Last week was exactly what I needed.
I had the honor of guiding a client on his first trip to Potrero Chico—a magnificent climbing destination nestled into the mountains of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Potrero Chico, located a short drive from Monterrey (which is a short flight from Houston) is considered one of the best climbing spots in the world mostly because of its stunning limestone cliffs, some that rise up to 2300 feet. However, it isn’t just the landscape of Potrero Chico that is breathtaking, but the surrounding community and the locals who call it home are as welcoming as they are diverse. A beautiful culture rests on this land and being immersed in it is an added gift.
These are just a few of the reasons that I love leading expeditions here and while I have scaled these cliffs a handful of times before, I always learn something new. Adventure is high-adrenaline, it is high endeavor, it’s a rush and it’s extreme and it’s all of the blood-pumping things we equate with the wilderness. But it isn’t only this. Sometimes, adventure means slowing way down—catching your breath and being present. And I mean really present. Not the new-agey bullshit presence that influencers are hocking, the type of presence that is confronting and profound. It is the liminal space of adventure: silence, peace, and moments of stillness that stretch way beyond personal comfort.
After a few days in the sun, feet on the Earth, I was getting out of my head and feeling into my body. Potrero Chico may be a climbing destination but is just as conducive to ease. Slow mornings outside with my coffee, slow evenings over tacos and margaritas, long pitches of soaring limestones, lots of laughing, and deep states of flow were just as much a part of this particular expedition. In fact, my client had received so much on our first day that he was scrambling to pack and plan out his trip back to the airport having totally forgotten that we had two days left! It reminded me of the power of nature, after all of my years of climbing, it still blows me away.
I walked away with two awarenesses—things I intellectually expect after years of climbing but that I viscerally understood:
- The power of unplugging from the world is tremendous. An overseas expedition offers this by virtue of long travel times and exotic locations but the trek to Potrero Chico is so short—within a matter of hours you’re in a totally new world. The swiftness with which I gained clarity and a return to center was breathtaking in the best way. It was a reminder that this kind of reconnection to self is available anytime, anywhere, but you really have to want it. You have to unplug and get outside. You have to make it happen. There’s got to be a bit of a “fuck you” to the world. Pull the trigger and fight the malaise of the machine.
- Our nervous systems are in a constant state of inflammation. No matter our reality, we all are constantly replying to emails, texts, phone calls, and the myriad demands of modern daily life. Reacting to stimuli is almost unconscious now and it takes a long time to set down that reactivity and come into presence. When we do though—either through adventuring or coaching calls or a walk in a neighborhood park—we can hear ourselves and our true needs so much clearer.
This is why my work, and these kinds of experiences specifically, always suspend me in wonder. I am not always sure who is in service to who: is it me to my clients? Or am I served by my clients? And the truth is it’s both. Just humans meeting each other and doing our best to show up in our lives with awareness, to experience the world, and ease the suffering that others may have. Getting to climb around on the rocks along the way is a bonus.
In the future, I may begin offering group climbing camps and workshops at El Potrero Chico, but for now, I’ll keep offering these experiences as custom and private 1:1 and 2:1 experiences. If you’re interested in a custom adventure or are curious about other ways to work with me, schedule a call with me and let’s get planning. Adventure—and greater presence—awaits.