Fear, Stubborness, and Stupidity

Williams Lake
Williams Lake

I kicked around in my head what I wanted to talk about over the last several days. It became clear after Saturday’s adventure what the subject of this post will be.

I have had bronchitis for ten days, been on antibiotics for a week, and finished steroids 3 days ago.  I am addicted to workouts and racing.  So, against common sense I went to Taos with my husband this weekend and flung myself onto the mercy of the wilderness.

Saturday morning I clipped on my brand new alpine touring skis and skins and started hiking up Williams Lake trail.  This trail starts at 10,188 feet and tops out at 11,173 feet.  It is usually about 1.8 miles one-way.  Except when you make a wrong turn.  I was the second person on the trail after over a foot of snow fell the day before.  I followed the other skinner’s tracks.  I would occasionally stop to hack up some stuff from my lungs that looked like it could crawl off on it’s own but otherwise felt pretty good.  Then I realized that the trail I was following didn’t look familiar anymore and I seemed to be climbing A LOT!.  I briefly considered turning around (the smart thing) but my crazy FEAR of skiing downhill stopped me.  The trail I had just ascended was steep and narrow with plenty of evil-looking trees waiting for me to slam into them.

So I continued up (STUPIDITY).

Then I high-centered.  A small tree buried with snow lurked below me and my skis – still attached to me – sank into the tree well.  I was up to my hips in deep snow on a steep hill and narrow ‘trail’.

Thought 1:  My new skins worked great on a hill this steep

I wiggled my legs and the bindings released on my skis.

Thought 2:  Crap, I can’t lose my brand new skis!

I wiggle some more and am really stuck.  I push the poles down to the handles and they don’t touch ground.

Thought 3:  I’m kind of stuck here.

I flounder a bit and flop around in the snow.  The dogs watch me curiously.  The bubbles coming out of their heads: “Is this a game, Mom?”

Thought 4:  I might end up spending a long, long time here before someone comes to help.

Thrash, Thrash…..

Thought 5:  Work the problem.

I spread my weight over a large patch of snow, dug myself and my skis out of the tree well, and snowshoed down to the actual trail.

What is it that makes me do stupid stuff?  And why am I more upset about how bad the STRAVA stats look for that foray than the fact that I was stuck in a tree well?  I did spend a lot of time not making forward progress in that tree well and forgot to pause my Garmin.

Since I saw the 1982 IM Kona on TV and bought my first bike I have been pushing the limit.  Maybe even before that.  I have had setbacks and will eventually get to those bt I know one thing for sure.  I will outlast the skinny fast chicks and age up into a qualifying slot at Kona some day because of my stupidity and stubborness.








Outlasting the fast chicks

I am new to blogging.  I like to write and talk about myself so blogging seems like a perfect fit for me.   I have been doing triathlon for 31 years.  I started out in life as the fat girl in school.  I was never an athlete.  I swam one season in high school (mostly because the high school had a hard time finding anyone that could actually swim).  I also tried soccer one season but was told by the coach I didn’t run enough.

Then I lost 60 pounds and joined the Army.  I was watching the 1982 Ironman with my then boyfriend and saw Julie Moss drag her ass across the finish line ending up second.  I told my boyfriend “I want to try that.”  He scoffed “you could never do that”.  The next day I went out and financed a bicycle.  I was a private at the time and making $496 a month so buying a $500 bike in 1983 was a big deal for me.

My first race was a biathlon (now known as duathlon).  I didn’t know how to use the cage pedals so pedaled on top of them.  Some people left their helmets on during the run to save transition time.  I don’t remember how I did that race but I was hooked.  I continued to do triathlon throughout my time in the Army and also did the San Francisco Marathon on a whim while I was at language school in that town.

Here I am 31 years later – solid middle of the pack triathlete – vying for the chance to go to Kona.  I have many stories of this 3 decade journey to share with whoever.  I am not an expert in anything but I do persevere.

I also know that I will begin to bore people if I tell the whole story at once.  So My Plan is to feed my story in a humorous way to anyone that wants to read it week by week.

More later.