some people do certain things, wether it be drugs or exercise or reading books, recreationally. and others take it to another level, doing them in a way that is meditative in nature. to transcend the point at which the body resists the mind can be a religious experience. wether in a single run or in the day to day effort of training for many weeks. a persons identity and circumstance melts away. suddenly it is just a human on a planet traveling through the mountains or across the land. ultimately in a struggle with the universal condition that is life. to move and survive. when someone is able to approach something they think is extremely difficult and in the midst of it perceive it to be impossible but then somehow manage to pull through, they suddenly believe that with such a step by step approach to problem solving there might no longer be any task too great which cannot be broken down. it suddenly unlocks the world around such an individual even though nothing has changed except for their mind. To a point in ultra running a runner gets so accustomed to pushing through exhaustion even when they feel like giving up that they reach a state in which its hard to tell when to stop. after the art of seperating pain from the mind into a distant dull ache has been mastered, it becomes difficult to listen to the body. A body which is organic and therefore miraculously regenerative but also fundamentally mortal and exists in a finite world.
one could describe last week and how many things didn't go according to plan. or one could say that they got all their work done diligently and took a nice weekend trip to the grand canyon. but really it was more like this... friday afternoon sitting on a jammed freeway going nowhere fast coming from two days on set filming for a freelance producer while taking notes over the phone for videos due sunday for my regular job flight is in an hour rear ended no time to stop thumbs up asshole park in wrong terminal run across airport book an earlier flight back sunday in time to finish videos arrive in Flagstaff drive up to the south rim meet Steve catch some sleep, 7am gear up run to the edge then down bright angel trail exhausted already stomach cramps achy lots of stops must drop food-cache with headlamp halfway down then cross the colorado river at the bottom wind through towering walls as the grand canyon heats up dehydrated shaky lightheaded Steve sets pace steaming on unflinchingly the 4am'ers already passing us on the way back warning signs consciously ignored up from red rock cliffs and snow melt falls to massive granite walls stop wait something is wrong body not responding a few more steps out of water Steve takes bottles to see if he can reach the top one step rest another step rest finally arrive at the north rim 8000 ft snow patches trees nap on cold rocks shivering from wind Steve unstoppable runs extra mile to campsite where tap is on join gravity back down into the canyon feeling better a lot better a whole new man enjoy the sun the wind the spectacular view smile grimace run to the south side of GC and climb again hurry to reach the stashed snacks and headlamp as sun sets then march a slow grind up and up and up the slower you go - the longer it takes the faster you go - the more pain you embrace learn to forget about the distance and suddenly you arrive at the end 13hrs45min, 57 miles, +12,850ft rest eat laugh limp, 3 hour nap and leave quietly at 1am drive to Phoenix stay awake tail lights swerving wildly ? strange ? ELKbrakeAIRBAGnooo >! sudden violent thud and everything slows ------- pull over breath calm down --- - - must make flight - - - airbag smokes - - welt on arm - - elk fur stuck in smashed headlamp - - wait for help must make flight - make police report roadside assistance insurance claim - call taxi ride with tow truck must make flight - 'sleep' in back of taxi make it to flight upgraded yay 'sleep' on flight home by 9am videos delivered by 3pm. breath. smile. rest. chapped lips and dry eyes. happy to be alive.