…Did you hear that?
Yeah, me either. It’s quiet here. There are no buzzing of cell phones, no alarms to wake up to, no roommates stirring for class or work. It’s just my sleeping bag, me and my tent; my tent that I purposely didn’t put the rain fly on so I could wake at 3am, look up and see the stars and then again just before 5am to see the sunrise.
Chilly, I rose and saluted the lake with a downward dog, my sleepy grin happy to be in the woods and happy to be the only one with in ear shot awake and welcoming the day.
A group of race coordinators and I camped at the Applegate Lake to prep and put on the Granite-Man Race weekend. Two days of triathlons, du-athlons, kids events and mountain runs all located in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Lake. The early mornings were calm. By 7:30am a storm of frenzied activity began brewing. Soon racers would show up, asking questions, switching t-shirt sizes, setting their bikes in the transition area, checking and double checking their gear, Gu levels and bike helmets. And, lets face it, they’ll be blowing up the porta-pottys with pre-race nerves too.
But 5am was for noticing the colors bouncing off the clear water. It was for paying attention to the snow atop the mountain I use as a reference point. 5am was chilly, and crisp and clear, somehow waking up with the sun had hit my restart button and prepared me for whatever the weekend held for me.
Insert the hectic-ness that comes with putting on a Du, aqua, triathlon, and a kids du and tri athlon all starting before 10am. Insert me on a walkie-talkie wondering where my volunteers are, running to the trailhead directing racers, grabbing parents to block the road so the kids stay out of harm’s way. But also insert most racers finishing, everyone being safe, the lake still shimmering and the snow still sparkling above us. Insert a fish jumping 100 yards off shore and children laughing and playing on kayaks. Insert that by noon I was on the trail to run up and down a mountain and by 3, in the lake to cool and re hydrate my tired body. Insert smile. Insert relaxation. Insert bliss.
Only a few times did I reach into my pocket for the phantom vibrations my cell phone has trained me to look for. I unplugged Friday afternoon and by Saturday night I had forgotten what my ring tone sounded like, didn’t take every scenario and try to think of a facebook update for it and didn’t have any desire to tweet or blog about anything. I was away from it all. I was where I was.
It took me over a day to realize how freeing this felt. How sitting around a campfire, the smell of bug spray wafting out of our pores talking about everything but technology can be so energizing. The stars took hold of the night again and the next thing I knew the sun was rising, my hair had to be tamed with a hat and more racers were pouring into the park for day two of our race weekend.