What I learned about myself on the Inca Trail.
When my husband and I planned to walk the Inca Trail we had no idea what we were signing up for. We knew it was going to be hard but we didn’t actually understand how much. I am glad I didn’t know, because if I did, I would have immediately assumed I was not fit enough to make the 4-day hike.
The second day was the hardest. We had to climb stone steps for six hours and I made a lot of stops to catch my breath. To get to camp, the way down was three hours, but it wasn’t that much easier. I was so afraid of hurting my knees or spraining my ankle in the middle of the trip. To make it even more embarrassing, the whole way you see the porters, carrying 25 kg, flying by you.
To get through the pain I tried to distract myself with the beautiful views of the mountains. At the same time, it made it harder knowing how far we were. It was dark by the time we made it to camp, probably one hour after the rest of the group. The guide had sent a porter to help me with my bag, but I politely declined because I wanted to finish without any help. After carrying my bag for 8 hours, another 30 minutes were nothing.
The last day was a shorter hike and there were a lot more people in the trail, so we all had to go at the same pace. It felt great to be with the group this time. When I got to the Sun Gate I was overwhelmed, not only by the views but by the whole journey. I couldn’t believe what we had done. I realized that I put limits on myself and that I can accomplish more than what I think is possible. I also learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others because what matters is to give all you got.
My advice to you is to go ahead and do that thing you think you can’t do. You are more than capable to achieve that and more. Compete with yourself and be better every day.
P.S: I forgot to mention that my mother-in-law and father-in-law hiked the Inca Trail with us. They were not only great company but an inspiration. Looking forward to many more adventures.