I trekked 26 miles to Machu Picchu and didn’t even flex once.

pachamama | Kourtney Thomas Fitness

As you may have seen on my social media in the last few weeks, I recently returned from 10 days in Peru. To say that this was the trip of a lifetime would be a vast understatement, for a myriad of reasons. Peru is breathtaking, and every single moment of every single day there was incredible. To get to experience the scenery, the culture, the history, the food, the energy of Pachamama with my adventure partner, and one of my oldest friends, along with her adventure partner and a new instant friend…was truly amazing.

Clearly, there are not enough adjectives in the world for me to get my point across with enough oomph. Suffice it to say that my world has expanded in many ways in the space of only a week and a half.

Of course, I had an inkling this might be the case. I’ve never traveled internationally, and never even dreamed I’d be doing something like this. It was like everything we did and experienced was totally surreal, but so very real, all at the same time. I felt deeply connected to, well, everything. To the Mother Earth. To the Sun. To the Moon (which was full, and spectacular, while we were there). To my people. To my soul. And we all know just how much connection means to me.

I felt at peace, and beyond grateful for life, and everyone and everything in it.

My good friend and coach gave a presentation at The Fitness Summit that touched on this feeling. That #grateful is bullshit. That leaving your own world for another every so often is what makes life worth living. I now completely understand what he was saying.

I still love muscles. I love hitting the gym. I love how it feels, and what it means for me. I also love that it has become a vehicle for my passion of helping women to discover how to live their own Big Life. None of that has changed, or will change. But I didn’t trek 26 miles and a gazillion feet of elevation to one of the Seven Wonders of the World to stage a marketing shot to use on Instagram for my business. I did it to create lasting memories with the people who mean the most to me.

And what I learned is that still, those things can coexist, and you certainly do not have to travel to Machu Picchu to find that for yourself. I love, more than anything, the simple feeling of love and happiness, right here, right now. Sometimes that’s as simple as a gym selfie, or a kiss on the way out the door, or a quick text just to say hello. But sometimes it’s much, much bigger than that, and we would do well to remember that, to open our eyes to it in our everyday worlds.

When’s the last time you stopped to enjoy love, happiness, peace, connection in your life? Because it’s there if you’re ready for it.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stuff. To get tunnel vision about goals or jobs or money or whatever else, especially in our current society. Trust, I realize I have been guilty of it. But taking a step back, seeing some of the happiest people I’ve ever seen in my life, living such simple lives, working hard, loving hard – that was the definition of the Big Life for me. And I want it for myself even after I come down from this high, and I want it for you too. It doesn’t have to be all make more money, fulfill obligations and expectations, get the “perfect body,” work till you die, fit the status quo.

Remember: you control your choices.

And realizing that none of the shit matters is a choice. We can choose to see that what really matters is that we’re able to hold each other close and see life for the gift and the opportunity that it is. To live with love and fire and peace in our hearts, and maybe even a little adventure.


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