Everest Camp 3

May 6

Today we tagged Camp 3 at 23.5K ft. We made it in excellent time and our guides were proud. However, I felt uncomfortable and PANICKED. Being the first time really hiking in my down suit, I could not regulate my temperature without completely losing the rhythm in my breath. I felt suffocated.   My backpack and harness fought my suit. I fought everything. When I tried to adjust, my focus left my breathing and it was a mess. I felt truly panicked. This is a new and frightening feeling.

Mua’ Dib stepped in, coaching me confidently and calmly “Come on Meghan. You are strong. You’ve got this. You need to breath. One step, one breath”. Everest is HARD, and climbing to Camp 3 is EXACTLY where I met my mental challenge.

When I speak to groups about GGRIT, and enduring long duration challenges, one of the first things I recommend is learning to identify what you CAN and CANNOT control. I also tell people to OWN their situation.

Today, everything I have learned, and that I teach, was challenged/tested.

There is a distinct difference between “I CAN’T do this” and “I WON’T do this”. What is the point of “I won’t do this” for me? Meaning, is there any reason in even asking this? If I “CAN” do it, even if it’s extreme suffering, there is no point in asking if I am GOING to do it. Am Icapable of walking away? I don’t think I am. Could I forgive myself for walking away? I know I could not.

There is a lot of time on this journey to truly dissect who I am as a person.  Is my path on track?  Who will I be on the other side of this? I am hard on myself. I always have been. It’s been a life journey to, at least, let go of what others think of me (which I’ve gotten a good grasp on after 46 yrs of practice, but remains a daily practice of course). But, the most difficult challenge remains: to accept myself, as good enough, as I am today.

It all stems back to child wounds: as a little dyslexic girl, being told “You’re stupid”, “not good enough”, “retarded”. I think that is something we all struggle with at some degree and/or at some time in our lives. I grew up working harder and fighting for what I want.

I am not capable of giving up this climb, no matter how difficult the journey, because I know I CAN do it. I will continue to hurt. It will be so cold it makes me nauseous. 3 am departures will leave me miserable. I will struggle calming my mind above 22K ft. The tent time and harsh conditions will break my body down. But, I have no choice. This is who I am and I can do this.

Like all challenges I have encountered, I will process this, mentally reset, and return in 7-10 days stronger, focused and determined to overcome.

About the author : Kim

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