notes from the trail ... January 23, 2019

Hail pummeled the house sometime in the wee hours last night. To get a clear picture of trail conditions this morning, I open the front door. Due to cloud cover and weather conditions, it’s almost pitch dark out there. The street lighting illuminates the icy pavement. A strong, cold, breeze whips around. It feels a tad ominous and I actually feel a loneliness thinking about walking the trail this morning. Contemplating that lonesome feeling, I weigh out my allegiance to my daily morning trek, but like a poker player, I decide I’m “all in”.

red bike trail therapy January 23, 2019

In the early morning elements, I quickly realize that there are serious sheets of ice that I must carefully glide over on the pavement precariously escorting me onto the trail. Once on the trail, the conditions are no less treacherous, as there are sections of ice lurking in the darkness. Other sections are muddy, and I sink down. I question my soundness of mind: What am I doing here?

Once on the incline, I find firm ground and my confidence returns. Rising even further onto the small mesa top, heading north, I behold a pre-dawn view of the snow laden Bookcliffs. Delightfully gorgeous! I relax and launch my habitual chat-while-trekking self-talk and note that it took a bit of tenacity to pull it off this morning. Oddly, my mind drifts to gardening and small tomato plants, and the like. I think about how they must be hardened off or seasoned before being planted in the spring ground – that each day, they need to work out of their comfort zone gradually in relationship to the weather. The tender starts must face sun, heat, cold, and all extremes with more and more exposure every day until they are hardy and sturdy enough to be planted in the soil where they will experience the full assortment of weather.

I make the connection that this commitment to my daily morning trek, regardless of weather, is seasoning me, too. Every time I push myself out of my comfort zone in regard to the dark, ice, cold, and other limiting obstacles (like snow and mud), I grow a little more sturdy or resilient and the elements seem a bit less foreboding. I contemplate that challenging my comfort zone accommodates growth.

red bike trail therapy January 23, 2019

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Meanwhile, I hear birds sweetly singing in nearby trees and I stand still for a moment, gathering all of my senses. This moment, pulls me in, wraps around me and I’m suddenly aware of all the beauty. I feel exhilarated. I recall the feeling of loneliness when I initially looked out the front door and I appreciate that I did not let that fleeting emotion prevent me from accessing what I feel right now. In this moment, I’m not cold or lonely. In fact, I sense that I am a part of something bigger and that I belong. With gratitude, I pay tribute to the trail, to her steadfastness, and to her lessons.

Happy Trails to you!

~ Lisa