The Number One Way To Be A Badass OR Lesson Two From The Inca Trail

When Evelyn and I decided to hike the Inca Trail, I knew it would be a beautiful, outside-of-my-comfort-zone, amazing experience! After booking our trek, I started researching it, and soon realized it would also be challenging. Everyone talked about how long and tough day two of the journey was. Whenever the voice in my head starting to create a negative story about day two, I would reframe it with, “It’s not a race and you know you’ve got this.”

Day two was stunningly beautiful, filled with waterfalls, vast mountains, big changes in climate and lots of llamas. It was also no joke. It was physically the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and yet, interestingly, surprisingly easy.

The first five hours of hiking that day were straight up, and I do mean STRAIGHT UP. We gained 4,000 feet in elevation that morning, summiting at just shy of 14,000 feet. Honestly, though, it wasn’t the incline that was the issue. The issue was my sea-level body not knowing how to breathe at the increased altitude while moving up the challenging incline. (Oxygen is not overrated!)

I had set some very specific outcomes for the trip. One of those outcomes was to be as PRESENT and IN THE MOMENT as possible, to get out of my head and truly BE the experience. The universe always delivers! I actually had no choice but to get present and stay present. Each step required me to focus on only two things – the placement of my foot and taking a breath. When I couldn’t breathe appropriately, I stopped to take in the fabulous views. I enjoyed every step.

As we climbed, I was usually somewhere in the back of the pack so often that one of the guides stayed close and continuously checked to see how I was doing. What I believe is my deliberate steps, deliberate pace, and definitely deliberate breathing, must have looked a little labored to him. With each concerned glance, I would assure him I was awesome, incredible, fantastic, or some other positive word. What he didn’t know was that I was practicing the number one way to be a badass – I was PRESENT. There were no past stories being told inside my head. There was no anxiety about what was to come. There was just this step. With every step, I was grateful that I was living this experience, seeing things that could only be seen by taking this journey.

Our power is in the present moment! If we bring an old story from our past, we keep recreating that past. If we write a negative story about the future, we will make ourselves right. If we do either of those things, we completely miss out on the only thing that is truly available to us in that moment, which is THAT MOMENT. When we choose to stay present, we are truly living from a space of intention and purpose.

Starting today, up your badass status by staying present in every moment.