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Monday, December 31, 2012

Say It With Me Now: WHAT A YEAR!

At the top of the Salt Lake City Library...where the staircase ends

Helllloooooo?  Anyone still out there?  I hope so :)  I really must apologize.  I've been an absentee blogger the last few months, posting here and there, but it's just been a wonderful final few months of 2012.  Truthfully, I haven't felt completely inspired to post, and when I write it's almost always purely out of inspiration.  I find my posts have just simply come to me...out of the blue.  So let's see...

WHAT A YEAR!  I still can't believe all that's occurred, all the places and faces and fun we've been to, seen and met, and had.  I scroll through pictures from our No Reservations summer regularly.  "That really happened," "We really did that," "I ran that," "We live here!" are thoughts I have daily.  Basically, to sum the year up: We schemed, we saved, we arranged, we quit our jobs, packed up our apartment in Chicago into a Budget moving van, drove it across the country to Salt Lake City, UT, flew back to Chicago for a few more days, then zigged, zagged, and wound our way through, over, and around some amazing country, up and down incredible mountains, witnessed the marriage of several friends, helped Gretchen reach her Hardrock goal, watched one of my brothers graduate from Marine basic training, shivered our way up many a 14,000 ft. peak, melted in the heat of southern California, swatted mosquitos in the flatlands of the Midwest, relished the intimate peace of time spent with family, scrambled along high ridges, watched the sun set and moon rise each night from the comfort of our camp chairs or the back of our truck.  We listened to the crackle of a couple of campfires, enjoyed many a cold microbrew on many a warm night, ran until our legs and lungs felt as though they'd explode, then ran some more.  We arrived in our new hometown exhausted and elated, and almost instantly reintegrated back into society and 'normalcy'.  School began, I worked my butt off to get great grades, complete assignments well ahead of time, and sweat through a four hour exam I'd studied for for six months.  Geof began work and reacquainted himself with the suit and tie.  We ran more and more, we raced, and fantastically at that; Wasatch, The Bear.  We now rise most mornings at 4:00 to squeeze in our daily runs.  With many a trail mile under our belts, the snow began to fly and we soon opted to frolic in the powder on weekends rather than run long.  I never thought I'd fall in love with skiing.  Never.  Ever.  Ever.  But I have :)  

Imagine standing atop a high ridge in the Wasatch Mountains, the wind howling, the snow blowing and so thick you can hardly see more than a few feet in front of you, but you know the terrain well enough to make it down.  Your skis moving silently over the powdery fluff (imagine powdered sugar...) you begin to descend, crouching down to carve, quads firing, standing momentarily to turn, then crouching again, shiss shiss shiss, the flying snow stinging what little bit of your face is exposed, heart pounding because you're flying down on the very outskirts of control, hands gripping your poles as though they are a lifeline, yet you're relaxed.  Reaching the bottom, legs burning from the effort of basically air squatting for 20 minutes straight, skittering back over to the lift, "Again!"  It is thrilling, exciting, scary, tiring, and pure awesome.  Often times we'll rip off a quad busting 10 miler up Mt. Wire before heading up to ski for a few hours.  That's my favorite.  We're now multi-sport athletes :)  It feels good to finally have something else to do, in addition to running.  Really, lots of something elses to do.  You know I LOVE running, but sometimes I just want to have other active hobbies to explore.  That was a big factor in choosing where to move.  We wanted to have options.  With the mountains RIGHT THERE we can not only road run and road bike, but also trail run, mountain bike, downhill ski, backcountry ski, cross country ski, skate ski, snowshoe, hike, scramble big peaks, camp close to home, get lost, and get some serious nature.  It's awesome.  I am a runner at heart, but I also like to move my body in other ways.  Like screaming down a powdery slope.  It feels good to be more versatile, to have more than one thing to say when someone asks, "so what do you like to do?"  It's been a big year for such things: exploring, opening new doors, trying new things, being more than what I've always been, beginning to become well-rounded.

And what's a year-end post without the numbers?

We've managed to get in 15 downhill days, three XC ski days, and over 109,000 feet of vertical.  I skied myself silly yesterday, my first day of skiing solo, garnering over 19,000 vertical feet before 3:00.  Holy crap I was exhausted afterward!  But I reached, and then surpassed, my goal :)

This has been the highest running mileage year-to-date.  I've racked up 2,140.6 running miles with well over 100,000 feet of vertical gain, and 403 hours of running.  That's just shy of six miles per day.  Child's play.  I can do better than that :)  If you recall, I hit 2000.6 miles by December 31st of last year.  So, I'm pretty happy with this year's total, especially considering the intermittent nature of our running during April, May, and June, and our newfound love of skiing in these last couple of months.  January will be our usual Get After It month as we plan to have an even better year of running and racing.  I'm giddy as all get-out thinking about 2013.  Even with all the awesome we had in 2012, I see an even better year in store for us in 2013.  So much on the horizon :)

Which finally brings me around to the whole point of these year-end posts: reflecting on who I was, who I am now, where I've been, and my personal evolution through the span of a year.  I feel the same, but lighter, freer, more open, more enthusiastic, more hopeful, more ready, more whole.  Seeing new places, trying new things, working through challenges, doing the work, reaping the rewards.  Making.  Shit.  Happen.  That's what this year has been about.  Not waiting around and hoping something would happen, but actually rolling up the sleeves and making it happen.

Thank you to everyone who helped us get to where we are now.  I'm pretty sure the biggest thank you of all goes to Rob and Rina...all of this wouldn't be possible without them.  They jumped in and helped us make it happen.  These last seven months have been the most amazing months of our lives, and RnR have been there to support us in our dream of moving west, to lend a helping hand, a roof over our heads, lots of laughs and smiles, patience and understanding, staying up waaaaay past their bedtimes to make sure we made it across our finish lines, eaten every meal I've set before them without hesitation (which only encourages me to want to cook more!), entertained our need to have a fresh chopped Christmas tree, and just generally be awesome all the time.  Thank you RnR!  

Have I mentioned that it's snowing again?  It's like living in a snow globe.

This year was an ending and a beginning.  Where one thing ended, something new began.  With the end of a year comes the beginning of a new year.

I recently discovered I'm getting close to maxing out my photo memory on Blogger, so in lieu of posting a bunch here, I decided to create a fun little slideshow...but I can't figure out how to embed it here, grrrrr!  New Year's resolution: figure out how to embed video! :)

Happy New Year!

Paige, out.


Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

Have a Fab 2013 Paige.

Unknown said...

Awesome post! Awesome adventures! I used to read your blog awhile ago... have recently rediscovered it! So happy you had a great 2012!

Stacy said...

Super inspiring year Paige! Like anyone, I've known people who have moved or otherwise changed things up in their life, but it's hard to think of anyone I've ever known who more fully committed to it than you and Geof have. My mind has frankly boggled a bit at how fully and quickly you guys have become mountain people. The only explanation I can think of is that you already were. You were just living in the flatland before. Always love your enthusiastic posts!

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