During our weeklong hiking trek of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, we were constantly being passed by horses and mules. They are the beasts of burden that haul the food, clothing, medical supplies, etc., that, in turn, keep the remote village people supplied with life saving materials. These animals do just fine going downhill, but the uphill climbs at 10-15,000 feet are as taxing on them as they were on me. The animal wranglers inspire these beasts’ uphill struggles by constantly shouting out the word “MULA!” - a rough translation of which is “Keep moving, horse!”
As my wife and I did indeed struggle with the effort required at these altitudes, she laughed when I called out to her, “MULA!” I also got a sneer in return. And yet we all knew there was no alternative but to keep on putting one foot in front of the other as we trudged through the rain, sleet, mud, horse manure, cold and weariness for the long hours of our seemingly endless trek. Along the way, we did have some incredible sights and exhilarating experiences in this phenomenally beautiful and culturally rich country. The end result experience of the ancient Inca stone city of Machu Picchu was most assuredly worth all the mud, manure and effort!
Safety pros get to experience the mud, manure and weariness that comes along with trying to help our people and companies put an end to the pain, suffering and heartache of injuries. And yet we must keep putting one foot in front of the other while reveling in the enjoyment of the successes we achieve along this seemingly never ending trek. To you, and to me, I shout “MULA!” The end results are worth our efforts.