On Active Volcanoes and Overactive Pride
Benefits needed: Energy enhancer and speedy exercise recovery from B-vitamin complex, Rhodiola Rosea, Ashwagandha root, organic Black Chia Seed, BioPerine, and Vitamin E.
Concept/Takeaway: Some situations become dangerous when you don't have the energy to keep going. Other times, you miss out on fun adventures because you're too tired to get out of bed or do anything useful with your day. Now, we can feel our best and make the most of everyday.
The Story: “I’m so tired and I’m so cold,” I say fighting back tears. My knees hit the earth and my hands follow. “I’m scared,” I whisper, too proud to say it loudly enough for Will to hear.
“Oh c’mon, we’re fine. We’re almost there,” Will says back in an all too typically calm way.
“We’re not fine! And we’re not almost there!” I shout back. We’d been hiking for 12 hours and Will had scared away our guide. Or, better yet, run from him to try and prove he was better than needing a guide. Better than a guide… who has done this hike 100s if not thousands of times… Without need, when our lives actually could end. It’s cool though. The guide wanted $10 dollars so I guess $5 each was too much for safety. (I’m not still bitter?)
So, we’re guideless on an active volcano in Guatemala and the sun has set. That leaves us with approximately zero light pollution, about 12% battery on my phone for a flashlight, and another zero sources for warmth. But, “we’re fine.”
“My legs literally will not move and we don’t know where camp is!” I’m shouting, angry now.
“It’s up that way a little… I think.” His voice trails off.
“Well I remember it being that way,” I recant. “This is why we should have paid ten dollars for the damn guide instead of running away from him! I get that you’re wilderness, nature man but we actually could die here!”
Wil obviously ignores me and starts hiking again. I don’t even blame him. I’m clearly not being helpful here. I try to stand to follow, but the ground is steep, my legs are weak, and I fall. “We’ve already gone this way!!!” I yell. That’s probably the first, somewhat useful information I’ve had.
“Alright then,” he says, motioning in another direction signaling we try it.
Now I start thinking in my travel mindset. I internally reference my own danger quota (the one I made up while trapped on that roof in Istanbul.) The question “Could I die?” rings through my head like a timed coo-coo bird. The answer is yes, so, logically, my next thought is “Okay, that’s cool. So get yourself out of the situation.”
“HELP!” I yell as loudly as a can.
“HEEELP!!!!” I’m waving my phone around with the flashlight on trying to gain attention. Will looks back at me and shakes his head.
“AYUDAR!!!” A minute goes by and I’m trying not to cry as I envision the worst possible end game to this situation. I, of course, also don’t want Will to see me crying and think I can’t handle an insane hike like this. (Even though I can’t, and would never want to again. I’m too proud.) “Help..” I say once more, timid now.
“Look! It worked!” I get up, running now. My legs forget they can’t move and I’m racing vertically up this volcano towards a far-off light that’s making circles into the sky.
“Aquí! Aquí!” A man's voice yells. I’m sprinting and Will’s begrudgingly following. In about ten minutes we’ve made it to the man who Will (and subsequently I) had formerly run away from.
“I tell you, this is why you need guide,” he says.
“I know, I’m so, so sorry,” I’m saying. “Thank you so much, you have no idea. You literally just saved our lives.”
“We would have been fine,” says an angry Will, who’s hurt by what he perceives as my lack of confidence in his nature man skills. (But is really just an acknowledgment of my own limitations).
The man loosely glares at Will and turns back to me, “Yes I know, no worries, we come this way now.” He points, we follow.
As we find our camp, dinner is being cooked and we’re greeted by the rest of the over-exhausted hikers. “You guys are insane,” one girl says.
“How was the second volcano?” Chimes in a second.
“Absolutely. Terrible.” I say.
“It was fun,” Will smirks.
I roll my eyes.
All of us had hiked a brutal six hours together up Volcan Tajamulco earlier. The dirt was loose and with every step you sunk half a step back down. We each had all of our things (sleeping stuff, tent gear, food, two-days worth of water, extra clothing, camera equipment, etc.) on our backs the whole way. No one to help carry, but a guide to lead. Once we put our things down at camp, we had barely a moment to eat our first granola bar before Will had perched up on his chair, hopefully inquiring about summiting the second, very active volcano next door. However, in order to do this, you had to go all the way back down the first (that we just spent six hours brutally submitting), only to then scale the entirety of the second, Volcan Fuego. Once you got to the top, you could watch the lava spew out, try not to get hit, and then enjoy a nice sunset.
