I don’t how I do it, I don’t know why I agree, but somehow every season I get roped into and signed up for some sort of race. This year while volunteering at an adventure race in Ohiopyle, PA, my friend Ashley offered a comp entry into an X-terra she’s coordinating—THREE WEEKS FROM NOW. Time to get training.
I’ve never claimed to be fast. I’ve never claimed that I’m going to win anything. I always just take pride in the fact that I’m out there trying. This morning I got on my mountain bike and took off for the Deep Creek State Park. Hopped on the trail and was quickly humbled by all the rocks, roots and technical ground I was covering. I got off and walked.
The hill I climbed was on foot not by peddle. The hill I descended was on foot while pumping my squeaky brakes. I again had to cross the trail lifting the bike up a foot to clear the big rocks that I’m not skilled enough to ride. But at one point I looked up from the ground, steady with my footing, and noticed I was alone. I was out there on the trail alone. I was out there. That’s more than a lot of people I know can say about their morning.
It didn’t matter that I wasn’t yet good enough to bunny hop over the ‘boulders’, or that my legs had a hard time pumping up the incline. I was in the woods, swatting the flies, sweating through my shirt, getting dirt on my legs doing it and loving it. What are you doing?
Seen on my ride
Moving is weird. Picking up and moving everything you own is kind of a strange concept. Moving without packing up everything is an even stranger idea, I own very little. I now live in Maryland, western Maryland. I’m closer to West Virginia and the Amish of Pennsylvania than I am DC and Baltimore.
I left Michigan more or less on a whim. When I left Oregon I had anticipated going back by the end of July to spend my summer running the trails, biking, swimming at the reservoir and sipping on the craft brews of the best coast. Instead, I packed up my little suitcase, stole some of my Mum’s shoes and booked it east toward Wisp Mountain and Deep Creek Lake, now, owning even less than I did before. Most of my ‘stuff’ is safely stored in the basement of my friend in Southern Oregon. I spent nearly $200 at Target yesterday getting ‘stuff’ I need—like hair gel, workout shorts and underwear. All ‘stuff’ I have…in Oregon.
Now, the lake is in my back yard, Wisp is just a short ride away and I’m waiting tables at a place called Black Bear Tavern with teen moms, long haired former raft guides, and old men that tell me I have a cute butt. But when I retire my apron at the end of the night I go home to a view. On my days off I’m able to head to Ohiopyle, PA and hit the river, go across the lake to the State Park. I can ride my bike and take photos of my newest obsession—barns and silos, little churches and road signs.
Moving is weird, but it’s also exciting. It’s fun to get to know a new area, new people and stretch who I am. I’m able to expand my perspective on a new place in this country and explore. And to me exploration is what it’s all about.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you may remember when I partnered with my friend Mike to do a series of Adventure Races in the summer of 2011 after I quit my soul sucking corporate job. He gave me the opportunity to experience these amazing races first hand. It was an adventure, to say the least. I’ve since been bouncing—I never really stop moving around, as you all know.
Well. Now many of my friends and family are wondering WHY I’ve landed in the middle of nowhere Maryland. Mike is putting a on a race of his own and has asked for my help in coordinating, marking, creating, marketing and building this thing (so click HERE and like our page on facebook) I love this end of races. In Oregon I worked on Granite-Man but an AR is a whole new beast to tackle, especially because this is our first year.
In the mean time, while not planning check points, getting sponsors and talking up the race to the community I will be waiting tables at the Black Bear Tavern (a post on my first day, coming soon) riding bikes, paddling in the lake and training for my own races all while exploring this beautifully untouched part of Maryland. Don’t let The Wire fool you, there is more to this state than drug deals and murder.
It’s time to be busy, be happy, enjoy my surroundings and experience everything.
Morning bike ride
Work shirt. The customers are…colorful