, it’s admirable, and that we will not have time for descent. And yes, 700 was really an achievement, but it was not 1237. So we pressed on. And the clock was ticking.

The next short break occurred around step #928. Given the fact that I’m not an athlete I was running out of breath. Every step seemed harder, and every platform we made very short breaks to regain our breath. The bottle of water helped a little. I began to suspect that we might not reach the top in time, however we were so close. Finally few long minutes of climb later, we made it !!! 1237 steps. We were on the top of the mountain, and blessed with a wonderful view, and a huge statue of golden Buddha smiling towards us. Still today, I cannot find the words to describe the feeling I felt there for those 3 brief minutes we spent there. It was a feeling of triumph over my doubts, and over my body. I took my Pentax, and fired a few shots, including the one I came for.

A view to behold

A view to behold by DPStudent on Flickr

Out of 6 people attempting to climb the mountain, my wife and I were the only ones that have actually made it to the top. 3 minutes later, it was again 1237 steps on the way down, and it was once again a race against the clock. Eventually we were a few minutes late (around 10 min in total), and after apologizing to the rest of the group, we sat down, exhausted, yet happy. We made it. 2x 1237 steps in 50 min, and those 3 minutes that were worth all of it.

The reason I wanted to share this story with you, is to tell you that if you set a goal for yourself, as long as you are true to your goal and do not give up, eventually you will achieve it. Each one of us has our own mountain to climb, and if you want it badly enough, you will find a way to get there. Never let other people set boundaries to the things you want to achieve in life. So our tip of the week is:

Stay true to your goals, and do not give up, regardless of how hard it may seem at the moment !

This article I dedicate to my lovely wife, whose attitude and determination in life as well as during that climb made me believe that these kind of achievements in life are possible. Honey, you are always an inspiration.

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Category: Beginners Photography, Travel Photography

About the Author (Author Profile)

Alan Graf is the editor and founder of Digital Photography Student. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and is also editor of – a Croatian wallpaper archive, and his own photo gallery at

Comments (1)

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  1. Jay says:

    Those are nice shots. Especially, the one at the top. It gives a view of freedom. Sometimes, I like to look at paintings to give me an inspiration to reproduce work digitally with my gadgets. And your photo gives me the same feeling when I look at a set of open air paintings. Looking forward to see more photos from you. You and your wife made it! Thumb up.

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