28 Aug How Often Do You Feel Like Quitting? (Pssst… You May Be Just Around The Corner From Success!)
I staggered up ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’, staring down at the rocks and willing my sore feet to take each step – then total exhaustion took me over. My leg muscles were burning, sweat rolled into my eyes and I was gasping for air – after 6 days of trekking up to Machu Picchu, the mysterious “Lost City of the Incas”, 4000m above sea level,
I could simply give no more.
Even though I was old enough to know better – I stopped, threw my backpack down, sat on the ground and burst into tears.
You may, at this point, be assuming that my training, gym sessions and physical preparation for such a challenge would have helped me avoid such a meltdown. You also may be assuming that being one of the younger members of the group I would have had an advantage over my older chums.
No. I hadn’t taken it seriously at all. Walking the dog for an hour every day and thinking about training was about as far as I went. I rather naively thought the most famous trek in South America would be a ‘stroll’ to the top of a mountain, nice scenery and a good laugh.
After days of staring at endless steps and narrow pathways, never knowing when we would reach the top and, rather embarrassingly, being overtaken by groups of perfectly turned out ladies in their 60s from the Women’s Institute, I had quit. Thrown in the towel.
A rather smug guide sauntered along with a cigarette in one hand and bottle of water in the other, “come on Kay, think of all the autistic children you’re helping.” I can’t really repeat what I said to him – I was having a bit of a tantrum by this point.
A crowd gathered – all saying things that they thought would make a difference. I was getting more and more de-motivated with every well-meant comment. Normally, I was the happiest girl at the party, I’d chatted and laughed my way through the first part of the trek, but after a few nights of sleeping badly, altitude sickness and intense pain in my thigh muscles – I was left feeling beaten.
Then, one of the group that I hadn’t really noticed before, stepped carefully back down the stony track towards me. He called my name and I glared at him, waiting for some inane encouraging advice that wouldn’t help. He simply reached his hand out and pulled me up. Then he whispered in my ear, “hey, we’re only ten minutes from the top. You can do it.”
Still holding his hand, I slung my backpack over my shoulder, wiped my tears away and set off again. Before long, I had survived Dead Woman’s Pass and was sat on the peak of the Sun Gate, having a cup of tea – glad to be alive and open mouthed at the sight of the lost city of Machu Picchu perched on the top of the next peak as the sun broke through the clouds.
It wasn’t the mountain that had beaten me, or my lack of fitness – it was my own mind. It was my lack of clarity about the progress I was making. I was feeling sorry for myself and it seemed like every time I turned a corner, there was more ‘up’. I had no idea of how close I was to the top.
Can you relate this? Does building your business sometimes feel like an endless uphill struggle with no idea how or when you will get there? I think we can all look back and wonder if we’ve given up and quit too early, when if we had just carried on that little bit longer, we would have made it?
Now, think about the guy who said and did the right thing to get me walking again. He worked out what had made me quit and told me what I needed to get me going again. The fact that it was actually another hour to the top isn’t important – that he supported me, held my hand and gave me hope is what gave me the strength to carry on.
That’s our aim at Vet Dynamics – to be that hand holding support for our clients and help you see clearly and keep going even when you feel like quitting. We all need that sometimes. So don’t quit, keep going… success really is often just around the corner.
Blog by: Kay Irvine