Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Washed Away

The evening is cool, wet and quiet. My legs are heavy and tired as I move over the soft wet single track. I tell myself to just run the first few switchbacks then I can be reduced to a walk. As I climb my legs loosen and liven up, my mind begins to let go and I climb into the low hanging clouds that have settled in across the front range. The usually busy trails are empty and I have a sense of solitude never before felt on one of my favorite trails. I reach the top of the first large climb having not stopped to walk once, a first, in a time never before seen. I am now fully immersed in the clouds, the view of town below is no more and my field of vision is reduce to the next bend in the trail. I take a moment to soak in the stillness of the evening and then continue my way down the trail. My legs are still tired from the previous weekends race and the well ran climb but I cruise across the rolling terrain in and out of the trees seeing not another soul. My only company tonight is a lonely deer watching curiously as I pass. We make eye contact and she holds her ground as I run by. The farther into the run I get the more my mind and body let go. I can feel my legs and lungs growing stronger by the day, finally adapting to the ever growing familiar demands the mountain trails present. As I come around the corner finishing the last long climb of my usual route I decide to turn down a fork I've never before explored. As I open up and cruise down the smooth single track into the valley I become more aware of the sounds of the night; the rain falling on the leaves, the stirring of the unseen wildlife, and my feet hitting the ground. I run through an overgrown section and am instantly covered in the cool water that was until disturbed, resting on the vegetation. I find myself needing to turn back to head down the mountain but I let my curiosity lead me further down the trail wanting only to see what is beyond the next bend. After a short time exploring I finally turn back making note to fully explore this trail again soon. I begin climbing out of the valley back up to the familiar intersection and I feel my mind completely let go of the stresses of work, life and the recent events of having my car broken into. Instead the worries and stresses of life are replaced by flooding memories of the previous weekends race to the times and company enjoyed last night. I continue along down the trail to the final descent and I feel a sense of peace not felt for some time wash over me. I let go and I let my mind, body and trail become one, dancing over rocks and through puddles with a lightness and grace never before felt. As the short reprieve from the rain ends and the sky again begins to open up, I feel the cool water hit my bare skin, I drop my chin and I too open up comfortably cruising down the trail letting the rolling contours and gravity do the majority of the work. As I come to the end of the trail and arrive back at my car I am not out of breath or tired from the previous 90 minutes of bliss, I am no longer stressed about past events but my mind is free and clear. I am calm and at peace, and everything has been washed away.

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