This past week I was fortunate to spend time in Peru. I was in Lima for a competition, and decided to take some time with my fellow competitors to hike around the Inca trail and Machu Picchu for a few days. Needless to say, the views of this trip were incredible, but I am going to state a few reasons of why this trip was so special.
I believe part of what can make a trip extra special depends on the company you keep. My excursion around the various cities was with fellow USA teammates- some who are my direct competitors. Some of us have been competing together since 2008. Having been on this journey for 9 years together, we have watched one another grow and work relentlessly towards goals. We have seen each other at some of our weakest and lowest times. We have shared in tears of sorrow and joy together. All of these moments have resulted in a respectful, authentic and kind relationship on and off the racecourse. So when it came time to travel and go to some of the most beautiful sights that Peru had to offer, there was no question as to whom I wanted to share them with.
Even though we are all part of track and field and share this major interest, we made a rule that as a group we would not discuss racewalking at all. This challenge was not as hard as I thought it would be. Seeing as our event is such a huge part of our lives, I was worried that this topic would be unavoidable, however, it was just the break we needed. It is important to recharge and focus, and while on this adventure it was essential for us to reset, and concentrate on being more present in the moment. Never underestimate the power of taking a break, and letting your mind relax.
I would say that this trip was made amazing by just exploring and taking in the history. Sometimes you can be in a totally different country, but there are different aspects that remind you of other places. I found on this trip as I walked around I kept being reminded of Rochester in the summer. Everything was so green (and humid). Hiking through forests and alongside rivers brought me back to hikes in Letchworth Letchworth State Park. The smells of the air took me back to the running around the reservoir at Cobbs Hill Park. It is funny how you can be thousands of miles away, but it can feel like home is right there with you.
I didn’t want to leave, but I knew I still had training and hard work waiting for me. Dreams wait for no one. The sights were breathtaking and I would recommend this to anyone looking for an adventure.