Better Shape Up: Jena

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

As I scrambled up the mountain in the early morning, feeling light headed and dizzy, I thought about how incredibly lucky I was to be in Indonesia. Gasping for air every other minute on the countless steps, I felt alive and free. A bit woozy, but free. I finally reached the top and was able to breathe deeply and contently, observe my surroundings, and exhale with awe. I plopped down and stared out, wide eyed and curious. The sounds of dogs barking began to wake up the small town of Pemuteran, the moon, still high in the sky, was glowing brightly, and my new friends were sitting with me enjoying the view, waiting patiently for the sun to rise.

Climbing to the top was harder for me than I would like to admit. I have never had the best endurance, always hoping and praying that my adrenaline will kick in when I really need it. I do like a good hike, though. Social entrepreneurship is a lot like climbing a mountain to the see the sunrise. It’s hard work. There are no instant results or gratification. It’s challenging, and daunting, and a bit tiring and frustrating at times. And you get sweaty and can feel defeated rather quickly, but you know that the best thing to do is to keep moving forward. Slowly but surely, you will get there. Slowly but surely, you can change the world. The sun will come up, and everything will feel just a little brighter.

One major take away from this trip to Bali, from our site visits, and from our intense study of this field, is that every place is a classroom, every person is a teacher, and every moment is a lesson. Learning does not stop at a school’s front door, it is life long, and hopefully, it is often. I am very aware that I am NOT in shape. I am pushing myself to be stronger every single day, physically and mentally. I have to shape up if I’m going to take the lessons and the values I have learned in this field with me as I strive for a better tomorrow. I have to shape up if I am going to share my knowledge and passion with my friends, family, and fellow human beings. I have to shape up if I’m going to create the change that I want to see instead of accepting how things already are. If I want to see the best sunrise, I have to start with me. I have to keep pushing and climbing even when I feel overwhelmed, and choose to reach the summit no matter what it takes because I know the view will be worth it. Better shape up!

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