Tag Archives: snow

Accumulation

“I believe we are more than the accumulation of our memories and experiences. Yet it’s these memories and experiences that are distinctive, unique to us, and influence who we truly are.” – Anonymous

I need to make this quick. Just as life ebbs and flows, so do my time commitments. Some days I am free to spend 2 hours on the trail and another writing about it, but my life right now is highly time-demanding. I can’t complain too much, though, since I love the things I put my time into. Just need to make this entry a quick one.

Had a lovely meeting this morning with Rob. Learned a lot. Got to share some knowledge as well. Insightful. Encouraging. Exciting.

Was left a short time for a trail before having to pick up Connor. Since I was already on this side of town, I drove up Little Park and hit that ped/equ trail that I can’t seem to find a legitimate name for. I’d taken the kids for a hike up there before, thought I would investigate further this time.

As I drove up the road what was a light snow at lower elevation became a thicker evidence of the same. I stopped at the TH, changed clothes, sang along to “Burn” by whatshernameIcan’trememberrightnowbecauseI’mtired.

Got out to an even thicker dusting coming from the skies,  but I was undeterred. Started jogging up the trail, with shades on to protect my eyes from the flakes that were now the size of garbanzo beans. The trail was fun, but challenging to follow- not a lot of tracks, nor markers.

Before long I was cold, wet, and the trail that had be indistinct at the onset was now becoming obscured entirely in the blanket of snow. Accumulation.

I humored myself with the simile to life, right? How quickly an onset of experiences can alter our perspective. I was powerless, completely, to stop the snow, or to better navigate through it. All I could do was head back the way I had come and remain hopeful my trail skills would guide my return journey. I relied, you see, on the accumulation of my own experiences. The training of my senses.

Did I get lost? No. Did I end up on a trail that I had neither seen before nor was able to immediately identify? Yes! Was I afraid? Absolutely not. I was excited. This could have been the fabled trail I’ve heard of….hm… but I don’t think I’ll talk about it here or now. Instead I explored it some, then retraced my steps until I was on my original route. Back to my Jeep. Back down the road. Back to life.

As the snow was just getting going...
As the snow was just getting going…
Less than 5 minutes later.
Less than 5 minutes later.
Obligatory Selfie.
Obligatory Selfie.
First starting out. Not much snow in the hair.
First starting out. Not much snow in the hair.
Within sight of the Jeep on my way back. Lots more snow in the hair.
Within sight of the Jeep on my way back. Lots more snow in the hair.

 

elisa jones mountain biking lunch loop

Christmas Came Early!

“Heavy feet, light hands.” – Lee McCormack

That was the mantra repeated time and time again at our NICA Coaches training. I’m happy to say that when I attended that training I was easily the most novice rider in the group. This was a good thing- I hadn’t developed any of the “bad habits” that many of the other coaches had. So, for me at least, “heavy feet light hands” was internalized.

But tonight was a good reminder. I finally got back on the bike after more than two weeks!! I probably shouldn’t have, but I’m trying to live my life without the words “should” or “shouldn’t”, so I did anyway.

You see, I let Dennis take out my stitches yesterday. It probably wasn’t ready to happen, and this morning I’m sporting a raging infected wound. But I just couldn’t wait to ride again! Besides, my bike is now sporting my CHRISTMAS PRESENT! A new (to me at least) FORK!

So I bundled up (as much as I do…which isn’t much) and rode from home, hopped on the urban trail system, and went for a ride in the dark, cold, winter night. You know, that reminds me- “A child, a child, shivers in the cold! Let us bring Him silver and gold!” What?! He’s shivering in the cold! Bring the kid a blanket and some soup! Maybe rent him a really nice flat with a big-screen TV and one of those fancy Replicators they keep talking about on TNG…but just bringing him silver and gold? Please! (End holiday rant. Thank you.)

I like to have two lights when I ride in the dark; one on my helmet and one on the handlebars. So adorned, I flew down the trail. Yes, it’s mostly paved, but I make it fun by taking little dirt off-shoots, and jumping all of the sections pressed up by tree roots. Tonight I added to that some on-snow sliding and ice-patch hopping.

Yes, I had some discomfort. No, it wasn’t unbearable. Yes, It was completely worth it! I got a 10 mile ride in. I felt like Wonder Woman on caffeine after eating 12 GU packets and puffing on her inhaler. In short, I felt amazing. I kept picturing myself flying down the trail at the next race I’m registered for (24 Hours in the Old Pueblo). My legs felt strong, my heart felt stronger. This was incredible to me as I had already spent more than an hour on the trainer doing intervals today….

It. Was. Excellent.

And now for another song about cold, dark nights: click here to enjoy.

image photo

 

Looking at the bookcliffs from Eagle Tail

Low, Low, Low, Low, Low, Low, Low

“You told me that I would find a hole,
Within the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal,
And all the while my character it steals

Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek

It seems that all my bridges have been burned,
But, you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home 
that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive with the restart.”- Mumford and Sons “Roll Away Your Stone’

Well, I knew it would happen. I’m actually surprised it took this long. I’m pretty strong but even I can only take so much before I am brought down low. I knew I would feel like this in the morning when last night the feces hit the proverbial fan, I was tormented with waking dreams and couldn’t force my mind into senselessness. I embraced the stabbing, choking feeling that accompanies hopelessness, as it penetrates the area where my heart would be if I had one. My wrist radiates pain up my arm and into my hand, and where freckles typically grace my skin they are overshadowed with a turquoise bruise. I am frustrated with the healing process and anxious to be whole again. I once again recognize that hope is an incredibly false emotion.

With this brooding looming over me I still opted for a run. No music, no accompaniment- just me in my shoes hitting the snowy trail. I was the only vehicle in the parking lot and was reminded of the rareness of this occurrence. I had the Lunch Loops entirely to myself. It was the first positive experience to penetrate the darkness I am encapsulated in.

The second was when I felt the sunlight touch warmth to my face. Actual real-life warmth I tell you! It was virtually balmy this morning- with the wind carrying a mild touch, as if it had lost the sting it had brought with it the last two weeks. The snow was not white, but reflected rainbow colors. Eventually all of these things seemed to lighten my emotional doom.

And running felt great. The snow crunched under my track shoes creating a music that cannot be recorded, but is felt with every step. I reveled in the morning, in the energy, and in the motion of my body. It was the experience I needed to at least alleviate some of my suffering- but not all by a long shot.

So when hope is false and faith is a lie, at least I have running.

photo 2

Raven's Ridge
Raven’s Ridge