As a trainer, I strive to make a positive change in my clients’ lives, from their physical health to their emotional and mental well-being. I can help people tone their muscles, get in good cardiovascular shape and even lose body fat, but I believe if I can help a person live life to the fullest, that can make the biggest difference.
I’ve found that events that change the perceptions we hold become more and more rare as we grow older. We become set in our ways, and set in our views. When we are able to experience something that throws our normalcy for a loop, it can be a breath of fresh air. About eight months ago, an epiphany came over me: now was the time to travel. I counted down the days to my trip to Peru. I had never traveled solo–I had never even left the country before. Talk about jumping in head first!
I landed and immediately knew I was in another country. It was beautiful beyond belief—the people were so charming, the culture so vivid and the terrain was indescribable.
Another noteworthy thing that I came to terms with very quickly, however, was the difference in living conditions. While staying in one city, I went to take a shower in my hostel to find the water would not turn on. When I asked the front desk receptionist about it, he laughed as he told me the town was “charging” the water for the day so I’d have to wait until tomorrow. Everywhere I stayed I had to brush my teeth with bottled water, and I went several nights with no hot water or no running water at all.
At one point, because of the altitude, I had to go to the local hospital for an oxygen mask (nothing too unusual there). I sat in a medical room with four other Peruvian women as I was treated. There were cracks in the corners of the roof. Flies landed on medical equipment, and the supplies looked outdated.
I explored the quaintness of the Sacred Valley, the captivating city of Cusco, the mystic views of Machu Picchu and many other sites and places, but as much beauty as I encountered, I realized how fortunate I was to live in the conditions I do.
In the states, we live in excess, convenience and abundance, but I have realized we do not always appreciate life. We complain (myself included) because our phone is not charged, we have to sit in traffic, our water needs to be shut off for a few hours for repair or our coffee wasn’t made right.
This trip was an eye-opener about what brings happiness and satisfaction in our lives—they are things we cannot define by our material assets. As a trainer, I enjoy sharing my observations and experiences with my clients. The trip made me realize how blessed we truly are to be able to live life to the fullest.