Monday, March 12, 2012


Today is the kind of day where enthusiasm and joie de vivre exudes from your pores if you spend even 30 seconds outside. I just spent an hour. My brain tentacles eked out in thoughts and wonderings, possibilities -- nay, inevitabilities! It's that kind of day in Colorado.

My mind went to economy. I want economy of movement, economy of swim stroke, economy in the delivery of instruction to my students. I want economy in my writing. I wanna cut, cut, cut extra words. I never dreamed economy would turn my crank, but it's doing it for me today.

My brain wandered to yesterday's climbing trip. It started ingloriously with a drive through pea soup fog capped by an ice pellet greeting at the parking lot. There ensued a healthy debate on bailing. We decided to hike in and at least take a peak at the crags. Then, as it is wont to do in Colorado, the sun popped out and saved the day. I shed my down layer and raincoat on the hike in. By the afternoon, I wished I could shed right down to skins. Warmth permeated the air and the rock was warm to touch... mmm...

Cayenne sent an 11A on lead. I was about 100 feet away, doing a 10B on top rope and heard her grunting (unusual) and turned to see her 30 feet up her crag, working in a circular motion on the wall, looking to optimize her position for the next grab. I could hear people yelling encouragement, her belayer and his constant stream of beta. Below me was Cinnamon Stick (the token male on some of our climbing nights), sweating and shirtless. Typical of the way in which we girls let each other know we have each other's backs, I told Cayenne to get going; I didn't want to see her ass looking fat as she hung. The guy climbing the route next to mine laughed and said I didn't know him that well yet. It was that kind of day -- wonderful, with everyone in a celebratory, sun-salutory kind of mood.

It's an ahh... spring, warmth, sun kind of energy. I'm in. :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ladder 2000 Swim Workout

I started triathlon training today. *Gasp* in more ways than one. This will be my first tri since 2009. I last swam in October. So, like the fish out of water I've been, I gasped my way through this 2000 yarder. This used to be a short workout; today it was positively a doozy.

300 yards EZ - Ahhh... Drape self at end of lane for one minute to catch breath.
6 x 50 Kick w/ 30 seconds rest. - Huff and puff and blow someone's house down. The little girl with pink inflatable arm bands in the next lane heard me coming and turned around, startled, "Oooh!" Thanks, kid.
3 x 150 Pull w/ 30 rest - My shoulders, my shoulders! I think they realized we weren't climbing, but still decided to w-ache up. I worked on my catch. I've forgotten a lot.
100 - 15 rest
200 - 30 rest
300 - 45 rest
200 - 30 rest
100 - La la la. I have always been fond of ladder workouts.
50 EZ

Time: 50 minutes. Nothing was fast, except maybe my breathing. But, dang, I did it! I am back in the water!

Peak Picking

I am shivering with anticipation! Strong Sis and her family are coming out for spring break and I'm in charge of scouting out a 14er for us to do. I have three options: two long class 1s and one shorter class 2. Avy conditions are currently good. The roads are icy but open to their usual winter closures. That adds six miles to the summer distance, but as those are road miles, they're an easy march. I'm pumped!

So here's what I'm considering for us:
  • Grays Peak - 13.5 miles RT, great views and it's close to Denver. It is pictured here with its neighboring 14er, Torreys Peak, as seen from Option 2, Mt. Bierstadt.
  • Mt. Bierstadt - 13 miles RT. I've done this one four times already so I'm not as excited about it, but it's an "easy" one so it has to make the list.
  • Mt. Yale - Class 2, 9.5 miles RT. This one turns my crank. I have a thing for the Collegiate Peaks and I have a special affinity with this one. On my first attempt, Yale handed me my keister on a snowy platter. On my second (successful) attempt, I took my friend's dog and had a ball outlasting her energy. On my third trip, then-boyfriend and I snowshoed to treeline to share hot chocolate, full-on sun, and belly-aching about the difficulty of winter 14ers and false summits before turning back. I love the stories that peak tells me!

As you can see, my heart lies with Yale, but I have to be practical. It is class 2. Not many people have been up it. That means we will be breaking trail. That's hard work. It also means that I will have to do really good route-reading. That has never been a strength of mine, but I have improved. Yet in winter... everything changes. All trail markings wear a snowy disguise. Hm... Another Yale story or not?

Open Letter to My Father

Because of my recent breakup, I have been subjected to my father's judgments and prognostications. I, apparently, am having trouble "moving on" since my divorce. I have done nothing! I have not been happy in the least, just a weeping pile of misery. What an ass. To judge me and my life like that. The presumption is that he knows what's best for me and that he and mom have to "worry" about me because I'm not married with 2.2 kids living in some big house, going to dance recitals, and sending pictures of his grandkids to all our relatives. He wants to see me married off and taken care of. Or some such thing. Well, I would like a mate, Dad, but I'm not going to saddle myself with some man who has no initiative -- even if you like him. He drank too much, worked too much, and intuited too little. Get off my back.

Open your eyes and see the good I have in my life. That's what I do every day. I have sadness and loneliness, but you did not raise me to moan about my woes.

Open your eyes and see the good I have done in my life. I give as deeply as I know how. I talk with kids about ideas, read their writing, and read their faces. I intuit what they need next. I care about their education, I care about their hearts. I am driven. I touch their lives and those of my colleagues. What I possess is what I give. My knowledge, my resourcefulness and problem-solving, my humor, my smile. These strengths are in demand. I give them.

Dad, acknowledge that I am a round character and quit trying to flatten me out with your notions of what happiness has to look like for every person. Really love ME, not your idea of what I should be as your daughter, as a woman in this society.

Dad, I am a mountain climber. I scale rocks for fun. I ski in blizzards. I laugh while cornering on curvy hills. I am not a mommy. I am not a cook. I am an athlete and a go-getter. I am a thinker and a feeler. I am a friend, sister and aunt. I am a good daughter.

Hello, Dad, meet me.