Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (DEN)

615 peak baggers

DENVER NOTES:

  • Today’s workout was brought to you by the letter “P”, as in pterodactyl and Ptammi.
  • The closed mouth bounce was weird, but it seemed like you all knew what was going on.  Enunciating is hard with your mouth closed, but the neighbors appreciated it, probably.
  • Last week we climbed Sunlight, 14,001′.  This week we climbed America’s mountain, Pike’s Peak, 14,110′, or 14,115′ if you’re in the gift shop grubbing on donuts and coffee.
  • Last week we notched 349 Little Man Ice Cream hill reps.  This week?  456.  Sweet sassy molassy!
  • Did we summit Pike’s Peak from sea level?  Damn skippy!

You may know the feeling when you prepare your race clothes and put your bib on, make sure those safety pins are closed and try not to drink too many “carbo-loading beers” before race day. You also may know the feeling of waiting at any starting line after you “just showed up.” I once heard that’s half of the race…just starting the damn thing.

Honestly, my favorite feeling of race day is walking around later – that part of the day after crossing that finish line when you know how much you’ve already accomplished (no matter the distance) before a lot of people have gotten out of bed, and you just never know what any other human has also done that day. What they may have overcome. What they had to deal with. What they had to struggle through.

Personally, the last year has been an incredible struggle for me. I turned 30 while complaining that I had not heard from my father on such a milestone birthday. The very next day I found out that his prostate cancer had metastasized. And that chemo was the next step. Feeling like a complete a**hole, I listened to my dad’s apology for not calling me in between sessions of nausea, vomiting, and feeling like absolute crap otherwise.

In July I sat in the doctor’s office with him when the radiologist defined long term as “maybe 12 months” and we discussed radioactive treatment options. I was so proud of myself at the time for not jumping across the room and punching the doctor in the face. I’ve never wanted to donkey kick so bad in my life. Especially after learning this is the drug that only buys time through serious struggles on behalf of the patient while attacking cancer in the bones, that the patient worries about even touching his wife and daughters. I guess I never realized the power of touch from a loved one until it was taken away from me.

A few months ago I came to a Little Man hills workout after a hiatus and a fellow NPer was so happy to see me, she brought me to tears with just an “I’m glad you’re here.” Both co-leaders could tell I was shaken, but I was so moved by their gracefulness in smiles and extra workout high fives without question. Each of you and the entire 5280 tribe has felt like the most beautiful pause from it all. And even though getting out of bed and feeling any sort of motivation to workout, have all been a struggle – it’s all minimal compared to what others have had to deal with for a longer period of time, their entire lives and then some.

While my visits to NP have been more scarce this past year, I find strength in being able to (try to) still show up and make others smile, see friendly faces full of positivity, feel welcome in this community that has given me so much, and take in those f*cking amazing Denver sunrises. *Trust me they are worth it.

I know my family and I will have a lot to deal with as we embrace a new reality after my dad’s passing. But I am certain that I will remember what I have learned:

  • From NP Co-Founder during Gov’s Park Hill sprints: “Chin up, stay proud.” I still think of this every time I climb a hill and it really came in handy during the services.
  • From the bounces… all I can say is if you’re there and moving, scream as loud as possible. Because in that moment, you are alive and well and you. Are. Good. F*ck Yeah!
  • And finally, from my dad who always taught us to remember his 4Bs: Be good, Behave, Be careful. And if you can’t do that, Be polite.

With that, you just never know. So smile to a stranger today and every day. Who knows what kind of struggle they are in, what kind of accomplishment they’ve achieved or how good his/her before the sunrise workout was.

Guess you might have to just show up to find out.

 

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