Our world is experiencing exponential change. Twenty years ago, cell phones were only starting to become mainstream. Ten years ago, there were no smart phones or on-demand video streaming. Yet, you adapted.

Eight years ago, our mountaineering expedition team headed to Ecuador to climb a 19,000 volcano. We were excited the day finally came. We had been preparing for over three months to train, figure out logistics and see how team skills would come together.

Our crew of three were on different flights. Upon arrival, one guys’ bags didn’t arrive. He didn’t bring any of the key essentials onboard with him. Over $5000 in gear was suddenly missing in action. The good news is we had a couple days in the capital before we started our acclimation hikes. All else fails, he could likely do the first two acclimation hikes in his tennis shoes. Not ideal or fun or supportive for your ankles, yet workable to meet this situation demands.

As we were departing for our first acclimation hike, he called the airlines again. Great news! His bags arrived. En route to our training hike, we swung by the airport. Not being able to clearly convey his needs in a foreign language, it took over an hour to find where in the airport his bags were.

 Catastrophe avoided.

Our crew of three successfully did two training hikes to 14,000 and 16,000 feet. Not too bad coming from sea level.

 After the second training hike, we celebrated with a steak dinner sharing our stories of the past few days.

Then, the next morning hit. Two of us were woozy. We felt odd. Then we threw up. And, again. And, again….

Food poisoning set in swiftly. The agony of preparing for three months to have this happen robbed our souls. Despite feeling horribly, we packed our bags to move to our next destination further in the mountains and sleep higher.

An hour into the drive, Ronnie yelled pullover! His head barely made it out the door before he threw up.

Upon arrival at our destination, he threw up yet again. Tonight, we were supposed to be packing for our 3rd and final acclimatization hike before the big day. For the two of us, there was no way we would make the 3rd hike. Gerald, the third guy on the team was unscathed and feeling fine. He packed his bags along with the guide to head up the mountain for a separate sleeping location at a hut higher in the mountains.

The hacienda found someone who would drive us an hour to a clinic. By now, its pitch dark outside, in a foreign country, and I’m in an unknown part of the country.

With broken Spanish, we arrived at the clinic. A man opened a small gated window on the door. Our driver translated our needs. This was after we drove to three clinics that were closed for the night. The doctors took some vitals and acknowledged his dehydration.

We all have a destination in mind. Yet, circumstances can dictate where we actually go.

Adapting is never easy. Here’s a few steps to take.

Step 1, Accept the situation

Step 2, Assess your response. Choose how you want to respond instead of knee jerk reaction. How can you respond from your best self?

Step 3, Adapt by identifying the next best step to take. How can you stay true to your values when taking the next step?

Step 4, If you feel pain anywhere in your body, breathe into it. Don’t allow fearful emotions to get stuck in your body, feel into the pain, experience it, and release it.

 Too often, most of us have knee jerk reactions and think from only your survival only instincts. When you move past this aspect, you can think from your higher brain with rationale. This allows you to tap into your highest self and make clear decisions. 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International