December 31, 2016- After finishing breakfast in Pokhara, the four of us strolled to a card store. We had just finished our one week Annapurna trek and were feeling happy and accomplished. I was picking out a card to mail to my sister when it hit me. The change was immediate and powerful. I went from thoughtfully trying to decide which card most expressed the emotions I wanted to convey, to it doesn’t fucking matter just pick one already. I tell Ande I have to go back to the hotel, “see you guys back there”.
I’ve been traveling all over Asia for about ten months at this point, so it’s not my first rodeo. I knew what to do. Remain calm, walk briskly, and make a plan. The plan was simple, but not easy. Walk the fifteen minutes back to the hotel, up the five flights of stairs, and enjoy the comfort and privacy of my room. I start down the road, nervous but optimistic. Confident, but slightly uncomfortable. It feels good to have a plan.
After ten minutes of walking with another five to go, I realize I need to draft up a plan B. The sun is strong and starting to beat down on me, and the pressure is building quicker than anticipated. I start to worry about those stairs.
“You’re not gonna make it up those stairs man, just get to the restaurant where we had breakfast. You can do this.” Plan B sounds good but I’m starting to sweat now, the panic growing a little noticeably faster. I split my entire concentration between walking and keeping what wants to so badly come out from coming out. I quietly chant to myself “oh no oh please oh no oh please.”
But I’m getting close, in fact I can see the restaurant and the hotel. I call an audible as I pass the restaurant. I decide to switch back to plan A.
I walk into the hotel and smile at the woman at the front desk like nothing is wrong and start the trek to the top floor where salvation lies. Just like with dogs, your body can sense fear. I knew I had to walk and not run up those stairs.
In addition, unfortunately, the body can also sense proximity, which for some reason, has an exponential relationship to urgency.
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