“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” – William Shakespeare
On October 8th, 2018, Shawn Cheshire, U.S. Paralympian and Adventurer, became the first blind woman to complete a double crossing of the Grand Canyon, known as the “Rim to Rim to Rim.” She also set the world record as the fastest known time for any blind person: 42 miles in 24 hours, 15 minutes!
Jesse Crandall, Scott Drum, and I were her guides on this extreme adventure – I could not be more proud of our team’s accomplishments!
And, it was damn hard.
We hiked through two nights of darkness, one sunrise, and a sunset. It took us one full day-and 15 minutes into the next-filled with rain, very light snow, sleet, sun, clouds, intense fog, and a rainbow.
My feet have hiked the trails in this canyon so many times, I have lost count. But I had never hiked Rim to Rim to Rim in one continuous day. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I was stretched thin from mile 38-40. But giving up was never an option.
Below is a short excerpt from my journal:
“Like an out-of-body experience, my mind emptied as I trudged through the pain during those two hard miles, fully focused. Our legs were moving so fast! Yet I felt as though we weren’t moving at all. Listening to Shawn’s playlist blare from her BOSE speaker was a welcomed gift. I normally hate music in the canyon. All of the extrinsic noise drowning out nature sounds and silence. But this time, the music forced me into a much-needed rhythm.
It was so cold. My clothes were drenched in sweat and I was tired. So tired! My headlamp pierced the darkness as I watched Jesse and Shawn take every step ahead of me. Even in eerily-still-darkness with thousand foot drops, I felt no fear. No anxiety or doubt. Listening to Jesse provide verbal direction to Shawn, there was only humble gratitude for being on this trail with amazing human beings in pursuit of what had never been done before. Tears welled up in my eyes. I wanted to cry, but nothing would come out. I couldn’t afford the energy.
Stopping for a hot-second to catch our breath, refuel, and change, the cold pierced my skin as I tore off all layers and threw on dry clothes. We couldn’t stop for long, as the threat of hypothermia would set in. So onward we went. Three headlamps, three lanterns hung to our packs, a blaring speaker, and darkness everywhere. 7.442 billion people in this world, and we were the chosen few on this trail at this moment. Making history – in hopes of inspiring others.”
We crossed paths with a woman on the trail that day. Explaining what we were setting out to do, she looked on in amazement and shared a quote from William Shakespeare in Hamlet: “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”
I thought about this quote on the trail … over and over again. We are human. As the future unfolds for each one of us, and tragic events happen in our lives, we don’t know what we’re capable of.
That is, until we are fully present!
When we step into life with courage, we give ourselves permission to feel, love, and embrace our experiences. We become awake to what is possible … it is here that we find what we may be.
Love Life. Live Boldly. Summit Your Peak.
Please watch the video below. All of our footage is compiled into this fun, emotional masterpiece. Grab a tissue and enjoy!
And check out my upcoming Transformational Women’s Retreats in the Grand Canyon for January and February! I’m very excited to welcome Jenna Reiss, Breath-work Meditation Coach, Healer, and Writer, as a guest host for our January retreat! And Brittany Lynne, Yoga and Meditation Teacher specializing in Mindfulness, Meditation, Sound Healing & Breath-work, as a guest host in February! Please contact me with questions – sign ups need to be complete by December 1st! 414-698-8899 or firstname.lastname@example.org