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 o​ut 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. Feeling that loneliness, I weigh out my allegiance to my morning trek, but like a poker player, I decide I’m “all in.”

red bike trail therapy

In the early morning elements, I quickly realize that there are serious sheets of ice that I must carefully glide over on the pavement that precariously escorts me out to 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 just muddy, and I sink down. I question my soundness of mind, “What am I doing here?”

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On the incline, I find firm ground and my confidence returns. Rising even further onto the small mesa top, I head north and behold a predawn view of the Bookcliffs with fresh snow. Delightfully gorgeous! I relax and begin my habitual chat-while-trekking self-talk. I note that it took a bit of tenacity to pull this trek off this morning. Oddly, my mind drifts to gardening with small tomato plants, and the like, and how they must be hardened off or seasoned before being planted in the spring ground. Each day, they need to work out of their comfort zone in relationship to the weather; they need to experience sun, heat, and coolness with more and more exposure each day until they are hardy enough to be planted in the soil where they will experience the full assortment of weather.

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I make the connection that committing to this 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, etc., and other “limiting” obstacles I grow a little more resilient and the elements seem a little less foreboding.

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 am suddenly aware of all the beauty. I feel exhilarated. I recall the feeling of loneliness when I initially looked out the front door earlier and I appreciate that I did not let that fleeting emotion prevent me from accessing what I feel right now, in the moment. I’m not cold or lonely. In fact, I sense that I am a part of something bigger and that I belong … though I am but a small part, I am nevertheless a piece of the whole. I pay tribute to the trail, to her constancy and how she never betrays me.

Happy Trails to you!

~ Lisa