“See the mountain ahead?” Marco asks. Yes, I do. “Look at the very top just below that cloud on the left, do you see that temple?” He guides me towards the cloud as I squint searching for what he wants me to see. Then I find it. “Yes, I see it,” I say. “Well we’re gonna hike up to that temple,” he says. “Sure we will,” I replied sarcastically, thinking he was just pulling my leg. Turns out he wasn’t!

Up we go, a group of 5. Up we go for almost 2 hours! I was the youngest of the lot, at 35, and definitely the most unfit. I was huffin’ and puffin’ all the way. Had to take a few dozen breaks to catch my breath and to drink some water and to kick myself for accepting the invitation to go on this hike. Now, just to give you some background information about my fitness level at that specific stage in my life…my idea of climbing was limited to ‘climbing-into-my-sofa-with-a-bowl-of-popcorn’ to watch a movie… my idea of a marathon is watching several CSI or Sex in The City episodes in a row! My work load was too much. I did not have the time to go to the gym or even look at myself in the mirror. I had just gone through a divorce. My mind was not in the right place. Exercise was the last of my priorities.  I was basically letting myself go… health wise.

So this hike was my wake up call. How could the others–one who was 50–race past me like they were taking a stroll in the park and not this treacherous hike up to the 9th heaven?! Marco would whizz by and say ‘let it go, with every step, shed it and you will feel lighter’.

By the time I was optimistically hoping I was closer to the end of this torture session and looking at the view in this picture, I just had it. Poor Randa sat down by some boulder and cried. I cried because I wanted out. I cried because of the shame if I was to go back. I cried because I looked ahead and saw the crack between the 2 mountains that was even higher in altitude. I had no idea how much longer the hike was going to take. I couldn’t see the end. I cried most of all because I was feeling sorry for myself. I was thinking of how pathetic I was. That break to catch my breath was the longest.

Tepoztlan Temple Mountain Hike…for Real!‘Let it go, let it go, let it all go’.

Those words kept ringing in my head. I decided to continue the hike. My friends must be at the top of that temple drinking mojitos by now. I had to join them. I decided to push myself and let go with every step.

Let go of my past. Let go of the failed marriage. Let go of long hours of work. Let go of an unrewarding life. Let go of ignoring my body. Let go of an unfit life. Let go of all the negativity and the tears. Let go of what other people think or say. Let it all go.

I was received at the top with a cheering band! I finally got to the friggin’ temple. We stayed there for a while. No mojitos, but they did have some refreshing lemonade-like beverage that I gulped down in 2 seconds. Marco led us through an awesome breathing meditation with sounds that echoed beautifully against the rocks. In that moment… as I was ooing, eeing and awwwing, I realised that when it gets tough, that’s when you need to push through the hardest. And that the pushing can be something as simple as… LETTING GO.

One of the first things I did do though, as soon as I was back in Canada, was to go to the gym almost on a daily basis… oh and yes, I cut down on the popcorn and junk food in front of the TV. In fact, I sold the TV altogether!

What do you need to let go of in your life, that will make you feel tons lighter? What is the wake up call you need? What is the mountain hike you need to take?

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