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Not Normal

2010_10_27_snow_bowl I am not saying that the term “It is what it is” is exactly my credo or some magical black magic incantation. But recently it does have meaning. I came to appreciate this phrase when my friend said it on top of University Mountain a while back. Since then it has been blurted out numerous times. To me it brings to focus the importance of standing back and releasing a situation’s hold on us by letting go and letting life take its course. Kind of like another friend’s saying “let go or be dragged”.

“This damn computer. I mean, what is wrong with this thing? Darn thing wont…”

A co-worker struggles a bit more and the sounds of a keyboard and mouse clicks become more frantic.

“Arrrgh”, she lets out a frustrated growl.

2010_10_27_snow_bowl-1I was just coming into work and was clocking in. I sensed that she was being frustrated by a piece of modern technology and that it should not have so much control over her (I am one to talk right? ).

“It is what it is”, I mumbled as I hit the clock-in button.

“I HATE that term!”

“WHAT? Whyyyy …”

“Because it is over used and just means that you cant fix it. That just irks me.”

“My friend Jill told me that once on top of a mountain and since then I have come to realize …”

2010_10_27_snow_bowl-2“No matter, you guys are just not normal anyway. So what mountain did you spend all night climbing last night?”

I turned to walk to my office and muttered, “Snow Bowl and it was awesome”.

The fact is that I HAVE spent the last two nights climbing into the snow on that newly frozen range. The two nights are in stark contrast. And I see them for what they are now.

Tuesday night I rode solo to thrash things out and the weather was perfect for inner turmoil. Snow and wind came from angry clouds tilling across the Rattlesnake leaving the seeds of winter. The night was full of turmoil and pain. Pain from recent injuries and pain from taking a cross bike up a major gravel climb in the snow. Mostly I needed to connect some thoughts, emotions, and step back to do a complete overview of my feelings. I did that by hammering myself into the ground and then starting the process of hypothermia to bring it all home. In the past I have committed 98% of all my free time to these types of solo sessions.

2010_10_27_snow_bowl-3Last night I went with a my friend Jill up to the same area. It was a laid back and beautiful ride. The weather was perfect as well and the terrain was serene and magnificent. The climb was gradual giving us time to catch up on the previous weekend and plan for a upcoming 24 hour race. It was good to talk to someone I trust and report the things I discovered in the previous days. Previous solo riding days. The adventure turned into a epic ride. We encountered snow, cold temps, a life giving shelter at altitude, warm curry lentil soup, frozen toes, frozen fingers, and all the magical elements of winter. Recently I have been committing more adventure time with friends and it has been good.

Recently I have been tapering my solo time to 60% and my social time to 40% and the results have been good. I have been having the greatest fall in all of my memories. There is a caveat though. For this new allocation of adventure to work you need to find people that are totally into what you are into. Also important is someone to say yes to 5 hour rides in the harshest conditions. You need someone that when you would of normally turned around you just kept going. 2010_10_27_snow_bowl-4A person that expands your limits. This part is the hardest thing to find for someone with my passions and interests.  I am grateful.

To have a friend to share in what most of society says, “is not normal” is beyond understanding. It is what it is and to me it is normal as can be.

UPDATE: Jill’s tremendous blog about our ride with great photos.

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