Bastadi! Bastadi!

That’s Nepali for slow. Which is pretty much how everything is up here. At 15,500 feet, nothing is moving very fast. Today we crossed the Renjo-La Pass, at 17,800 feet. Surprisingly, it was a relief, rather than a stress trip. The three peaks looming in my future, surrounding me every day, are constantly on my mind. Doubt, fear, and insecurity run through me. It’s slowly getting colder, and the discomfort only amplifies the worry. But today, even though it was hard, the strong feeling that I get when in the mountains seemed to resurface. Every step, although the air was thin, and the day long, gave me confidence. I still have a long way to go, but I am taking the small victories I can get.

Cold morning starts are the toughest, with the cold wind nestling itself deep into your bones. But every time the discomfort starts to take over, or the homesickness, or fatigue, I remember everybody back home. Everybody who believed in my crazy ideas, showed me how to be strong, read this blog, told me to go for it. I think of them, and each person who has given me that gift of belief has allowed me to put one foot in front of the other. Today was  a beginning. A beginning of hard days. A beginning of struggle. A beginning of cold. Of wind. Of heavy breathing. But also a beginning of strength. Of freedom. Of confidence. So we carry on, with the hopes that the days will carry some of both.