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Season’s Beatings

Last year I tried to pretend that winter wasn’t happening. I hung up my skis, moved my stuff back to my parents’ house in Colorado, and took off for sunny California, presumably to be tan for the rest of my life. What I found was that I’m not a migratory beast. Without the occasional eyeball freezing day and some poop-my-pants cliffs to jump off of, my body settled into a sort of coma. Turns out I kinda like having the seasons beat me up a little.

WHY DID YOU HAVE TO LEAVE ME?!

What I don’t like, however, is having my wisdom teeth removed from my skull. I’ve had cartilage stapled back into my shoulder, I’ve had the bones of my arm pulled back into a regular arm shape, and I’ve got a dead person’s ACL bolted into my knee, but none of it compares to the pain currently radiating from the gaping wounds in the back of my mouth. I thought I was being macho when I turned down the narcotics, but the result is just that I’ve been maxing out the recommended dosage of vitamin I and whining a lot for the last ten days. This is without a doubt the worst thing I’ve ever done.

BUT I have been able to train, which I guess kinda balances this episode with my last five December injuries. Rather than being laid up on a couch with some residual nerve block and a body part packed in ice, I’ve been able to hammer my brains out on bikes and skis- getting my heart rate up actually seems to kill the pain. Or maybe it’s just that I’m causing everything else to hurt more.

My flavorite training day last week is a toss up.

First, I discovered that I can work about 90% harder indoors with only a few numerical prompts from my (demonic) powertap. Drenching my carpet with sweat has made each trainer ride fun and challenging, rather than… well, stupid. Which is what they’ve always been to me.

Yet I can’t ignore the incredible day of skiing on Sunday. Fueled by oatmeal, some corn-jalapeno muffins, and the eerie rain in Bozeman, we cruised out to West Yellowstone for what we hoped would be more favorable conditions. What we found, after a skin across Hebgen Lake, was a series of endless, dreampow-filled glades. I haven’t felt creative on skis in years, but it was the sort of day when everything was possible.

On our way to the hotsprings afterwards we saw a herd of bighorns. Which explains the picture up there. They were just hanging out in the road, and they weren’t real keen on getting out of the way.

It’s pretty clear that the roads are not exactly ours at this time of year, but I’m enjoying the diversity, the challenge, and (of all things) the snow! I just moved my bike back into the garage after brushing off three inches of sparkly white stuff. I think I know what my workout’s going to look like tomorrow…

(not like this)

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