Sunday, September 28, 2008

a humbling experience.

This is what it looks like when you put your bike down with you still on it more than six times. Ow. It's a good thing we are riding in town, i am not nearly skilled or fit enough to do the crested butte ride yet!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thanks, Denver National Examiner!

Hey, we got linked to the Denver National Examiner for Skiing! Check it out, its a neat national magazine website. Thanks for the link, guys!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Greetings from the bridger ridge!

There's snow in all the mountains over 8000 feet, and it looks surprisingly well covered! When do you think we can start skiing it?

ACADEMY SIGN UPS ARE OPEN!

OH, do you want to have a TON of fun this April? This sucker fills up fast... COME TO ACADEMY WITH ME!!

SIGN UPS ARE OPEN! This year's PSIA National Academy at Snowbird in Utah is going to ROCK!

Come get schooled by our NEW Alpine Demo team! Ski with Alumni, international Demo team members, have fun, wear a toga, and party like a rockstar!

This is one of the most amazing weeks of skiing you will experience! Spendy... yes, it seems that way, BUT!!!

You get almost EVERYTHING included, six days of all day coaching STRAIGHT from the horse's mouth (the D team) do electives... last year I got a day skiing with Ellen Post Foster (who wrote Skiing and the Art of Carving) and Stephen Nyman (you know, that dude on the world cup circuit??) so that was fun... banquets, breakfast, lift tickets, a room at the SWANK ski in ski out Cliff Lodge, hot tub, friends, good times, ski ski ski! Its AWESOME!

There are indoor presentations, boot fittings, an awesome party in the Aire bar every night, and a super special "secret" theme party every year thrown by Ms. Cindy Lou and Ms. Stacey Gerrish!!

Sign up now, you DON'T want to end up on the waiting list for this!

Click here to read about it and sign up:
http://www.psia.org/01/Education/Academy.asp

Click here to see photos from last year's academy:http://www.flickr.com/photos/katehowe/sets/72157605087872386/

and feel free to email me with any questions you have about Academy! katehowe@mac.com

UPDATE: You only have to put $500 down to attend Academy, the balance isn't due till the end of the season! YAY! Check it out, its a BLAST!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall on Kirk Hill



Fall has come to kirk hill, and i'm faster today. No convincing necessary!

UPDATE: I saw two bears on this run! A BABY baby and a juvenile, came on them suddenly and was only about 20 feet away. Didn't see the mom. Stood SUPER still, they were drinking from the stream, they saw me and ran away up the hill. Stood SUPER still for another ten minutes, didn't see or hear the mom, so I ran on, but turned around at Hodgeman Canyon trail head because I was a titch freaked out, it was getting cold, I didn't want to overdo it (lets see, what else can I come up with?) It was an amazing hike, get up there and look at the colors changing! These pics don't even do it justice!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wherein we look Inertia right in the gaping yap.

Poor me. Today is THAT day. Today is the day in which I am no longer officially incapacitated, and can begin to exercise again. This SHOULD be a day of celebration and hop on the bike and rip it up! BUT, today is THAT day.

I thought I'd take a few minutes to muddle through THAT day outloud, because I think it happens to a lot of people, and I KNOW it happens to me whenever I have an unintentional break of more than three days.

At the three day mark, I begin to feel like I have filled the space that exercise would have taken with other things, reading, writing, cleaning, sleeping, healing, whatever. And I do feel that sort of urgent "UH OH!" at that moment, like, get back on your bike, or get out and hike, because... ahhhh! The habit is going away and you will forget!

I do tend to be very hard on myself, and I know that I can be too hard on myself, so I am trying to learn some balance there. But in order to GET to a place in the first place where I could get in SOME exercise, I had to be a little bit evil. (moo-ha-ha-ha). I had to use my will-o-meter every day just to get out the door. Because it used to start with me just SCHEDULING the time to go, which was a major issue. My exercise was not important to anyone other than me, no one really understood why I was becoming so adamant and rabid about getting out every day. (In reality, I got out about twice a week, but in order to accomplish this had to make an attempt every day.)

