There was no hint of shade. Glittering piles of grey-white sand, the result of wind and rain-eroded micaceous rock from the surrounding mountains, carpeted the valley floor and the high-noon sun mercilessly reflected off the desolate platinum landscape. My pack was growing heavier by the moment and I felt my feet swelling inside my hiking boots, pressing corns against the rough leather. I winced with each step and tried to focus on where I planted my feet so as not to twist an ankle on the loose rocks that littered the trail.
I have come to the Jomsom area to prove something. After injuring my knee in Mexico in 2010 my body started giving me fits. My left hip, knee and lower back ached constantly and I had to cancel my plans to trek the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal later that same year. Though I fought it with every fiber of my being, gradually I accepted that my trekking days were over.
Earlier this year I had to return to the U.S. for three and a half months. It almost killed me. With no access to the affordable organic, fresh, seasonal food that is abundant overseas, I began eating unhealthily and gained 15 pounds. My Yoga and meditation practice faltered and I felt unhappy and stuck. Finally, I concluded the business that was keeping me Stateside and rejoiced. I was free again to hit the road. I headed for Pokhara, Nepal to pursue my Yoga, meditation, and Buddhism practices with renewed vigor. Within a month I dropped all the weight I had gained and my knee and hip were behaving nicely. I began to wonder if perhaps my trekking days were not done. Continue reading