Posted by: mylovingheart | January 11, 2014

Chasing Those Mountaintop Experiences!

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I just returned from doing an adventure trip with my son in Peru.  In the first few days of our trip we were to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  Often I commit to adventures without fully doing the research of what will be involved.  I have this thought process that I can do anything that I set my mind to.  Knowing that we would be in high elevations, I did work out with a trainer to do strength training for a few months before we left.  I thought that altitude would be an issue, but again figured it was something I could work through. 

The first day of the Inca Trail was good and I could see the beautiful Andes mountains and was glad to take in the experience.  The second day of the hike where we had to go over Dead Woman;’s Pass (we would climb over 3,000 feet that day) and go down was the true test of my mind, body and spirit.  Never did I think quitting was an option.  That I must keep putting one foot in front of the other.  That if I had to go slow that was okay because I was going forward.  Every now and then I would stop looking at my feet and look around and also look at where I had been.  How often do we just focus on one thing and forget to look around at the beauty and good that is all around us.  The climb was quite steep at times and I wanted so much to be over the pass and done, but I realized there was more to this journey that I had to endure before I would be at the top.  Once I got to the top it was raining and the temperatures had dropped.  The rest of the group was long gone.  I really did not spend any time on the top basking in what I had accomplished because it was time to go down.  You had to be so careful because the rocks were slippery and you could take a wrong step and hurt yourself.  I knew I didn’t want to suffer an injury this far from medical attention. 

My guide, Joel, was always so encouraging telling me “Let’s go Janet”.  How often we just need someone to cheer us on and to climb that mountain with us.  To go through all of the peaks and valleys, but I found that no one could do it for me.  I would have to go through the peaks and valleys with me digging in to what was inside me that was determined to finish.  I could always hear God’s voice telling me I could do it and also knowing that He was giving me the strength to find who I was on that trail.  There have been times in my life when I didn’t like it being hard and would find myself giving up or losing interest.  I knew that God was with me on that Inca Trail to show me that I can overcome what seems like an impossible task.  That I am strong in mind, body and spirit.  That you may at times have to dig in and watch yourself put one more foot in front of the other, but you will get to the other side.  I had to tell myself that there is absolutely nothing I cannot do as long as I stayed focused on where I have to go.  It is all within your control.  No excuses.  It was absolutely amazing on the fourth day to get to Machu Picchu.  To be able to bask in the beauty and say “yes this was worth it”.  To enjoy the journey!

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After returning to Cusco I started feeling bad physically.  It was necessary for me to seek medical attention.  I discovered that my oxygen levels were dangerously low and that I had altitude sickness.  After receiving oxygen and medications my health returned and I was able to complete the rest of the adventure trip.  It was pretty amazing to me that at 55 years old I hiked the Inca Trail with altitude sickness.
What I learned over those four days was that I just wanted the mountaintop experience, but God had to take me through the peaks and valleys to build me up mentally and physically for where He was taking me.  That you just have to surrender and know that He will never leave you on the Trail alone.  The journey will be at times quite hard, but at the end what He wants to reveal to you will be amazing!


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