The Great Jaguar – a bit of history

Deep in the Guatemalan rain forest, in Peten lies a pyramid by the name of “El Gran Jaguar.” A group of girlfriends and I visited this place when I was in my early 20’s and ventured into the past with the help of a very knowledgeable guide. El Gran Jaguar (or the Great Jaguar) is probably the most famous pyramid in Guatemala but it is not the largest one. The largest pyramid is also in Peten¬† and is called “El Tigre” (The Tiger).

I think about my trip to Tikal every now and then and I was thinking today about my adventure climbing up El Gran Jaguar (dad, if you ever read this, I made it up and down the pyramid alive so please don’t freak out). I really wanted to visit this famous pyramid that I had seen in pictures since I was a little girl and as I approached the pyramid, I found a sign that said “climb at your own risk.’ The pyramid’s steps were falling apart and it wasn’t safe to climb. It has a big chain that you hold on to while you’re climbing it so you don’t fall off. I cautiously climbed it, heck, I had already made the trip and didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. What I noticed is how small the steps were… I have pretty small feet myself (I’m a size 5 in the US) and these steps were smaller than my feet… a lot smaller, it was a challenge to climb because of how small the steps were and because of how dangerous it was, but the chain helped me not lose my balance and continue until I was at the top. The view was amazing from up there.

Our guide then took us to “El Tigre” which by the way, has never been uncovered because the rain forest has enveloped the pyramid in such a way, that any attempt to uncover it would result in the pyramid collapsing. According to our guide, the roots have buried themselves in the structure of the pyramid, as long as it remains covered, it will be there for many years to come. I also climbed this pyramid and the view from the top is amazing. You can see the whole rain forest from up there, it is breathtaking.

I was thinking about the pyramids today because I was talking to my husband and I was also having a discussion with my training group. I thought of my experience with El Gran Jaguar and what a challenge it was to climb it. I was thinking how sometimes we need a friend (or group of friends), a mentor or a coach to hold onto like the chain. When we have that, it doesn’t matter how challenging our goal seems, or how small the steps are, or how unsteady we feel, or how insecure of whether or not we can reach our goal we are… we grab onto that chain and it grounds us, provides us with the security and balance we need to be able to reach that goal. That’s the beauty of having your own coach or fitness buddy. With Beachbody, the chain is there… all you have to do is reach out and grab it! That’s the beauty of it.

I also think about El Tigre. Sometimes it is difficult to see beauty when we are at the bottom of the pyramid, we look up, and nothing we see looks like a pyramid, not even a structure, it just looks like a bunch of trees and roots all tangled with each other. Little do we know that those challenges, those roadblocks are precisely the ones that will help us reach the top and when we do… the view is breathtaking. So don’t let obstacles stop you, use them to your advantage. It all works out in the end and what you are left with, is a sense of satisfaction that you reached your goal.

As I am writing this, I am facing several challenges of my own. The first one and most important challenge is that my little girl got sick over the weekend and has stayed home Friday, yesterday and today. It’s a challenge for several reasons, the first one of course is that it’s not easy to have a sick child at home, the second one is that I have had to stay home twice this week and my contract at work is about to expire… so I am definitely¬† not accumulating any points in my favor here in regards to getting my contract renewed with the company, considering that I put my daughter’s health first (and I have no regrets). The third challenge is of course my fitness… I am starting to realize how I too use food as an emotional escape and how easy it is for me to slip, especially when my daughter offers me a bite of whatever she’s eating that is not part of my nutrition plan. Yes, it’s a challenge and I admit it, but I can do this and everything will get resolved.¬† My daughter will get better, work (whatever the outcome is) will resolve itself and I can definitely deal with whatever food issues I’m dealing with by hanging on to the chain of mentors and friends that are part of my training group. I have everything I need, I have all the tools, the knowledge and the support from Beachbody so I know I won’t fail. I know that, and that’s a GREAT place to be in.