Kili Karuna #4

Greetings from a Frosty Sunday Evening,

I’m sunk into my chair. I guess you are getting the idea that I always write from my chair. Something about the act of plunking myself down into my IKEA haven signals my mind and body that it’s time to commit words to screen (sounds much less romantic than “to paper.” I’m just home from my second night at the World Tour of the Banff Festival of Mountain Films. Having watched four hours of mountain adventure and culture, I am overflowing with inspiration, awe, and astonishment. I am also filled with a lovely lagging fatigue from a day of cold weather activity.

I awoke this morning dreading my long run (which isn’t all that long yet). The cocoon of my bed was so pleasant that I was loath to leave it. I knew this was far too early in my training to start taking sessions off so I dug deep and willed myself upright. I stared out the window and tried to get a sense of what might await outside. The early morning light reached out from the sky like a grandmother spreading jam on a biscuit fresh from the oven. I still didn’t want to go out and run so I used the oldest trick in the book, bribery!

I have been mostly vegetarian for my entire adult life but there is one meat product that is sure to motivate me to greater things. The savory, salt and nitrate laden, harbinger of early death, porcine product known as bacon got me out the door. I promised myself that if I went for a run that I could immediately undo all good health effects of such by rewarding myself with a breakfast special at Zach’s. The thought of a yummy meal and the long morning shadows beckoned me out into my golden surroundings and I was hit with a blast of cold as I opened the front door.

Minus twenty-five windchill found its way through any seam in my clothing. I gave thanks for my foresight in wearing wind protection on both top and bottom and for my multi-colored neck gaiter that pre-warmed the frigid air. By the time I reached the shores of Quidi Vidi Lake, I was grateful to be out and moving. I know, when I meet training resistance, often the best thing to do is to go through the motions, act as if, begin some preparations, and get out the door. It’s a rare, rare day when, once I’m out, that I turn around and go back in.

An hour later, frost caked my eyelashes and blinking became a challenge because my lashes would freeze shut whenever they came into contact with each other. Endorphins romped through my veins and I happily took myself across the street to Zach’s, once I changed into dry clothes. I sat reading the Shambhala Sun while I waited for my scrambled eggs, bacon, and home fries. This quote, by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, caught my attention. “It’s easier to put on a pair of shoes than wrap the world in leather.” I began to look at how I could change my way of thinking rather than expect the world to change.

We had our fourth group hike as a Kili group and folks are already starting to notice improvements in their fitness. It will be such a pleasure and joy for me to share the mountain with a team I already know before I get there. We climbed up a steep gully leading to the top of the South Side Hills and were rewarded with a grand view of Cabot Tower, Cape Spear, and the city of St. John’s. At times, as I broke trail in the foot deep powder, I imagined I could be high on any mountain in the world. Sun, rock, white snow, and blue sky are the harbingers of the mountain environment to me and I found them today just moments from home. The hike was so amazing that I returned home not caring that the super cold temperatures had frozen my sewer once again. It’s funny what a little exercise can do!

Have a good week,


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