Over time, I learned to make it happen, to stop asking "can I go for a run" but to say "I am going for a run". I had to change things in my mind, and make what I wanted for my life an UNAPOLOGETIC priority. Which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And it wasn't just getting to that place, but maintaining it. YES, its still JUST as important today as it was last week. NO this is not going to change about me, this is me setting habits in place for life.

YES, I am now living a life that fills my emotional needs, which does NOT mean, okay, I did it, now I will stop. NOW I feel like, Okay, I have BEGUN to scratch the surface of the kind of fitness that makes things like climbing mountains FUN rather than PAINFUL!

SO. Enter THAT day. (Today is apparently also a day for CAPITAL LETTERS.) THAT day is the day in which you can't really remember why you are doing it. Its a pain, I can go tomorrow, I have a bunch of stuff to do, I'm behind in dishes/taxes/homework/billpaying... I need to go to the grocery store. I'm a bit down, because I haven't been exercising for a grand total of ELEVEN days, and am now eight days out from surgery. So I feel like I've lost fitness and gained fat, and I know my first time out is going to be painful, and that I'll have to start two rungs down the ladder from where I left off.

Another thing that makes THAT day a tough one is that the injury or illness that lets you get there, facing THAT day, usually occurs for me just as I am crossing a new level, entering into a new level of fitness and skill. The last time I went out, I rode my mountain bike with Angela. And it felt good. I felt happy, and strong, and it was hard, but fun and challenging. To have had surgery a few days later, and then be out of commission for another eight days... well...

It looks uphill.

And uphill is hard.

But THESE MOMENTS RIGHT HERE are what define us. Should I give in? Should I just take today to do my homework and clean up the playroom which is an unholy mess? Or should I look at this inertia issue I am suddenly facing? My body is clear for exercise. I feel in my body that it is healing, ready to be pushed, and that it healed well. My mouth is still sore, I'm still full of stitches, but that hasn't stopped me before.

Can I possibly look at this BAD mood, this DOWN place I am in, and choose to view it as a challenge? Can I ask myself to get out there ANYWAY. No matter what. And do it NOW before the weather changes. Just go for a short ride, or a short run or a short hike. SOMETHING to put ME back in charge, on top. So that I am dictating the choice I make, rather than letting an undisciplined mind and a lousy emotional state dictate that I fail?

I know the answer to this question. I know that choosing to get out of this chair, and walk down the hall and put on my hiking clothes or bike shorts will be an ordeal. And I know that I will be full of doubt and asking myself if I can come up with SOME excuse not to go all the way to the trail head.

But IF I can keep choosing the positive, if I can keep climbing over these little hurdles that I throw in my own way, I will become empowered, proud, strong, happy, full. I will have taken an active step towards regaining whatever fitness I have lost, which is probably not as bad as I think it is, and I will have sat back down in the drivers seat.

Its a good pep talk. I'm feeling better. Now the question is, can I do it, whatever it is, before the rain comes? Its on its way. And I'm not going to use that as an excuse, either.

Because it comes down to this: what if, the day that it REALLY matters, it starts to rain, or I'm in a crappy mood, or I'm not feeling strong, or I'm lonely? It doesn't change the fact that the mountain is there, there is beauty to be seen, there is connectivity with the earth to be had, there is opportunity for love and fulfillment, if only if ONLY IF ONLY I can get my ass out the door.

See ya.

UPDATE: Kate: 1, Inertia: 0
Rode my bike up the Bozeman Creek Trail about 4 miles. Hit some mental snags, but was grateful to be out and to have done it. Came home and had a gooood loooong talk about my headspace with Tom, and revelations happened. Good. Good. Good. Moving forward. Today, I did more than yesterday, tomorrow, I can do more than today. Right NOW, I'm gonna make the kids Mac N Cheese and do my Anatomy homework!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quickie update...

