Experience the high altitudes of Peru, beauty to take your breath away, plus, the perfect place to conquer fear and that nagging inner critic.
There’s a moment at high altitude where your lungs draw in breath after breath yet hardly any air. Fear rises. Your heart beats a staccato tattoo in your chest. A wave of dizziness washes over you. Making my way up to the Rainbow Mountain in Peru, at 5200 metres above sea level, the usual chorus ran through my mind. “You can’t do this, Myranda. You’re too fat. You’re not strong enough. No one thinks you can do this.” The fear looms again, almost overwhelming.
I draw another breath, fill my lungs as best I can. I let the fear wash over me. I take another step. Another breath.
The fear is not entirely wrong. I am fat. I am not strong. Since I don’t speak enough Spanish to know differently, perhaps the guides and horseman do not think I can make it. Perhaps they are making fun of me. Perhaps even the horse I rode is horrified at having to carry me. Or, perhaps, that is just the fear speaking again, the self-doubt and recrimination that are old friends. It doesn’t matter.
I am not strong, but I am getting stronger. I have tenacity enough to take another step. To move forward. To climb. To teach my lungs to pull in what they can. To remember my goal is not the highest peak in this case, but the base where I can see what I came for. I may move slowly, but I move.
I make it to the base. I make it past, to the middle of the peak, higher than I aimed. Higher than I thought I could go. Higher than the fear and self-doubt would have had me climb.
My breath is stolen once again, but this time by the beauty of my surroundings. The beauty of my achievement. I made it.
The spectacular view of Rainbow Mountain–the reward for pushing past my intrusive thoughts and perceived physical limitations.
There’s a moment at high altitude where your lungs draw in breath after breath yet hardly any air. Fear rises. Your heart beats a staccato tattoo in your chest. A wave of dizziness washes over you.
For more about my Peru (or other) adventures, you can visit my travel blog at www.starfishdancer.wordpress.com.