Sunday, April 5, 2020

Jungle Kelly La Chingona: Lessons for Covid19 Cancun

Maximum Hammock Relaxation Before Covid19

We got out of town for my birthday celebration on the beach the last weekend before "Toque de Queda Cancun 2020". We rented a couple of rooms at Casa Kayab and enjoyed a long weekend of great company, good times and a whole lot of relaxing. Covid19 was a topic of discussion but we really didn't anticipate what we would be returning to at the end of our escape. The virus didn't even dominate our conversations, we covered a wide range of topics including all the tea from Rupaul, dating Vikings and the evolution of Jungle Kelly.

The seeds of Jungle Kelly were planted years ago but she really wasn't born until a trip to Guatemala in August 2019. The 100 kms of trekking through the jungle over 5 days was a life changer, a stereotypical and cliche "vision quest"/"Eat, Pray, Love" experience. With each telling of my tale to friends, I just gag on the phrase "life changing" but frankly it's the truth, no matter how much it sounds like I am about to try to sell you my inspirational self-help books. The Trek changed my life and prepared me for the current surreal reality of the world. I came out of the jungle a new woman, ready to face any adversity and I dared the universe to BRING IT ON. (Uhh yeah, sorry about that).

Jungle Kelly Feeling Cute, Just Vomited on this Pyramid

Becoming Jungle Kelly in Guatemala was a series of "OHHH" moments of realization and "AHA!" moments of discovery. The walk was hard, really, the hardest thing I have ever had to do physically, mentally and emotionally. No matter how tough things got, I just kept going. And did so with a smile and a sense of humour. The harder it was, the harder I pushed. I may have fallen, I may have vomited on top of a pyramid and the ticks may have been feasting on my nalgas, but I just kept going. As we trekked and trekked it got easier and easier and by the time we walked into the pueblito of Carmelita after 100 kms I was energized enough to want to dance. EXHAUSTED but energized, feeling proud of the accomplishment, recognizing my strengths and seeing myself as a badass "Chingona" who can do ANYTHING.

Jungle Kelly Badass Chingona

One of my first jungle lessons was "Learning How to Walk Again". The jungle was thick, the trail was narrow and rocky and muddy and full of tree roots. The first day I was rushing, looking ahead and not at my feet and not feeling the pace of my surroundings and the rhythm of the selva. I was trying to control a situation beyond my control and race to the finish instead of dealing with the reality of the path beneath me. I stumbled. Fell. Knocked the eff out of my shins. Went into heat shock, pretty much passing out and yes, vomited on top of an ancient palace.

Step by step, Jungle Kelly learned how to listen to the jungle, be in the moment and deal with the obstacles as they arose. Anxiety about what might be around the corner faded and the walk became easier. This lesson has been extremely helpful in my day to day life and now, as we face a world crisis full of unknowns, I'm ready to face each step of the Covid19 situation in Cancun as it comes. I'm paying attention to the trail at my feet and knowing that whatever is at the end of the pandemic trek is going to be ok.

Jungle Kelly and Surfer Dude Rule the Roof in Cancun Covid19

I'm not saying I don't have moments of anxiety because OMG THE SKY IS FALLING is part of my DNA, but the moments are short and Jungle Kelly holds my hand until I am calm. When the virus is under control, I will take each step necessary to work, feed my kid and my cats. No amount of anxiety or stress is going to change the outcome, so I may as well listen to the jungle and just roll with it. I have survived everything the universe has thrown at me thus far, I know I'll get through this one too, with giggles and pink hair and the ones I love.

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