Ass in gear

It’s not a complete fucking disaster.
(Tell yourself something enough, and it becomes the truth.)
It’s a setback. A blip.
A minor obstacle.
“Hi, Thom, just wanted to check in and see how the first week went. Your base fitness level is no doubt high, so I would suggest to get your heart rate higher, try to add incline with wearing the backpack with the jug of water in it (that’s such a great idea, by the way),” my coach emailed me on Monday. “Just let me know what other obstacles you faced, so I can give you advice on those.”
What, the beer(s)?
The fasting for three days for Easter?
That my fucking arm hurts from tendinitis so bad some days, I can’t even grip a beer glass to raise it to my lips?
That the only thing I can do is walk - and how boring that really is?
I’ll show her some fucking obstacles.
“Hi, Laurie. It was a quiet week. A little too quiet. The tendinitis is really a setback and fasting set me back a bit as well (great to see you at mass, too, by the way). I hear you about adding the incline to the hiking, which I don’t need my arm to do. Will do. Thanks so much for the checkup.”
It’s not the way I wanted to start this march to a new Residual Self Image. The march toward climbing Mt. Shasta with my coach.
The march to being able to be a stud backpacker all summer.
But I refuse to beat myself up about it.
I gained two pounds. Big deal. Not a huge problem.
Forward motion, forward progress. Move. Move more.
More happy news came Tuesday.
Come to find out that while in the “Winds” in August, we’ll have to average 12.5 miles a day on-trail at like 9,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation. The mapping portion of the trail is just 50.5 miles; but to get to the nearest trailhead and back to Jackson Hole, it’s 70.6 miles total – trailhead to trailhead.
Yipes.
I gotta get my ass into any gear that’s not neutral.
“You are no stranger to challenges,” my coach said. “Just remember this:
“What counts is not only the number of hours you put in, but what you put in those hours.”
Point taken.

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