Greetings from WSCL HQ (“Behind the Bars” aka “my desk”). As I sit here drafting this communication I can’t believe it’s winter. The birds are chirping and baby buds grace the branches of my garden. Without any snow in the mountains this season I did a fair amount of trail running and discovered just how much I really love the dirt, whether on bike or on foot. It was great and strange all at the same time to run some of the same trails that I bike regularly. Now I am giddy to transition to the mountain bike and aim to see many of you out on the trail soon.
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Recently I ran up Mt. Constitution at Moran State Park on Orcas Island, one of the toughest races I have done to date. Through my trail experiences this season that lead me to Mt. Constitution, I discovered just how many places the trail can take you. For me, it took me to an island I have never been to before. It took me to a mountain top. It took me to pain and recovery. It took me to places of beauty and appreciation and to a strong sense of accomplishment. The trail allowed me to set goals and work hard towards them and it enabled me to push my personal boundaries and not give up when the going gets tough. And the trail led me to countless inspiring people.
As I was huffing up a one mile climb with over 1,500 feet of elevation gain, my mind bounced between many places. It went from “why am I doing this?” to what am I going to order for dinner tonight. But what I thought about the most and what motivated me to run up the mountain, was the strong sense of pride and excitement I felt thinking about how our student-athletes are going to have similar opportunities this spring to explore life through the trail.
I encourage you to get out on your bike and explore the dirt! You just never know where it will take you.
For more information on mountain biking Mt. Constitution (open to mountain bikers September 15 to May 15), visit https://www.evergreenmtb.org/trails/mount-constitution.