Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moving towards the Mountain.

I once had a violin teacher tell me that playing violin was like walking towards a mountain. With daily practice, we continuously get closer and closer to the top; it may take a long time, but eventually we'll get there.

But he also warned about the dangers of improper practice and how by not focusing, not paying attention, letting our intonation become sloppy and not listening to ourselves - we move further away from that peak. And the only way of fixing ourselves, once we've set upon this improper path, is to practice the RIGHT way, retrace our steps, and continue on our path. It will take longer to reach the top (which is why its important to get it right the first few times) - but we'll eventually reach wherever it is we're trying to get to.

One way or another.

Mr. Yamada was a fantastic teacher. A little frightening, perhaps (especially to a 13-year old kid who sought approval and permission to solo at the "top" recital at Suzuki Violin Camp - an honor granted to maybe the top 12 violinists at camp) - but his lessons stuck with me.

In the past few days, I figured it would behoove me to apply this same logic to Multisport. True: I haven't yet been given clearance to swim-bike-run-functional strength YET. However, my doctor DID concede walks and hikes as part of my daily regiment.


Last weekend, I had finally had enough. Nearly two-weeks of being-stuck-inside-coughing-with-only-the-cats-for-company + beautiful weather + the longing to race/compete/get those competitive juices flowing + Oceanside 70.3 just up the coast - I had to break free.

I told Nathaniel that I was going for a hike - and that he could join me if he wanted. But that I needed to get out. NOW.

We ended up heading towards the backside of Camp Pendleton - away from the throngs of Oceanside athletes and spectators, away from our place and the alarming number of empty Kleenex boxes, far far away from people, cars, noise, or the reminders of my being constantly sick. It was just the rolling green hills, fire roads, and the occasional used-up ammunition round.

And I loved it.

We definitely didn't push it, I listened to my body, and at the end of the day didn't feel any worse for the wear. In my head, I took one step closer to the Healthy and Happy Mountain Peak. And sometimes - and especially when we're sick and tired of being sick and waiting for test results and not training the way we want - that's the best thing ever.

Aside from individual pieced sheet cake. The cheap frosting kind...none of this fancy 'butter cream' crap. Just give me the cake and mounds of sugar.

But I digress.

Today I just had to get out. Again. No symphony rehearsal meant that - as long as I practiced those tricky sections from Mozart's 40th Symphony on my own (because I DON'T want my section to get called out like we did last night. Ugh) - I could head out, solo and impromptu. And happy. So that's exactly what I did....

This time, I remembered the camera...

Passing under the canopy at the beginning.
Destination: that top peak on the right there....via the trail straight ahead.
Green green green hills!
Half way up one of the first big hills. Note the yellow wistle...With my pack and focus on safety, I felt a bit like "Russel" from Pixar's 'Up'. Maybe I'll make myself an Honorary Wilderness Explorer...
Looking ahead to the upper half of the big ass-hill that I still need to tackle.
A Little Lizard Friend!
Mud on the trail...indicating a rare SoCal water source.
Triceratops or Rock? How about Tricerarock? I know. I'm sorry - bad joke. But the rock formation is neat, regardless.
Trails branching out somewhere below...
Getting closer. I think I can I think I can I think I can...I realize this self-portrait is almost exactly the same as the last one. Oops. I was more focused on not tripping on the rocks than smiling. At least the background is different.

GREAT summit view, looking towards the Cleveland National Forest and Eastern San Diego County.
Parts of the trail.
Parking lot and SR-67 overlook
Pac-man Rock.
Blooming flowers!
My shadow kept me company, although I saw lots and lots (and lots) of people on the trail. Which really made me happy, as I knew my chances of being eaten by a mountain lion were statistically lower.
Fields of wildflowers, growing on a slope that was destroyed by one of many wildfires in 2003.
Waterfall (yes, tiny compared to some...but proof that there IS running water - in late March)
Green slopes on the Western side.
At the end of the day, it was a fantastic hike. And while I still miss the activity involved with Swim-Bike-Run, at least I feel like I'm not moving away from my Multisport + Happy + Healthy Mountain. Could I have done more? Probably...but why risk it? It was just GREAT to be outside, to enjoy nature, think to myself, relish the greenery and spectacular views, and remember all the wonderful things that I have to be thankful for.

Triathlon will return - and hopefully after my next appointment on the 8th, I'll get the clearance I need to start training the way I want. Until then, I know that I'm no longer moving away from the mountain - but I'm still enjoying the views and taking the lessons learned in stride. And really - right now, that's all I can ask for.


Anonymous said...

yay for russel (the wilderness MUST be explored - ROAR!) and yay for the hike! Beautiful scenery and no mountain lion attack! Glad you're feeling better!

San said...

Wonderful post and story. Glad you are some days further to your mountain.

Yep, I'm retracing my steps to happy and healthy mountain myself now. I've been wandering of and around quite some time. But now I'm back on my trail and take one day at a time.

Cheers, San

ADC said...

Great photos. I am glad you are feeling better. You will be back to swimbikerun in no time.

Damie said...

beautiful metaphor:)

Angela and David Kidd said...

Looks like an awesome hike and amazing photos. You "sound" healthier in your post, if that makes sense. I think you have turned the corner. How could breathing in the air in that beautiful scenery not make you feel better?

Bob Mitera said...

I love the Russell reference! When I saw the whistle, that's actually what I thought of before you wrote it. Great pictures. Glad you are starting to feel better. Fresh air makes a difference in physical and mental health.

Molly said...

Your pictures are so pretty! What a nice hike. I hope you are starting to feel stronger and healthier!!!

cherelli said...

Great hiking photos - that looked like one steeeeep hill! Good for you Marit, you live in a beautiful area.

Teresa said...

What a hike! Sheesh, I think that may be harder than any S/B/R. Way to get out and listen to yourself. Glad you are feeling lots better ;)


Beth said...

So, so glad you are able to get out some Marit!! That HAS to lift the spirits some. And what awesome pictures! You'll get to that triathlon mountaintop yet - slow and steady wins the race - remember!! :)

kerrie said...

just what your soul needed!
i love russell...we named one of our fish after him :)

Jennifer Harrison said...

AH! You do sound good in this post! YAY. I am so glad you are cleared to move and hike a bit! :) Just the sunshine and fresh air is amazing for the soul. SOON Marit, soon! :))

jennabul said...

LOL...more people equal statistically lower chance of being eaten by a mountain lion...I believe the same thing. Also - it helps if you are out in the middle of the day - they don't like all that sun...or so I keep telling myself....SO glad you got out in the sunshine and enjoyed yourself. That's great! I hope you get good news from your doctor soon!

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

I love the views! It probably helped to have beautiful scenery even though you weren't running or on the bike. :)

Are you safety sally too? I would have had a whistle as well! lol

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Hooray for being able to get outside! Sometimes fresh air is the best medicine. That hike looks awesome! Thanks for sharing the pics. :)

Shachi said...

Lovely post! How long was the hike roundtrip? The view from the top is always worth it :)

Cy said...

Sometimes movement is the best medicine, and it looks like you made it work. I hope you feel even better soon.

Trigirlpink said...

Ok, first off, I totally understand the frustration as you know. Week 8 for me and when the weather is TO DIE FOR- like right now, I feel TRAPPED inside my own body. Being Type A's and needing to be in control (well me anyway) this is rough. I can't join in any training rides or lace up my shoes for an early morning run before the world gets up. I don't even care about "triathon training' per say. This is not long term for either of us and THAT alone I am very thankful. Just taking it day by day.... Like you!
Thinking of Longhorn in Oct. Timberman to start. You??