We’ve been in the desert for a week and already I feel my winter cold/negative attitude melting away. There’s something about sunshine, and warmth, that boost the spirit and nourishes the soul. It had been so dreary in Anchorage, so overcast and cold, and the sidewalks and trails were coated in ice, and it all just felt so mean, the cold and ice and the darkness pressing in from all sides.
I always become depressed in the winter, but this year was worse. I sank down deep, and hard. There were days when I could barely force myself out of bed. It wasn’t pretty and I’m not proud of the fact that I kind of luxuriated in it. It’s easy to do. There is always something to blame for one’s misery, be it the weather or life circumstances or one’s partner or, or, or ….
But now I’m here. And it’s glorious. There is sunshine. And blue skies. And mountains practically in our backyard. The internet sucks at the place where we’re staying (I’m at the library now), but there is more to life than the internet.
There’s running. And hiking. And swimming. And taking long walks through dark side streets and up small mountains, with only the moonlight to show the way.
Yesterday and the day before we saw mountain lion scat on our hikes. There was animal hair in it, and small pieces of bone. It was oddly thrilling to know that we were following the same path as a mountain lion. I imagined the soft pad of its feet as it moved, and how wonderful it must feel to prowl around such vast desert landscape, with the dry air and the smells of sage and chaparral and the sky stretching on forever.
I’ve also been running and swimming, along with hiking. I’m keeping my run mileage low and averaging 20-25 miles a week, which isn’t easy to do since I so, so, so want to bust out and run far and hard and fast. But being injured sucks and I don’t want to overdo it the first month. What is that saying, that patience is a virtue? Yes, yes it is. But why oh why didn’t someone also mention that having patience can also suck.
Yet it hasn’t been that bad for I’ve discovered that swimming in an outdoor pool is pure heaven. I love it. I often can’t stop swimming, even when I become fatigued and my stroke goes to hell. I’ve been averaging 80-100 laps per session which is a big deal considering that before my lessons last month, I could barely swim five laps without gasping.
Gotta go. The library closes in 5 minutes and the security guard is giving me “the face.” Sorry about any typos or grammar errors–no time to proofread.
Have a great week, everyone. Be happy, and warm.