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I am awake having night sweats. My thumb is swollen. I angrily pulled off a hangnail while changing from tubeless to a tube tire on the trail last night.  Then to try pumping up a mountain bike tire when your back is tweaked. Oh yea! Did I mention that my back hurts? A lot. A couple times I got severe back spasms from a deep bruise on my spine last night.

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, I think so”, I responded to my friend. I felt embarrassed and kind of like a cry baby. But it felt good to have friends around me that cared. It felt good that friends stayed behind in the dark to watch me struggle with my bike problems. I could feel their worry about my back pain and so I became frustrated. I need to work on my responses better but I am tired and I will blame the lack of sleep.

The lack of sleep is starting to wear on me. Now my mind starts to feel concern for my friend who is in the same boat. She continually amazes me and now I am up reading the accounts of a trip I took two nights ago with her. After reading her blog for almost 5 years I am still amazed. I used to love the mileage counting … I do that too. Her photos of the journey are beautiful and the writing even more so. I am glad to read such accounts and hope to re-visit them at later dates when I need reminding the most.

My friend mentions that when we were up on the mountain struggling to keep warm she felt alive. I do feel it too but not right now sitting here waiting for the Motrin to kick in. I yearn for a higher place and in the winter that place becomes more magical. Is it because it is all above society and all of its troubles? Is it because everything does not matter up there? I always find a piece of me up on high.

I am sore, achy, and cant sleep. I have been hurting emotionally about other “situations” and this has become my life raft. One that I will likely not ever fully appreciate. But I can say this; I do appreciate my friends company and the way it makes me feel. Achy. Sore. Tired. Blissful. Cold … Alive!

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