“You’re hard-headed, baby,” my partner said to me as I huffed and puffed and put one foot in front of the other on a gradual ascent.

“Yes,” I replied, “And it’s usually to my own detriment.” And then I stopped walking.

We were half a mile or so up a 2.5 mile climb and I had altitude sickness. I fought with myself for a minute. I shouldn’t have altitude sickness. I’m only at 7000 feet and I just spent two weeks at 8000-10,500 feet with no problem. This shouldn’t be happening. But it was.

I said as much to my partner and he reminded me that this was different. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. I hadn’t eaten enough that day. We were pushing ourselves much harder than we had with our tour group in Peru and Ecuador. This was our second hike of the day. I had had no time to acclimate to the altitude this time. It was okay to stop.

I stood there for a moment and checked in with my body. Could I complete this hike? Yes, but it would cost me. I was already feeling sick; continuing would only make it worse. I took a breath, turned around, and headed back down the mountain. At the end of the day, proving to myself that I could do it wasn’t worth the cost.

“There was such grace in that moment for me… I knew I was capable of it. The reasons didn’t matter. It’s wasn’t something I could muster that day. And that was okay. I was okay. It didn’t mean anything about my [ability] or me. It was simply a moment in time.” ~ Casey Daly

I gave myself permission to not be able to do that hike on that day and I turned around. I’m not going to lie; it was hard to do – to stop resisting fate, to give up, to give in, to surrender – because I knew that on another day, I could have done it. But not on that particular day, and that was okay.

– do we move forward, stay where we are, or turn around and head back the way we came? It’s not always an easy decision to make. We worry about wasting our time. We worry what other people will think. But maybe, we should be more concerned with what we think, with what our bodies and our hearts are telling us. In today’s video, I talk about how I discern if something is right for me or not. This is a process I developed over time; it may be different than your process. That’s okay. I hope it serves you and that you can some useful ideas from it.

 

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