My wall of windows :)
As I type this I am listening to Zikali, curled up on the couch in front of a wall of windows overlooking mountains covered with snow. The snow has started to fall again and the trails left by my run about an hour ago are quickly being erased. The skies are grey and beautiful. I cant help but love this place....I am so happy to be sharing this experience with people who love it as much as I do. My soul is truly happy and in touch with everything around me. This is what life is about...
This afternoon included an amazing run thru the woods in about 10-12 inches of pure powder. My ankle hurt a little and I took it pretty easy since I was unfamiliar with the terrain and could not see anything under foot until I was either on it or tripping over it. The woods were silent....the only noise coming from branches cracking under the weight of fresh snow. The mountain was very happy today and provided for a wonderful workout. Coming out of the woods my legs burned...my breathing was hard and I was left with no other option but to fall in the snow...to just lay in it and look up like a small child. It was such a pure joy...the kind of joy we as adults sometimes forget to notice. It is something we need to do more often...to feel the snow on my skin was wonderful...it was invigorating...it let me know I was alive.
Making my own trails...
Afterwards it was off to the hot tub overlooking the same wonderful forests. I discovered that the best feeling in the world is sitting in a hot tub in about 20 degrees with the fresh snow falling on your face. To look up and see the flakes coming down...the cold breeze on warm wet skin...it is magical. You cannot help but smile. All the aches and pains from the previous day just melted away.
Oh yes, the previous day! As you all know from prior posts, I am on the ski trip I have been so impatiently waiting for. Yesterday was a day for skiing (if you want to call it that) and I was reminded that I suck. I totally suck at skiing. You honestly will not meet anyone as horrible at it as me. I admit this and respect the fact that I am the worst and will most likely head down to the Ski Barn and purchase the t-shirt that says it. I should just stick to XC skiing from now on and not bother the mountains with downhill.
I also forgot how horrible downhill ski boots are. They are painful if you have not worn them in a while. They restrict my legs and I can't stand that. While I enjoyed the experience, I could not help but feel disappointed in my ability. My plans to move to the Swiss Alps and use skiing as a primary source of transportation have been demolished. I am determined to get better but until then I will just continue to provide entertainment to all around me. Actually...I am not really that bad....or so I have been told....but I still have a long way to go! It was a good training though as most of the time at this place you had to get out of your bindings and walk back up hills (to reach ski lifts)....it felt good physically...if only I could learn to relax mentally while doing it...I just wish it was more of a natural activity like running is. Come to think of it...I think I would have been happier just running up and down the slopes!
Oh...and it was 4 degrees...and my jacket was huge.
Other than that....this evening is the last night before I return to Lexington. It has been a wonderful time. I will not say much as it is not hard to imagine all the great times had when a group of 14 people share a cabin in the mountains :) What happens in the mountains stays in the mountains people!
In all seriousness...this little trip has been a life and soul saver. After getting injured on the trails the other weekend, my spirts were down and I was starting to wonder if I would be able to enjoy running without the anxiety of injury/pain.
This environment has really recharged my batteries (but not my liver). I am relaxed, more relaxed than I have been in a while. When I was out in the woods, creating new trails in fresh blankets of snow...I felt truly at peace. The silence...the contrast of white and grey...the tracks of all the animals who call this place home....it provided a beautiful feeling. I wish I could put it into words for you...I am trying to find a way each time I experience it....but it is hard. It is almost like you could relax so much there would be no need for breathing. Everything melts away. You look around and all your senses are sharp...your vision....you hearing...the feeling of branches and creeks covered under foot...it is like that feeling that you get when a loved run wraps their arms around you. You feel safe...you feel taken care of... you belong there. It is perfect and you don't want the feeling to ever leave...and it almost makes you sad because you know it will leave until you are lucky enough to return and embrace it again. I would stay forever if I could. I wish you were all here to share it with me. I wish I could have had you follow thru the woods and see everything I did. I wish I could have stood there with you taking in all the beauty around us....I wish you could have laid in the snow with me...looking up and smiling as nature kissed your face with perfect little flakes of snow.
The embrace of this mountain is just wonderful...she is a wonderful thing and I will miss her very much when we leave tomorrow. She is a blessing.