27 Aug Are You Ready?
As I climbed the Gringo Killer, my breathing was labored due to the incline even though the elevation here wasn’t nearly as high as it was the day before. I was grateful for my poles because they offered another point of stability for my tired and sore legs on this third day of climbing. My only focus was the next step. I only had to be willing to take the next step. I took that step, and I rested. I took another step, and I rested. I smiled as I heard the people already at the top cheering me on. I took another step, and I rested again. It was a bit shorter though because I was fueled by their energy. And then, I was there.
After catching my breath, I joined the group to welcome the other folks who were just getting to the top. I gave high fives, and then I turned to take in the view. In that moment, I was overcome with the realization that unless I had done this trek, I would have never had the opportunity to experience this perspective. While I can do my best to explain it to you, and even show you pictures, for me, it’s captured in my body, mind and soul. It’s something I will have forever.
I had many of these moments on that 3-day trek – reaching the summit of Dead Woman’s Pass, seeing Machu Picchu for the first time through the Sun Gate, and listening to the rain as I lay in my tent in the vastness of the Andes Mountains. Even as I write this, my spirit is again overwhelmed with gratitude.
A year earlier I didn’t even know about the Inca Trail and couldn’t have even told you that Machu Picchu was in Peru. I had no burning desires to do a multi-day trek in another country. I was the girl who couldn’t pee outside and had spent one night in a tent over my whole life. Until then.
A chance conversation led to a feeling that led to an internet search, which led to a desire, which then led to a trek deposit along with a commitment to a friend, which led to hiking and altitude training (not as much I’d planned), which all led to “What the hell am I doing? I’m not ready!” right before the trip. Then I thought more about it. What does it really mean to be ready?
Well, according to dictionary.com it means to be 1) completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action, 2) duly equipped, completed, adjusted or arranged, as for an occasion or purpose, or 3) willing.
I was right. I wasn’t ready relative to the first definition. I was far from completely prepared or in fit condition for what lay ahead.
I was semi-ready in accordance with definition #2 because I had the cool backpack and all the arrangements made with the people who actually knew what they were doing.
What I had going for me the entire time though was my full embodiment of the third defintion. While I was nervous because this was SO FAR out of my comfort zone, I was WILLING from the start.
If I had waited until I was ready, until I had my ducks in a row, I would have never had this experience. (By the way, did you know that a mama duck doesn’t actually line up her ducks? She just takes off and they learn to follow her, and contrary to popular belief, they generally don’t do it in a straight line.) Sometimes, it’s about taking the leap and letting all of the pieces line up on their own, and maybe the pieces don’t line up in a neat little package. It’s not always pretty. There is ALWAYS something to be learned from it though.
The point is, you will likely never be ready for much of anything in your life, and if you wait until you are ready, that life is going to pass you by. That doesn’t mean not to prepare. It just means make preparation part of the process and then keep moving forward. There would have never been a High5 Leadership if I had waited until I was ready because, frankly, most days I still don’t feel ready. I would have never run my first race, never bought my first car, never invested in myself the way I have, or never had the courage to ask for what I need.
When we tell ourselves we aren’t ready, it’s usually a focus on fear and things we don’t want like failing, embarrasment, or not being perfect. When we can shine a light on the fear and write the story of what’s possible, then life becomes brighter, more fulfilling and we see the gifts in both the failures and successes.
What are you ready for? Make life happen because of you!
If you want to know more about how to live life on purpose instead of letting life direct your actions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a call.