Hi, guys... oh, patient readers! I am FINALLY feeling like a human bean again,the biggest issue I seem to have post gnarly oral surgery is that I have like 8 or 10 stitches in my periostium, the membrane that covers the bone, and then they pulled the gum up and over that, stitched that closed, so the ends of the stitches in the periostium are sticking THROUGH my gums and poking out like little plastic hairs, and any time I MOVE anything in my mouth, they wiggle, like pushing around a piercing right after its done, so its SUPER freakin' sore, and the ends are also scratching the hell out of the inside of my cheek and under my tongue, where there's more of them.

BUT, I'm off the Percodan and I walked on Wednesday and Thursday nights, about 1 1/2 miles Wed and 3 miles on Thursday. We are a week out from surgery, and movin' in the RIGHT DIRECTION!

Two new things in the sidebar at the blog proper (if you get this in your email, click on it and go check it out!) First, I've added a couple new blogs, today I added one about an expedition going up Annapurna I by Stonewear Designs Climber Tonya, and I've added the Blogger "Follow" feature, as well as a countdown to NEW terrain at Bridger Bowl!

Angela and I went and saw the Alpinist Film Festival last night, WOW, and I have more on that and all KINDS of stuff to write about (my To Blog About list is two pages long right now... must learn to balance being in school with continuing to Blog!)

Right now, I am getting ready to go to a meeting with Bonnie Hickey, our ski school director, about training at Bridger Bowl this year. More later, thanks for checking in!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why i love thursdays!

Relaxing at the daily with Bodhi. Mouth feels so much better today! We are going to chill together for a while, then run errands, then Blog, do homework, and finish my article. Full day!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Solace Healing Massage


I'm happy to announce that Solace Healing Massage is official! Here is what one recipient of massage this week said: "I don't want to jinx it, but this is honestly the best massage I've ever had!" Wow, thanks!

I'm so excited to be starting in this line of work, its a wonderful compliment to coaching, and I'm enjoying it so much! This is how I plan to pay for training from now on! So if you are an athlete who needs the aches of training smoothed out, email me!

Only $60/hr until Halloween!

Friday, September 12, 2008

We pause for a few days in blogging due to gnarly oral surgery. ow. Hope to post more this weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gettin' ready to ride to Crested Butte!


Angela and I went on a little training ride yesterday that was just heavenly! It was in the Bracket Creek area, and we did three or four miles of climbing up a fire road, and then about eight miles of downhill single track! I learned some KEY things for staying on my bike, and only had to walk it three or four times! I learned:

1. How to ride around a switchback (turn your head AND SHOULDERS to look where you want to go rather than off the side of the drop off that you don't want to fall down, keep your inside foot high)

2. Skorts are HOT (as in super sexy and technical); Angela was sporting a new Sugoi skort, and it was awesome.

3. The proper method for picking and eating huckleberries (and how to spot the bushes at high speed from your bike)

4. Keep focus a bike length ahead of you, look at where you want your wheel to go, not where you don't want it to go.

5. Practice on easy pitches by picking two small rocks to ride between.

6. Keep the power on when you are going uphill, pedal through it.

7. There is such a thing as Chamois creme, and I need it! OW!

All in all, it was a tremendous, beautiful day, and I got to Bodhi's school covered in mud with ten minutes to spare.

15,000 hits and August Bliss


WOW! You have visited my blog more than 15,000 times since I started writing it on April 17 of 2007, just sixteen months ago! Thank you for inspiring me in my journey, for stoping in and reading, commenting on the things that matter to you and sharing your own experiences with me!

August Bliss: Remember to send me a photo of you finding your bliss last month! Remember, it doesn't have to be an award winning photograph, it just needs to be a photo that you can tell us about: what you were doing, why it was blissful.

Please send them to me by September 15, and you can win a T-Shirt just like last month's winner, Stacey Gerrish!

Thanks for reading!

