The Endorphins – Pyramids of Teotihuacan
We stared at the pyramids.
“Don’t think about the heights”, Ale said, “just think of the endorphins you’ll get from the climb”.
Sluggish and holding a strong cup of coffee, I sideeyed the hell out of Ale.
We had just arrived to the pyramids in Teotihuacan and, as someone who is insanely afraid of heights, I questioned my choice…hell all of my life choices. Why would I get up early and ride 45 minutes to terrifying, albeit beautiful, stone structures that are a gazillion feet high?
In hindsight? A bit dramatic.
No one can deny that they are stunning. The Pyramid of the Sun, at a height of 210’, is one of the tallest buildings in Mesoamerica. The Pyramid of the Moon, while smaller in stature, stands out thanks to its surroundings – the Palace of the Jaguars and the Palace of Quetzalpapaloti.
At this point and time, though, I didn’t care one bit about the history. I was concerned about the hike.
We tackled the Pyramid of the Moon first because it was the shorter of the two and the top of the pyramid was closed off to tourists. This would be a good gauge; if I could climb the stairs of this pyramid, then maybe I could tackle the steps of the second. Now, some of you may be asking yourself “Why is she so afraid if there are stairs?”. Well , SIR/MA’AM, these stairs were not your normal school steps! These stairs were of the steep, broken variety – anytime there is a rubber cord to assist you climbing stairs, there’s a problem!
Remember the endorphins.
So we began to climb. We took our time – the pyramids were crowded, making it a bit of a challenge for those of us on the skittish side (I was not alone – while Ale and Sergio were champs, Alicia and I were NOT). This was the key – to remember to go at your own pace, and to not feel rushed by the teenagers who were able to skip up the steps with no problems, or the group of people coming down on the wrong side. We finally made it to the “top” and –
Talk about breathtaking. The views are endless and, on this sunny and clear day, you can easily see all of Teotihuacan and then some. While the endorphins hadn’t exactly kicked in yet, the views made my currently out of shape self feel a lot better about the choice.
After slowly (and I do me slooooooowly) climbing back down Mr. Moon, I started to secretly hope that this was the end. I was huffing and puffing, for sure, but proud of my small accomplishment. To voice this out loud, though? NOT A CHANCE. These folks gave up a Saturday morning to make sure I saw these pyramids. So, as we arrived at the bottom of the second pyramid and watched Ale scurry up with Sergio close behind, I looked at Alicia and told her “we can do this, we can do this, WE CAN DO THIS!”.
And you know what? We stopped. We stopped a few times. We took breaks, drank water, took in the sights…
But, eventually, we made it. And it was magnificent.
They say that, at the top of the pyramid, there is a place you can put your hand in order to feel the energy of the sun. Real talk? I didn’t get ANY of that, but I was amazed. I was amazed that there were actual people who painstakingly put the time into something that was so beautiful. I was amazed that I hadn’t passed out and, most importantly, I was proud of myself for standing at the top, several feet about the actual ground.
I spent awhile at the top of that pyramid. A long while. Eventually though, as they say, what goes up must come down, and that includes folks like me, so down I climbed…
only to find those endorphins waiting for me. Who knew? Sorry, Ale, sideeye withdrawn.
The pyramids are approximately one hour driving from Mexico City.
(Trip taken in December 2015)