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liquid prizes

So many of the places we occupy are small. At any given moment we risk running into walls, people, trees, desks, floors, ceilings, light fixtures; all sorts of crap constantly occupies our space. There’s so much of it surrounding us that I think we sometimes forget the feeling of empty air.

I was thinking about air space on the top of Garnet Peak yesterday. After an hour’s steady climbing through dense woods, we had popped out on what felt like the top of the world. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen in my brain, the half-bottle of old water I’d been surviving on, or the way the sun was filtering through the surrounding peaks, but being up there felt especially surreal that evening. I was thinking about how long my arm would have to be for me to touch one of the nieghboring peaks- the gulf of air separating us from Storm Castle seemed suddenlyhuge and tangible. Even as the crow flies it would still take forever to get to the next high point. What must all that air feel like beneath you?

When I got home I realized I probably couldn’t swing my arm  (despite it’s having shrunken back to normal size) without knocking over something fragile or giving someone a black eye. And forget flying- there’s nowhere near enough air in a house to hold a crow up. Is it just air space we’re lusting after when we go outside? Could it just be the feeling that you can swing your arms around without hitting something?

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In the last few weeks I’ve gotten into a nice rhythm of school, work, and riding. I’ve scrapped the training plan, which means that sometimes I ride way more than I would have during the season, and sometimes I don’t ride at all. Sometimes I eat a pint of ice cream and watch a ski movie. There have been some races (including the one today to “qualify” some more MSU kids for nationals) and some really memorable days on the trail, but overall it feels good to balance out a bit.

One notable ride was the girls-only epic last Sunday. We had six chicas of all abilities, and I think everyone had a blast, which was improbable considering our numerous flats and (in true Montana fashion) a liberal serving of the season’s 035first snow. I think I was actually the biggest whiner of the day, because I’m always quite sure that my feet are much colder than everyone elses… I was so impressed with these ladies. We realized how rarely we get to ride with another girl- let alone a whole pack of us. Hope the next ride is even bigger!!

Helena was another girlpower inspired race. Lisa and I (the pro category in its entirety) got the opportunity to do as many laps as the boys, which we jumped on. I joked that I wanted to two laps more than the boys, but by the end of round five with that course I was more than satisfied.

I passed a pigtailed rider mid-race who screamed “GIRLS FUCKING ROCK!!” at the top of her lungs as I toiled by. I managed a weak fist pump and a sort of owl noise in response- I was hurting.

We had an impressive turnout for the other categories, with seven girls and six boys; a huge crew for MSU! Stephen and I took home a growler each of liquid prizes to finish off the day right.

On the menu for the next few weeks: CX race in Bozeman, and Nationals in Truckee! One more journey before ski season hits…

Now I’m off to go start celebrating bikes, fall, open spaces, mexican food, and my birthday!

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