Car of the Year

It seems like every year, I find a car in a weird place. Last year there was the incident with the flipped, deserted car blocking the road up to Palisades Falls that Virginia and I discovered. This year, Angela and I were riding up the Bracket Creek trail and found this.

It was parked inexplicably about 2 miles up the trail, and there were no car tire marks we could see leading up to it! There was a rope in the door, like someone had been trying to pull it out... the Forrest Service came by while we were sitting there looking at it and told us it had been up there for a few weeks, and they had NO idea how they were going to get it out. Saws-all and a helicopter? Maybe...

Nordic Event Schedule

2008/9 Nordic Event Schedule

September 6: John Colter Run. Register by August 22, 2008.
September 7: BSF Nordic Benefit Golf Tournament @ Bridger Creek.
September 13: Mount Helena Classic 10:00 a.m. race start
September 28: Homestake Pass 5-miler trail race at the Homestake Lodge.
October 8: BSF Chili Feed 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Lindley Center, Ski Swap Signup
October 11: Octoberfest 5k, 9:00 a.m. start time at Lindley Park
October 21: BSF Nordic Sign-Up Night @ the Public Library. 7:00 - 9:00 pm.
October 25: BSF Nordic Snow Dance and Auction at the Rockin' TJ Ranch.
November 7, 8 & 9: BSF Ski Swap at the Fairgrounds.
November 25-29 (Thanksgiving Week): West Yellowstone Ski Festival
November 27: Biathlon Sprint Races, West Yellowstone
November 28 & 29: West Yellowstone SuperTour, 10/15 k classic & 5/10 k freestyle
December 2: Bozeman SuperTour skate sprint race
December 3: Bohart Projected Opening
December 6: Christmas Pole ski race at Bohart
December 12 &13: NorAm Biathlon Races, West Yellowstone
December 20: Spam Cup #1, Rendezvous Ski Trails, West Yellowstone, classic
January 3-11: Senior Nationals, Anchorage, Alaska
January 10: Teton Ridge Classic, Driggs, ID, 12/1/08
January 10: Spam Cup #2, Rendezvous Ski Trails, West Yellowstone, freestyle
January 11: Bohart Ski Festival
January 16-17: Banff Mountain Film Festival, Willson Auditorium 7:00p.m.
January 17-18: IMD Qualifier, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
January 24: Sacagawea Classic, Bohart
January 31: Montana Senior Olympics, Bohart
January 30-31: IMD Qualifier, Soldier Hollow, Utah
February 7: Boulder Mountain Tour, Sun Valley, Idaho
February 14-15: IMD Qualifier, West Yellowstone (and Spam Cup #3, 15th, classic)
February 14: Moose Chase, Teton Village
February 21: American Birkebeiner, Hayward, WI
February 21: GVLT Ski-a-thon, Bohart
February 23: Radical Reels Film, Willson Auditorium 7:00 p.m.
February 28: Legends of the Wulf, Mt. Haggin Race
February 28: March 1: Western States Youth Ski Festival, Sunny Valley, Idaho
March 5-8: National Masters Championships, Anchorage, AK
March 7: West Yellowstone Rendezvous Race, 1/1/09
March 29: Dog Day Afternoon and Bohart closing

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A little Self Reflection

Hello, hello. So much has happened, I have so very very much to share with you and have LOTS of pictures to share, thoughts on everything from flexion and extension and its relationship to balancing and pressuring movements, to why sometimes Sponge Bob is okay.

So much has happened this week: Ethan and Bodhi BOTH started school, which was incredible and joyous, I have been spending some much needed grown up time with my mom, hiking and talking and getting to know each other in a deeper way. I've started tackling some stuff that I've been procrastinating on, (gulp, taxes), and have been making diligent headway on writing the HardHead manual and materials.

I start school next Friday for my national certification in Massage Therapy with a Sports Injury and Rehabilitation focus, and am trying to find the time to get back to Aspen to ride from Aspen to Crested Butte with Jill and Kurt.