But don’t forget, by that time it’s pitch black, freezing, and you have to hike all the way back down Fuego and back UP Acatenango. Oh yeah, and you have no idea where you’re going. It’s not a clear path as it had been on the way up, because now you’re on an entirely different side of the volcano. Well, cute-little Sydney let Will convince her that that would be a good idea. (Really, I just know he’s wildly outdoorsy and I didn’t want him out there alone as I knew he would do. So, what choice did I have, really?) (Normally, I super admire his tenacity for life and wild adventure, hence why we were traveling together for so long, but in this instance, not so much.)
“Never. Again.” I say.
“Yeah that seemed brutal,” a girl at the table says. “Did anyone from other camps go?”
“We saw two girls from another camp and their guide offered to bring us back and Will wouldn’t let him so we went back up Acatenango alone and then had to be rescued.”
Their jaws drop and spoons hit the table.
“Okay, but the lava?”
I was so focused on being scared and angry I forgot how cool what I had just done was. “Oh..” I sigh, “Yeah. We saw it explode like 100 feet away.” More jaws drop.
“Yeah, I guess that was pretty chill.”
Will smiles and knowingly looks up from his bowl of food at me and the girls. I’m annoyed at his joy. “The photos didn’t come out though, so was it really even worth it,” I half-jokingly grimace back.
“Oh c’mon, just the actual exploding ones didn’t, you still got 100s of awesome photos,” Will nicely adds.
“Yeah, whatever,” I say, “do we have any more hot cocoa?”
The man cooking laughs as he’s overheard all of this and pours me another cup. “Gracia,” I say.
I’m laying in bed that night, shivering, but still happily watching the lava of Fuego explode and rocket into the sky. Now, from the comfort of my camp, I can enjoy the site and appreciate how hard my body has worked for me today. While I’ll always be thankful to my body for bringing me back up Acatenango, sometimes thankfulness just isn't enough. Knowing what I do now, I don’t want to go into another situation like that again without some kind of knowledge that I did everything in my power to prepare for the experience. I mean, I hadn’t even eaten breakfast that day, never mind taken any vitamins or anything to help give me energy. And it showed! I literally couldn’t stand at a few points! Crawling up through that vertical dirt and rocks, I regretted all of my decisions fully.
Well, I’ll never be that ill-prepared again, thanks to Co-Pilot. This time and literally hundreds of other times I’d felt tired always ring through my head. And I am definitely not alone here. I’ve had friends bail on plans last minute because they just wanted to lay in bed because they were too tired to do whatever cool activity we had planned that day more times than I could count. And I’m never mad because I get it. But it still sucks for me and for them when they miss out on a crazy adventure. Sure, you can take a day or two to rest. I know I certainly did after these volcanoes! But every day shouldn’t be a rest day. You don’t want to wake up every morning (or afternoon) feeling too exhausted to do something super cool that everyone else is doing, because your last four days of rest just really tired you out and you need another few to recover. Natural energy - without the crash from caffeine - that’s what I knew I was looking for.
When we created Co-Pilot’s Daily Supplement's formula we made sure to not only include the B-vitamin complex, essential for providing natural energy, but so many other ingredients to help you out with daily energy and exercise recovery as well. Ingredients like our Rhodiola Rosea not only fight fatigue but also boost physical performance and promote healthy sleep. Once you’re well-rested you’ll be even more prepared for a fun day of adventure. The Vikings actually used to use this very plant to improve their physical performance, and Mongolian healers used it to treat serious diseases. We’re not inventing the wheel here, we’re just trying to bring it back to light and stack it with more wheels to make a super wheel!
When we combine these first few ingredients with some of our other ingredients, you truly become unstoppable. Our Ashwagandha root, in addition to all of its other whole-body wellness properties, also increases energy. On top of that, our organic black chia increases strength and endurance. Next up we have green tea leaf that both boosts energy and enhances exercise recovery. Sprinkle in a bit of BioPerine (the part of black pepper that increases your nutrient absorption) and suddenly we can be sure you’re truly getting and absorbing all of these great plants, vitamins, and minerals, reaping the benefits fully.
Oh, and let's not forget our lovely Vitamin E. This bad boy enhances your vision to make you feel more awake. Personally, I know when my eyes are tired, it doesn’t really matter how the rest of my body feels because that makes my brain feel tired and so I feel tired too.
So, knowing that I have all of these plants and vitamins on my team, helping to keep me feeling great, I can go into that next hike more confidently. Do I still hope it’s less grueling? Absolutely. But am I much more prepared than I was the first time around? Absolutely again.
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