Ants in Pants

It is a delicate balance that we all maintain, but somewhere between a life of pure adventure and the one with dishes and dirty diapers in it is the path I’m walking. Last weekend, in an attempt more to give Tess some time alone, I took Aral for a run along the front range. He was in the jogger, which he is increasingly ok with, and I ran and pushed him.

At one point, while heading up around Wonderland Lake I noticed a bunch of students making their way up the foothills with wings and harnesses and watched as one after another they brought their wings overhead and stepped out into thin air. I knew they were students because one after another they would hit a house thermal out in front of their launch site and go bumping right over it like it wasn’t even there.

Oh was i jealous. It was a hot, dry day and the potential for overdevelopment in the afternoon was extreme (in fact there were tornado warnings in Boulder county and elsewhere), but I imagined what I might do if I had a wing, reserve and harness of my own. Cloud streets went all the way to Wyoming and I sat there imagining the sunburn I would unavoidably need to deal with because of my epic flight.

Too bad I’m not flying right now, don’t even have a wing. But the fire has was lit again and has been smoldering since. Today some schmuck on FB stoked up the embers with this.

Sierra Safari from C Hilliard on Vimeo.

Now I’ve got a swarm of fire ants in my pants. I’m coo-coo for going and its a wonder I’m able to sit here and mash these thoughts out into coherent sentences. Man do I want to go. But that would require a major departure from this path that’s been working oh so well of late.

So I make deals with myself: stay right here, do the laundry and make sure everyone is happy and well taken care of and maybe in a bit you can head out for an evening of trail running some place new. The bags are packed, my GPS and headlamp are right here on the desk with me. Its just a matter of carving out that reward time.

Its not teaching some bright eyed kid to soar in Africa. It is not even a late afternoon of glassy air on Tiger mountain with a beer waiting as soon as the sun sets. But it is enough, its enough because I know this path is a long one and deviation from it means a whole lot of cross country running and no real guarantee I’ll be able to return.

Go Back to Where you Were

There is an episode of Blue’s Clues where blue loses something important. She and Steve spend the episode looking for clues to where Blue might have left the thing and each time they encounter a situation where they can’t recall what they did prior to losing the thing Steve sings “go back, go back to where you were.”

So things are different today than they were a while ago, that’s obvious. There are times when I feel like I’ve lost something that I had only as recently as the summer of 2009. This morning I woke up at about 4:30 pining for it so bad I was trying to figure out ways of doing the laundry quietly so I could hit the trail and get a run or a ski in before everyone else (including neighbors) woke up. I ended up singing that little tune “go back, go back, go back to where you were.”

We may be at the cusp of another move, this time from CB to Boulder, and I’m craving that old lifestyle in a way I’m having a really hard time describing in words. Currently my body isn’t up to the task of carrying me all those miles I ran in 2009, but I can visualize each and every step of that long summer in my head. Well, the good steps anyway.

I know that at the beginning of that year I made sort of a promise to myself. It was cold outside, there was still snow on the ground although it was melting and I decided, more or less, that I was going to run that year. After years of trying and failing, I decided to not let my foot get in the way any more. And so I did it.

This year needs to be another one of those. In 2013, I have decided to not let my foot or my brain get in the way of that lush life and those memories. I want to enter a couple of races and run them to celebrate the fact that my heart is still beating and there is gas being exchanged in my chest. Maybe even a relay or two. And oh the trails!

Get ready 2013, you’re going to be great!