It’s dark by the time I leave work. Arnie pants beside me, either in anticipation or because the seat-heaters are cranked. I turn them down to give him some relief. It’s dumping snow, cold and windy, and all my friends bailed on this training session with me, but Arnie hopped into the car, tail-wagging and smiling. I’m glad he still wants to go.

We are headed to Mill Creek Canyon where I will skin by headlamp and he will run ahead, sniffing and snorting in the snow. When I feel tired or out of breath or like I’d rather be eating a bowl of pasta and watching re-runs, I’ll watch him prance around and post-hole and charge tirelessly forward, and decide to keep going. That’s why I love to work out with Arnie.

Often, while night-skinning, my eyes water from the cold and the effort, and in the blur, I’ll swear I see something moving a few hundred feet ahead of me. Is it another skier? A moose? A sociopath sinking into the shadows and waiting for our arrival? Arnie always sees it to, though, and stops short to examine what I feel. He drops his head low and stares hard into the darkness. Then he stretches is head up tall and sniffs the air. Finally, he looks at me, tongue hanging out the corner of his mouth and almost – almost – shrugs. “Its nothing. Let’s go.”

And with that he’s off, and I’m left to catch up.


From Jack Turner

"I don't know exactly what's going to happen in this world, but I know the sagebrush buttercups will bloom before the lupine, and I take comfort in that."


This is beautiful

As I start to create more of a feeling of home throughout our house (using tiles I picked up in Mexico as drink coasters, hanging a photograph of Mt. Timp taken by a friend, lighting candles in a Eucalyptus hurricane), I am thinking about the things that matter to me (even as I try to suggest that "things" don't matter at all. I can't seem to part with my collection of Vogue Magazines or New Yorkers. I will not give up my old, nubby pile jacket from Patagonia, even though I can't even remember the last time I wore it.

And as I look around for beauty to add to our home, I turn to the art of Rie Munoz, which my dear friend Megan told me about. Megan owns several Munoz originals as well as some prints, and the vibe in her home is nothing but rosy-cheeks-just-in-from-the-snow psyche.

Rie is apparently getting on in years, but her wok chronicles like in Alaskan fishing villages like nothing else. I love Crane, Northern Lights and especially Peacable Alaska.

Here's her website: http://www.riemunoz.com

The Season's First Dawn Patrol

Today at 5 am I woke up and chugged coffee en route up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Brad and I met a group of friends for some sunrise skinning and skiing. It was inexplicably hard, skinning this morning...I thought I'd be better prepared for the season. It was still fun, though, still worth getting up early and being cold and hussled and hassled outside into the dark, dark morning.

The CrossFit Workout of the Day (WOD) was to run a 5k, so just before dust I took Arnie and Red up to Mill Creek Canyon and we ran along the pipeline trail. The poor guys haven't gotten out much in the past few days, so they were super psyched, prancing along and playing together. I was exhausted and starving (*see below) at the beginning of the run, but after watching the boys, I felt 100% better.

*I was starving because I started the Zone 3 days ago. I'm trying to eat 11 blocks a day, and while part of me wonders if I shouldn't be trying to eat 10 blocks a day, I also feel completely exhausted, totally hungry and grumpy as HELL.

Poor Brad. He didn't ask for this. He probably thought I was a scooch more normal than I am....


The Zone meets the Prescription

Today - the 13th of November - marks Day One of me taking the Zone diet seriously and performing the CrossFit work out of the day (WOD). Even if I'd rather eat tortilla chips and salsa verde and just go run a couple miles in the mountains.

This is it. I'm giving it 2 weeks - the Zone meets CrossFit meets ME. 2 weeks from now I hope to feel some changes.

Today's workout:
3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1 Thruster w/ 50 then 65 lbs.
4-4-3-3-2-2-2 dips
5 pullups and some squats to warm up

It's time to start dreaming about tomorrow.


Long Time Gone

My resolutions, within a month, a year, a lifetime, are:

To climb three times per week.
To honor my exercise more.
To reach out to my friends, via phone or in person, more often, at least once per day.
To improve my guitar skills, and to play the guitar three times per week.
To blog or write more.
To slow-cook more, at least once per week.
To practice more patience.


