Hello, again. So I've had a lot to write about, but I was bottle necked, I couldn't seem to get anything but a little hiking done for the last week or so, and now, something is uncorked, so hold onto your inbox, i guess theres a bit of posting coming your way. If I was smart, and i had less of an instant gratification kind of personality, I'd time release these so they'd publish one every day for the next week. But when I think of them, I think OOH OOH! I need to write that down, and then, OOH OOH! I wonder if anyone understood what I wrote? So not so much with the patience thing... although, perhaps that will come.
Tonight, I schlepped myself out to the M. Again, I wanted to go to Baldy, I'm in need of a good 10 miler or more, but as psyched as I was to get out and hike again, I am tired today.
I haven't been sleeping for the last five days or so, and so I'm pretty sluggish during the day, leading to some coffee and red bull consumption... oh, I had come SO far in finding the ability to be propelled through life on my own Qi... but I can always reach for that again, right?
Okay. So I'm hiking along and sweating and my legs are freakin HEAVY today. I felt okay in the ribs, I can definitely feel them now that I'm completely off the pain killers, it hurts to breathe, but its not awful. Its not really slowing me down anymore.
Today, I stopped three times, with the thought, nothing is as difficult as when it is done reluctantly. And I was having a little pity party while i was hiking, and it was making me hike slllooooow. It took about an hour to get to the Bridger ridge today, but it felt like twice that. I got passed on the steep section by a mom and her daughter and, seriously, I wanted to just say, well THATS IT, I'm going down.
But then the thought that it doesn't really matter what the fitness of this mom and her daughter is occured to me, because they aren't the ones that have to keep up with Megan and Andy and Kurt and Weems in the bowl this year. Their level of fitness is COMPLETELY immaterial to the fact that I have a tryout in a little over 900 days. Maybe I should focus on being where I am and asking my body to do what it needs to do to get strong and stay strong.
So I slogged up further, with the thought that I've climbed this path quite a bit. It feels like hundreds of times, and so have hundreds of other people. I have hiked it when I've been lonely but together, happy but alone, happy but together, broken hearted, scared, frustrated, excited, thrilled, when I've had a broken wrist, a broken arm, and now broken ribs, I've hiked it when its been -6 degrees and when its been 102 degrees. And the one thing that's stayed consistent (aside from my now ragged trail running shoes) is that every time I go up it in less than ideal emotional circumstances, it occurs to me again that the selectors at try outs aren't going to care if I have a splinter. Or a cold. Or a broken heart. If my friend wasn't nice to me that day, or my son puked in my lap the night before. They want to see the ski work in the snow. And to do that, I'd better be able to show up and ski no matter what. Which means that I'd better be strong. Strong enough to ski to my body's potential. Strong in my mind to set aside those things that don't move me toward my goal, but take up space in my mind.
And no, I wouldn't have won any races today. But I did keep walking.
And finally, a wonderful thing happened as I neared the top. This incredibly cheesy R and B song that I absolutely LOVE came on my iPod, Megan put it as the opening song to JGS 5, its Proud by Heather Small. And it makes me feel invincible every time I hear it. And as I'm listening to it, and seeing Jon Ballou ski in my mind, and feeling the powder under my skis, and twisting my femurs and opening my ankles and feeling that beautiful light happiness that spreads through my body like a rampant infection every time I get a chance to make a turn, I get a text from a reader.
"Thanks for the Afraid post. I needed to read that tonight." and I feel suddenly useful, like even the trials have a purpose, like we are all in it together. And then I get a text from Mike and his kids "to our heroine on the hill" and I think its ridiculous, because I'm not a hero, I'm one of six hundred people who have hiked this trail today, but on the other hand, wait a minute, I am a hero, I'm a hero to ME today, because there are so many times I could have turned around, and so many times I wanted to stop, but I need this.
I need to find my place again and feel my body growing strong and see the snow and my path in front of me. And for the last two weeks, its been like white noise, I know my path is out there, but its hard to see with all the pain and uncertainty thats swirling. And these two texts and this little song, well, it was like someone got out and pushed. My legs were not so heavy. It was still a ridiculously hard hike, (this, the second easiest hike I can do...), but I got to the top and was grateful for the people in my life who put wind in my sails and help me puff along when it seems just too hard to do.
Thanks for the help, guys. I feel so much stronger with you by my side.