Machu Picchu with Earth's Edge 4

How it feels to trek to Machu Picchu at 52 years old

trek into Machu Picchu age 52

It’s easy to come up with a reason not to do something. We can all think of excuses not to go for a walk, or do some yoga, or climb a mountain. But once you’ve read Marian Timmons’ story, you’ll realise there’s nothing holding you back. Marian first found adventure at the age of 52. A stressful job and busy family saw Marian tip the scales at 20 stone. She knew she had to make some serious changes, so she signed up to go to Peru and started training. 9 months later, and 5 stone lighter, she fulfilled a lifelong dream to trek to Machu Picchu.

We spoke to Marian on our podcast to find out more about her incredible achievement and journey.

What made you decide to trek to Machu Picchu?

“I had just retired from a very stressful job. I always said that when I retired I was going to travel, and I always wanted to see Machu Picchu. When I saw your trip, the rest was history.

When I retired in January 2017, I looked at myself and thought ‘If I don’t get my house in order, I won’t live to see 2018’. I was 20 stone, morbidly obese, had Type 2 diabetes and a cholesterol count of 14. So pretty unhealthy. I booked the trip for October, and in January I started on a healthy eating and fitness regime, with the trip in mind. I dropped 5 stone in that period.”

How does confidence help an expedition?

“If I want to do something, I do it. I’ve always been confident. And I’ve always wanted to go to Machu Picchu. I just said that I’d do it. I was fortunate to retire at 51, had a pension and didn’t have to worry too much about bills – I made the decision and did it.”

About trekking to Machu Picchu at 52

“It’s easy to wake up one day, and you’re middle aged. You look in the mirror and realise you’re 51. You have to say to yourself, age is only a number. I don’t care about age; I just do what I want to do. That sounds a bit selfish, and it’s not meant to. But age shouldn’t be a barrier. Age, sex or creed shouldn’t be a barrier for anybody. Even if it’s something small, just do it. I hope to be up a mountain at the age of 80!”

Machu Picchu with Earth's Edge

The moment she arrived into Machu Picchu

“It was unbelievable. I remember hiking along the train tracks into Aguas Calientes. We stopped at a park, and sat down to eat the lunch the guides had brought us. I looked up and saw Machu Picchu in the distance. It was a lifetime realisation; all of a sudden it was in front of me. I even get shivers now, thinking about it. It’s that incredible feeling of achieving something.

But to go and see the ruins, to see all the places you’ve only read about. It was amazing. To look out from the top of that mountain, it felt like we were on top of the world. That’s the feeling that I realised I loved. I’ve arrived.”

Listen to the episode here to find out more about Marian’s weight loss journey, how stress impacted her life, and her experience on the Kenya Tri-Adventure. To find our more about our expedition trek to Machu Picchu, click here.

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