Michael is tougher than he looks...

Today's workout, Michael, consisted of:
Run 800 m
50 Back Extentions
50 Sit-ups
3 Rounds for time

"No big deal," I thought. "I'll do this after I run a couple miles as a warm up."

I was wrong. Michael is a big, big deal.

It took me 29 minutes - far longer than expected - and I was breaking both the sit-ups and back extentions into sets of 20 by the 3rd round.

CrossFit is at once humbling and inspiring. I love every minute of struggle, every gasped breath....

I kind of wish I had the stamina for 2 workouts a day, but until then, I guess enough is enough.


Today's Workout

Ran 20 minutes to warm up, then did "Cindy:"
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 Squats
As many rounds as possble in 20 minutes.

I did 12 rounds, which I was very proud of. My first Cindy. I did "girls" push ups, though, and jumping pull ups, so those will have to be cleaed up next time.

I feel it now, 2 hours after the workout, in my arms and legs.


I heart Santa Cruz

If I come upon a windfall of cash, the first thing I'll do is buy Brad land and a well in the Moab area. As much as he wants. Then I'll immediately fly to Santa Cruz and buy a house in this funky, earthy, breathtaking, creative, oceanfront town. There's a reason some of the best mountain bikes in the world come out of this hamlet. Not to mention skateboards and surfboards. And CrossFit. Smooth segue.

I'm in Santa Cruz with my honey for the CrossFit Certification Seminar. When we finish this weekend, we will be CrossFit Level 1 instructors. But that's not why I'm here.

Look: www.crossfit.com

CrossFit is new to both of us. We're both babies, kittens in this community. We have the same history, the same experience, the same base of knowledge, and nothing, NOTHING else in our shared lives is that way. It's exciting and relieving to embark on this new activity together - exciting because there's a world of potential and opportunity, relieving because it's new for him, too. We're learning tihs together, and with our different learning styles, different techniques and different communcation patterns, I think we're set up well to learn a lot together.

Today is Day 2, the final day, of the Certification, and I feel myself wishing it would last for another week.


On Rilke

From his "Letters on Love and 'other Difficulties:"

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.


Loose Change

Visit this website: http://www.loosechange911.com, and follow links to the "Order" page, where you can watch this haunting documentary for free.

I'm interested in this documentary because it inspires critical thinking and leads me to question what I'm told by the media. I think it's important to question what "they" tell us, what the newspapers and news pundits proport as fact. I don't know the truth; I don't know if it falls on the side of this documentary or with the current admisistration, but gathering facts and being as educated as possible about the issues might lead be to it.



Visiting Colorado

It's cooler here, crisp at night and in the morning. There are more yards left wild, choked with cosmos and paintbrush. There are more solar panels, there is more intentional smallness. Small, I understand, is the new big.

It's a little bit stressful to navigate the old, though, to keep it at bay. It's hard not to remember something - a sad day, a lonely week, hurt feelings, an unintentional and unmended mistake - that happened while I lived here. So I can only be here for so long - long enough to see the friends I love - before I start looking over my shoulder to make sure the past isn't behind me; before I start re-thinking where to go to lunch or dinner based on who may be there, who may remind me of something that hurts to remember.

Still, though, driving East from Rifle, through the town of New Castle, I looked at the fields and fences and sheep and horses and wanted to live in that idyllic and pastoral scene more than I've wanted anything in ages. I wanted to, as they say, live deliberately. I wanted to grab my husband and our dogs and the things that matter to us - our books, old letters, swatches of fabrics, old gear that's been with us for the important times - and settle into that picture.


I love

How Brad is always awake when I wake up in the night, and how he always offers me a glass of water.
The way Arnie and Red follow me aroud the house.
Fresh coffee in my special mug.
Bruce Springsteen, especially live.
The way I feel after a Planned Parenhood Young Advocate Council Meeting.
Running after dark in Winter.
Driving down the canyon after skiing all day, totally worked and happy.
Going to sleep at night, knowing that I've done everything I could.