Meanwhile, I had to write an essay for my entry to school, and as I was reading it back, I thought I might share part of it with you.

I miss posting, and promise to get back just as soon as I get my article from Race Camp finished!!

Thanks for your patience, gentle reader!

Describe one of your life experiences & explain how it has affected who you are & how you live your life.

I have been fortunate to have several experiences in my life that have materially affected who I am and how I live my life. Some have been exceptional turning points, abrupt fissures in my understanding of myself; some have been a slow warming to a deeper sense of self.

The most recent turning point was one of these slow warmings, and while it wasn’t an earth shattering moment of truth, as many moments in my life so far have been, it is one that I feel is the most significant to my journey. This is the moment at which I realized I was on my path.

I spend a lot of time wandering around in the woods, I am fond of climbing mountains and skiing or climbing down them, and over the last three years, as I have been recovering from several very difficult experiences in my life, any of which I feel would make an excellent answer to this question, I have learned to hike alone.

This was, for me, the beginning of a slow and complicated internal journey, as I traveled through the questions of why it was so difficult for me to spend time on my own, why it was hard to be motivated to succeed, let alone to excel at something if there was no one there to cheer me on, to tell me I was doing well, to applaud my success, to challenge me to beat them.

It was just me, plodding along, footfall after footfall, and often times wondering why in the world I was doing it. I went through several motivations; I started with “I am hiking because I want to loose weight.” This did not sustain me through the most difficult times, wanting to look like I did before I had kids, when I felt more like a woman and less like a mom, was not a deep enough motivation.

I abandoned that motivation, and still went out, searching for significance, but also searching for the willingness to keep walking until I found out. I struggled with the need to turn around. I struggled with living with myself. I struggled with feeling okay in my skin, by myself. I often had the urge to get away. This was difficult to see in myself, as the self that I present to the world is strong, confident, and competent. I was concerned that that was not a constant truth, but a fa├žade.

I have been studying Buddhist philosophy for many years, and one of the most difficult and painful aspects of it, the thing I have the hardest time asking myself to do, is the vapassana meditation – the act of sitting and observing my breath – without any further action or thought. Sitting alone by myself, just observing my breath, was harder than climbing any mountain alone ever had been.

Over the last year, I have asked myself to be open to facing whoever might be truly inside, to showing my true self, warts and all, as it were, to the world. On one of my many long hikes into the Montana wilderness, I asked myself if I could live in a totally open, honest, and communicative way from that day on. The decision was frightening, but I realized as the thought came to my mind that I had no choice but to follow it. I was not truly asking myself, more realizing that something had materially changed for me, that I had made a choice to live my life differently.

As I walked down, I realized that the things I ask of my clients; for patience, kindness, compassion, as they are working towards a goal and often failing, are not qualities that I have ever allowed myself. Since that day, I have gratefully been able to ask myself to view thoughts, feelings, and emotions that I am having, especially judgmental ones, with an air of curiosity. To examine those things with just a moment of distance, and in this way make a little space for change without criticism or judgment. This little bit of space allowed me to be willing to see the real me, and to show the real me. This seeing and showing was quiet, and felt true, rather than a trumpeting need for affirmation or attention, just a little space to look with curiosity at my motivations, thoughts and feelings.

I now find myself hiking about fifty miles a week, most of them by myself. I have noticed now that while I love sharing a hike with a friend or with my children, I cherish my time with myself, I have learned to love myself, to allow that I am human, to bring my thoughts back to my breath with a loving hand rather than with harsh judgment. Because of this slow and gradual change, I have found some patience. Patience for my children, for my skills and abilities to develop, patience to allow my true path to unfold before me. I am by nature a bit of a bulldozer, patience does not come easily for me. Having found a small amount, I realize that it is an essential ingredient to me in finding, and then staying on, my path.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Quick update!

Sorry to be Absent so long, lots of posts coming starting wednesday! Taking some family time, this is ethan in front of the world's biggest t Rex skull at the museum of the Rockies.