Given a big dump of snow earlier in the week, we’d hoped to get to ski today to try out my new boot/binding combination that we installed during Wednesday’s gift of a snow day. We gave up after only ten minutes because so many rocks were showing through on the trail. Thursday’s eight degrees had wiped out all of Wednesday’s snow gains and more. I changed my skis for sled and went to work getting this week’s weekend training goal moved over to the “done column.”
The schedule said “40 kg drag over 8 km” but I had been feeling strong in the dragging department so I upped it to 50 kg. The quicker I am able to get to the goal of 70 kg towing ability, the more I can surpass it and contribute to making the first week of the expedition a little bit easier. The first week will likely be epic as we have to move at least half of our expedition food and fuel up from sea level to 6000 feet up over the toe of the Brede Glacier. It should be a giant grunt and that keeps me training hard. Here I am dragging my load across the road and over the plow berm to the trailhead. The weight in my sled is a combination of weight plates, sand bags, water, and bags of road salt. I started with approximately 50 kg in the sled today though when I finished the sled had taken on extra snow and water so who knows what I crossed the road back with.
We followed both major and minor trails in the outback of Pippy Park. Many creeks and boggy areas are now open and flowing making for some interesting steps and moves with the sled. Here I’m wrestling with the full 110 pounds as I get the sled ready to cross a small stream. Dragging 110 pounds over flat snow is very easy. If you add any slope or any necessity of “manhandling” the sled, then you quickly notice just how heavy it really is. The weight also gives you an intimate understanding of the coefficients of friction. Snow equals little friction equals good. Rocks and road equal lots of friction equal bad. Or good if you are looking to work hard and train hard.
I love this shot that Marian took. It catches the moment in time. The ripples in the small puddle and the change in friction coefficient from snow to rock. I’m working hard here to pull the load over to the next patch of snow on “river right” while at the same time trying to keep my ski boots out of the water and therefore dry. Not long after this moment we were almost mowed down by six quad trikes beating it down the trail. Fortunately, we got off the trail in the nick of time.
As I pulled this morning, there was lots of time for thought and contemplation (as there will be in Greenland-can’t wait). I was thinking about momentum and how it easier to keep the sled in motion than start it from a stand still. The same seems true about many things-it’s easier to keep training moving over time than stopping and starting. It’s easier, in the long run, to keep a project moving that having to get the energy to revive it once it has stalled. I know, at one point, I realized that it made sense only to start something new when I had enough time, space, and energy to keep it going. Interesting to revisit that this morning in an embodied way with the sled. I’d been feeling that life is very full with teaching, training, presenting, and getting ready for two expeditions that a few things have dropped off the momentum bandwagon. I’ll have to pick them up again when a few other things have finished.
I’ve been presenting in schools a bunch lately-the bookings seem to come in fits and spurts. As an odometer moment fan, I celebrated passing “the 31,000 students presented to” mark this week when I visited St. Mary Elementary and Holy Redeemer School on Thursday. I’ve started working working on a Google Map showing all the schools I’ve presented at…I’ve got about half entered. You can see a preview of the “work in progress” map here.
I leave for Iceland in a month. I look forward to sharing more of the training adventures and the expedition with you.