Today is the Ski to Sea relay race here in Bellingham, which starts in the Mt. Baker ski area in about two hours from now. It starts with a cross-country ski leg, changes over to downhill skiing, then running, road biking, canoeing, mountain biking, and finishes up with a kayak trip to the finish line in Fairhaven. There are seven people on a team; nobody is allowed to do more than one leg (the canoe leg needs two people, though). In past years, I have gone down to Fairhaven to watch the kayakers stagger out of the water and make their way up the ramp to ring the bell. It's a big party, with over 500 teams from all over the country participating, so it's also a very competitive event. If you want to see the course, I've provided a link here. I'll probably avoid the crowds today.
Thanks to everyone who commiserated with me last week and left helpful comments. I was moaning about the difficulty I've been having getting up and making this old body get moving after sitting for any length of time, or getting out of bed in the morning. Just when I thought that this would be my fate from now on, I began to notice a bit of a spring in my step after last Thursday's hard hike. We went almost ten miles and had twice the elevation gain and loss of the previous week, when I was sore and tired for days. For whatever reason, I wasn't as stiff this time, and the next day I felt great. Now I'm beginning to think that perhaps I had a low-grade virus that was sapping my strength.
That is not to say that I wasn't challenged on Thursday: my knee was not happy on the downhill sections, and I finally begged one of my fellow hikers for some ibuprofen and slapped on the knee brace for the return trip. I'll carry some drugs from now on, because it made a huge difference in my comfort level, just two little pills. I have resisted taking anything while hiking, because of the fear of overdoing it if I mask the pain I'm actually feeling. Maybe I need to start thinking differently about it. And although I didn't take any more pain meds, even the next morning my knee felt just fine, so off I went to the gym for my usual workout.
As my friend Judy is out of town, yesterday I headed off to the movies by myself. I went to see Belle, a British film set in the late 1700s, about the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay. She was raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield and his wife. Since little is really known about how Belle was raised, the film is a dramatization of what her life might have been like. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it highly, if one is not looking for a historically accurate account.
I still haven't been down to Skydive Snohomish since I returned home from southern California last month, but that's not unusual. The season here doesn't really start until after Memorial Day, which is tomorrow, and sometimes because of the weather it doesn't get going until July. June in the Pacific Northwest sometimes experiences what is known as "June gloom" as the marine layer keeps it cool and overcast during the month. I do watch the weather every weekend, but it seems lately that the weekdays have been lovely, while the weekends, not so much. Since I'm retired, I really don't think of weekends as being days to recover from the work week, but that's when the skydivers gather to play in the sky. Frankly, I don't seem to be in as much of a hurry to get down there as usual, but maybe that's because I am really beginning to move on to other pursuits. As much as I love it, everything has its season during this lifetime, doesn't it?
There was a time when I simply could not imagine my life without skydiving in it, as a regular weekend occurrence. Imperceptibly, we change and things move on. And I have been blessed with the ability and wherewithal to have had a very long skydiving career. Most don't keep going for twenty-five years, as I have; the usual average time that somebody spends jumping out of airplanes is seven years before moving on to other pursuits. I see several of my old skydiving buddies on Facebook, and many of them are no longer active. Soon I'll be joining them, just not right now.
I've got some good books to read, and a garden to care for. There's lots to keep me occupied right now, and the weather has been wonderful to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. I know that I am a fortunate person, and most of all, I have a circle of friends and family who complete my enjoyment. My Sundays always start with a cup of tea and my laptop, as I sit here and think about what the past week has brought and attempt to express it reasonably well. Sometimes it's easier than other times, and today has been a bit of a ramble through the corridors of my mind. I think I'm done now.
As always, I wish nothing but the best week ahead for you, my dear virtual friends. I enjoy your posts and keeping tabs with what's going on with your lives. We're quite a motley crew, aren't we? (Definition of motley: incongruently varied in appearance or character: disparate.) Yep, that's us!