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.








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