The days are starting to get a little longer now – because it’s that time if year where the leaves turn and brilliant sunsets happen those few hours earlier. But also because there is less to pack into a day of work; work, for now, is coming to a bit of a close. And just in time.
For these last couple of weeks on the road, I have found myself back in Southern Utah, basically where life with Backroads began. It’s strange to be back here without 20 others, without the stress and excitement of training, and as a functioning member of the company rather than an outsider looking in.
The summer has been filled with exciting new challenges, harsh realizations, and the addition of new, the removal (or reshuffling) of old. My racing and training calendar have been replaced with weeks on the road in new places. My writing stiffled, and yoga/baking/creating handed over to a scheduling department that lets me know when I have the time to pick them up. Family has asked “how are you? And, WHERE are you?” And some mornings, I wake up the same way. If you had told me back in June, when I arrived in Salt Lake City, how much change could occur in just four months, and how much I would appreciate the time to decompress after a crazy season amongst these red hills now, I would likely have looked at you a bit funny.
But having the time to explore Zion on my own – to run the Canyons with just my feet, to view Observation Point with my own eyes in the early hours of morning, and to greet the cool water of the Narrows, love on the Virgin River, without an agenda has been a godsend.
Back at the empty leader house, I pulled out my yoga mat for the first time since I packed it in the bottom of my suitcase over a month ago. I run the hills and trails around the house, or ride until the heat becomes unbearable in the morning, then retreat to the kitchen in the afternoon, baking probably way more than the boys and I will ever be able to actually eat. My stride, my endurance, my passion and pace of life slowly is coming back…even if a for a short time, even if a bit differently than before.
I have always thought that on a tropical island was the place where I would thrive utterly and completely, and I still believe this to be true. I love the visions of plenty, abundance, and life that I associate with the ocean, and the plants, flowers and blooms that spring bountifully from it. I want to be that ocean. There was a time when I would have looked around here at the cactus and dust swirling around my bike tires as I flew past, and categorized this place as the opposite of that bounty – foolish maybe.
Because here in the desert, without the ocean breeze, or the lapping of waves to rock me to sleep, or the perfumed air to fill my nose and hair, I’m starting to come alive again after a few hard months without coming up for air or water. It turns out that air and water aren’t what I need – evidently I don’t need a surfboard or Mai Tai either. Quite simply I need time, space and some dirt to play in. 🙂