To say that India has changed my life is an understatement. I have thought about my experiences there ever since I left to come home 17 days ago. My head and my heart are floating somewhere at 18,000 feet, resting on the soft snow of Khardung La.
Ironically, that is where our family prayer flag is stretched across and waving in the mountain winds, at the peak of Khardung La.
I am back from one of The High’s of my life…running The High in the Himalayas. Where do I begin when there is so much to share? Do I tell you all the details? Do I speak about witnessing acute altitude sickness on an unknown Indian man? Do I tell you about Yaks and mongooses and herds of goats roaming at 17,500 feet, in a place that is as remote as the Moon?
Hey everyone, Bailey again! The generator in Leh has been down for 2 days but here is the update of the past couple of days:
So, hello to everyone! I love and miss you all!! Everyday has been filled with amazing things here. Training at altitude has gone well but I have to say I am nervouse about the race This Saturday!! We leave Friday for our base camp where we will be camping with our crews. Then 6am Saturday morning I will be attempting to run a race that no one has done before. It is a daunting task but one that I am excited to begin. It is such a remote area…so beautiful, so unique. I am always nervous before a race and this race isn’t any different. I do have a great crew.
My whole crew, Billl and his crew and Mark Cockbain from Britian and his crew, went to see Lama Tsphael yesterday. When we got to the temple another Lama was there and said he was the only priest there that day. I was sooo disappointed!! I really wanted Lama Tsphael to bless our crews! So I walked out of the temple to tell the crews that they would not be meeting my Lama friend… I turned the corner and there was Lama Tsphael! He said he had a feeling he should stop by the temple on his day off and he spotted me! So He ended up blessing each one of us by tying a red sacred ribbon around our wrists. Then after the ceremony he pulled me and Bill aside and gave us special prayer beads. Saying good bye to him was really hard! He is like a family member to me we have gotten so close these last few days. He told me he will see me again…
Lama Tsphael left yesterday to go see His Holiness the Dahli Lama in a neighboring town. So I gave him a big hug goodbye. Then today all of us went up to Khardung La to train. It is a couple of hours from town. When we were coming back to Leh in our car caravan we stopped at a remote village for a quick break. It is in the middle of nowhere! I got out of the car and there he was!!! Lama Tspheal walking out of a little tea stall by the road!! He smiled and gave me a huge hug. All the crews were cracking up that he was there in the middle of nowhere. His driver had stopped there on their ride to see His Holiness. So, we laughed and visited… then when he was ready to leave, he looked at me, clasped my hands and said “I will see you again”…
This morning I went to the Shanti Stupa the giant temple at the top of the city of Leh. I went to a Buddhist prayer service at 5am. The monk giving the service is the founder of the Stupa. After the service ( there was about 6 of us in the temple) he asked the french guy behind me if he could please play his guitar for him. The french guy played a song that was lovely. Then the monk asked if he could play his guitar. The monk took the guitar and started playing classic guitar!! Absolutely flawless classical music. I thought I was in a dream . THEN he started playing Rolling Stones early music!
Okay, you all are probably thinking that I have gone mad and immersed myself into the Buddhist culture. But, the truth is, I am in my second week of living in a city that is the mecca of monks. It is a magical place and every day there is something new. I am so glad that I have all this positive energy before this daunting race. It gives me strength to be around all this incredible powerful and positive energy. This is truly a sacred place. I have never experienced anything like it.
I hope some of you will want to come back with me here next year.
Okay dear loved ones…generator going down!!
Hey everyone, Bailey again! Here is some more highlights from my moms adventures:
Well, today I went to 18,000 feet. Now Bill said his GPS was reading 17,600 feet but, since I always like to embellish my stories, lets just say I was around 19,000.. Haha. I will tell you that I was higher than any mountain in the U.S. including Alaska… It was frickin HIGH!! I did pretty well actually. I can’t say I was doing any running but I didn’t experience any headaches or altitude sickness and I was up there for a long time. I am excited about that. It got me over my fear of having wacky problems.
I did have an exciting afternoon too. I met with Lama Tsephel at Lengshed Gonpa monastery. He was an amazing holy man and simply adorable. He blessed our family prayer flag. He rang bells over it, poured holy oil, threw rice on it, ran it through incense, then he chanted for about 20 minutes. It is now thoroughly blessed. I will be hanging it at the highest peak Kangdung La during my race.
Lama Tsephel has invited me to come to his second monastery, up in the mountains, next year. You can only get there by trekking as there are no roads. He is now my new best friend!! We really hit it off. He asked us to come back to see him tomorrow at 3pm. He is going to give us a special blessing for the race and a special blessing to take home. It was an awesome experience. I was humbled by it to tell you the truth.
Hey everybody, this is Molly’s daughter Bailey! I am going to be the official reporter for my mom as she travels through India. Here is what she has to say from her first few days in Leh:
I am at a remote location, LEH, India at about 12,000 feet and believe me when I tell you I expect to see a Yeti any minute. I do LOVE it here. It is a special place and more gorgeous than I could have imagined. So much cleaner and serene then New Dehli…ahhh New Dehli… that is a different story!!
I am at an Internet Cafe with a generator grinding outside this room. I am staying at a peaceful house cottage. thank god my own little room , overlooking a meadow and the incredible Himalayas. It is surreal. There is limited electricity…really no Internet except for this cafe (sometimes).
My guide Nattu took me on a tour of the little town. Bill took off for parts un-known as he went to TanLang La to experiment being at 17,000 feet. I didn’t feel the calling for that yet! So, I am slowly acclimating here. I ran for almost 3 hours this morning and I felt okay. Tomorrow I am going to see what 17,000 feels like. I’ll be going up and down in elevation over the next week. My crew will arrive on Saturday to acclimate for a week.
So, sporadic electricity, freezing cold showers, no sheets or pillow cases, sleeping on a mat with a kind of Yak blanket….yep! I’m lovin life!! hee hee hee
I am headed over to the monastery here today with our family prayers flag (thank you Toodie!!) Nattu set up an appointment for me to meet with a holy man who will give his blessing on our flag (I think he chants and blow on it from what I understand!) Then Nattu has sent me up to see a woman Oracle. He tells me she isn’t a fortune teller but she is a healer and spiritual elder. I am very excited to meet her.
Lots of powerful energy in the monastery here. I walked in and have to tell you that there is an energy here that I can’t describe. I can’t wait to hang our flag at Khang Lang La.