Friday, August 12, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

The way that your heart beats makes all the difference
In learning to live
Here before me is my soul
I'm learning to live
I won't give up
Till I've no more to give

— Dream Theater, "Learning to Live"

I had a free day from the kids. In the summer, that meant a chance at a long mountain run.
But a half hour before I needed to go to bed to make the early wake up that was certain to follow, I still didn't know what I wanted to do.
I had a good idea. I wanted to do Mount Audubon, a 13,223-foot mountain in the Indian Peaks, a gorgeous area less than two hours from my house.
Something held me back. I should say someone. The old me.
I knew my times in the mountains would be cut when I had kids. I was all right with that. After years of climbing 20 peaks every summer, in my chase for the 14ers and nabbing as much as I could in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks, I was ready for a change. It was easy to get burned out by the time fall rolled around. It would be nice to focus on running, a new sport for me, and, hey, I'd still get out there, right?
Well, sure. But to say this has been an adjustment would be a sorry understatement. Jayden is 6 and the girls are 4, and yet my time in the peaks hasn't increased with their ages, as I thought it would, it's decreased.
Therefore, this time was valuable, like poker chips, and the old me didn't like picking Audubon.
The old me was an advanced climber, and boring Audubon, with a trail all the way to the top, a relatively short hike to get to its summit, was not worth my time. I'd done it a few times already too. The old me was a peak snob. The old me COULD be. I could do traverses that took two days. Scrambles. Tough stuff.
Yet I am learning to adjust. The thing is, I had some freelance work to do, and the kids would be home that afternoon, along with my wife, and I wanted to be there for them.
Aubudon would let me run it, for a morning, and it was close. It fits the new me.
So I ran Audubon. The mountain was challenging enough, making the run more difficult than I thought it would be. The weather was gorgeous and so was the mountain. I made the summit. Then I ran back down. It was three hours of bliss.
I listened to Dream Theater on the way up, one of my favorite metal bands. The song "Learning to Live" echoed through my ears as I walked across Aububon's summit and signed the register with my kids' names.

1 comment:

Jeff Valliere said...

I can relate more and more. Green Mountain has become as exotic as any San Juan 14er and on most days, I would give about anything to go run "just" Audubon. Glad you were able to get out.