Up and Down Mountains

by Carilyn on April 16, 2022

I found myself inadvertently heading up the mountain today. I just started walking, determined to get my mileage, but feeling very little enthusiasm. If you read my last post, you know I have been struggling of late. I’m grateful for my Project6240, as it forces me to move every single day, which is wonderful for a bruised soul, but it can also seem a bit like a death march when I’m not feeling it.

I had met Tim for lunch, his way of trying to show me love and support without hinting at sympathy – which I hate. We ate at a restaurant at the base of the Franklins, so, though I normally do most of my miles in the Valley closer to my house, I decided to make the most of the gorgeous weather, and headed up, up, up. And it was perfect. I’d forgotten what it felt like to just head out with no destination in mind. Over the last couple of years, I had felt so limited in where I could go, not wanting to get too far away from my car in case a phone call came telling me I had to rush up to my parents. These calls were frequent, and at all hours, so being miles away from my car just added an element of stress that ruined any outing that was more complicated than loops around a park or on my treadmill.

The mountain miles felt so easy, so unencumbered, that I actually teared up. THIS was why I had always gone adventuring, even as a little girl. THIS was what had kept me moving after all these years. Yes, I had loved my years competing, the challenge of being able to run around a track for 24 hours, staying in the zone, racking up as many miles as possible, but I hadn’t realized how much I had missed just setting out and moving, with no goal, able to take any trail or road that seemed appealing. No one was relying on me to be home at a certain time. No one (knock wood) was going to call me to solve a crisis or handle an emergency. I was no longer on call.

I know I will wake up again tomorrow with the same sense of desolation as this morning, but for a few brief hours, I relished in the freedom of being able to go up and down mountains again.

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