Sunday, January 4, 2009

100m past the rib cage...

My schedule today called for a hilly trail run. I've been chomping at the bit for some nicer weather and a reprieve from the treadmill. The snow is pretty deep on all the back roads, but I decided to try my luck at the Sartoris staging area. A number of skidoos had used the road, and I figured the resistance of running uphill through the snow would be just the ticket!! :) :)

Holy Mackerel was it ever! The skidoos didn't pack down the snow at all so it was like running through kitty litter. In fact, the snow was deep enough and slippery enough that I ended up running pretty much the same pace weather I was climbing uphill or running downhill. Hahahaha!! In fact, for the steeper hills, I basically ran in place instead of going forward. But, it was bliss -- nature's own treadmill! :) :)

As I slowly slogged along, I got to thinking about what "normal" means and how I've redefined what "normal" means to me. For example, after 1 hour 30 minutes of running through thick snow, the resistance of the snow wasn't such a chore anymore. I got used to it -- so by the end of the run, I felt like I was clipping along. You should have seen how I felt when I reached actual pavement at the very end!! WHOOIEE!! :) :)

Okay, back to pondering Redefining Normal --

It's interesting just how much our perceptions guide or limit us. It goes beyond having a positive attitude and looking at a glass as half full -- I realized on my run today that accepting the conditions as normal and run-of-the-mill, instead of looking at them as a hardship, paid big dividends. Mentally, I enjoyed the challenge, and I think because of that I was able to physically push myself. I think I physically performed better than if I had of focused on griping to myself about how difficult it was.

This is going to be my new trick when things get tough -- "Just act like it's normal!" :) :)

The scenery was absolutely breattaking -- snow covered trees on one side, a fire-ravaged valley with thousands of dead trees in front of me, and a deer leg in the snow...Yup, you KNOW there is always going to be one of those things laying around! LOL!!

The sun was out -- weak but warm, and the half moon was visible too. The contrasts of life and death were all around me and I was having a moment -- nature has a terrible magnificence doesn't it? Only a few steps away from town, and wilderness swallowed me up and I felt insignificant -- but in a good way. We live our lives and are wrapped up with our opinions and judgments of others, of what he/she said, or why he/she is wrong, etc -- and then here I am surrounded by snow, trees, and a winter sun.

Next thing I came across was a rib cage picked clean. I'm thinking it must belong to the leg I passed by earlier -- must have been a deer. I ended up running 100 m or so past the rib cage and then saw it was time to head back. (Not because I saw a coyote licking his lips, but because it was literally time to go back - LOL!)

Last summer, I mountain biked through here and heard a number of coyotes yelping/howling away one afternoon. The isolation of the spot and the incessant wild yapping was almost enough to drive me insane -- it's a weird valley. In 2003 a forest fire ripped through here and came perilously close to the towns of the Pass. So, all that's left is forests of dead, blackened trees. It's all quite surreal -- and coupled with the coyote noises -- what can I say?

I guess it touched some deep primal chord within, because words cannot accurately convey my experience...

The REAL reason I had to make a new post was to bury my last whining post and HTFU already. Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!


Keith said...

Sounds wonderful! Pity you didn't bring your camera. I think you make a great point about perceptions guiding us or limiting us.

Cath said...

I like the sound of that run - and how can you hate snow when you're a snowboarder :)

Haven't been on for a bit - so in summary - yowza, what a bike and what a performance - you've been storing it all up waiting to be unleashed!

Susi said...

sounds like a blissful run...minus the carcass of course. gulp. no pics of that please! haha.

well put about the perception of normal... love this post...minus the carcass of course. ;)

Kelly B. said...

this was a good post! I try to do this with my kids....try not to have them limit themselves. I know they are young but the more I tell them they can do anything the better they will believe it....I hope!!

Cath said...

Key Kelly - my Mum and Dad always told us that - and it amazes me when I see how many adults are hindered by thinking they can't do stuff - have a go! It'll stick with your children for sure!

Amy said...

I need to adopt your new found love of all things "normal." Great post. And, nice work with the homemade Lara Bars! That's impressive!

KK said...

Hey Julie,
I came here via my sis's blog and wow-what an amazingly beautiful post. I am so inspired! I love your idea of redefining normal because it does become futile to perceive things as hard or undoable when we have to do them. Reminds me of a quote I read somewhere-If you don't like the way something is, then change the way you look at it (or something to that effect-I totally just butchered that.)

Anyway, LOL about the deer leg/carcass. Are you sure it was a coyote that was feasting off of it because I'd be worried it was a cougar! yowzers, I have the heebajeebs.

Sounds like a beautiful place where you ran/live and I liked your description of life and death all around. so true.

Sorry for the novel-I look forward to reading more!