I set my alarm for 5:03am.
Hit the road at 5:19 with a mouth full of coconut oil. I’ve been reserving my oil pulling time for the trip to town…mostly so that i don’t have to answer 25 minutes worth of incessant questioning. i reckon it has become habit. because i was alone. ALONE. in the dark of the morning. in -10 degrees (i reckon we may not see a morning above that for quite some time – what a whacky world it is living on the edge of the wilderness…)
the moon was a sliver. the snow sparkled in its image. i had my yoga mat rolled up as my co-pilot, and an empty coffee mug in case i made it in to town early enough.
i drove the plow truck. in case i needed it. me and my yoga mat and coffee cup and coconut oil, in the Ford F-350 with a crazy ass plow. that i am expected to operate. every Tuesday and Thursday morning. all winter long. in order to show up by 6:30am to teach a yoga class.
today was my first day. the drive in was easy-peasy. i just had to gun it through a 1/4 mile section of freshly drifted snow. and gun it i did. i may have giggled if it weren’t for the coconut oil. it will get much harder. and i will HATE it some days. and i will get stuck some days. and i will have to leave it and ski some days. and it will challenge me. and it may even change me. the hope is it will grow me.
It is Hardscrabble’s JAM! She thinks this may be a helpful path towards the elusive grace i hope to catch. She says “Back up all you Dreamy-Liv-ey jive with some legitimacy. Stack up the odds! Add more obstacles!”
In September, when i entered the very first bike race of my entire life, riding a distance i had not ridden in over a year, at 10,000 feet, Hardscrabble said “Hey, why not do it with a busted bottom bracket? That’d be a hoot! You’ll be more refined when it’s over. Practice, right? whybotherwithordinary?”
In October, after spending an entire week lengthening my spine and finding space within my body that i haven’t connected with in years, Hardscrabble says “Hey, drive back to Dubois and give Dad-o the morning to hunt. If he doesn’t get anything, you’re back in Teton County by 5:00pm. If he does, you can totally help him pack it out. win-win as far as I see it.”
and i believe her. i’m in.
She’s doing a kick-ass job of bringing me back to me.
Dad-o was in Chicago last week when the temperatures dropped into the -20-bazillions, and we got our first big dumping of snow. Hardscrabble was dancing the bloody-jig! Talk about stacking up the odds. I was completed undefeated. i crushed that battle. CHAMPION.
i remained balanced. i accomplished a tremendous amount. of business. of healthy eating. of shovelling. of laughing. of sledding. of skiing. of wood hauling. of house managing. of driveway plowing (which i learned on my own one afternoon during quiet time). of fire starting and stoking. of parenting. of sleeping (sort-of….not really…).of letter writing. of painting. of card making. of hiking in the negative degrees. of yoga. of wine drinking (just one night!). of coffee and gingersnaps.
and i dug the first yoga class this morning. i’m still not certain how the role fits me, so i’m not really wearing it well, or confidently. i teach yoga, but am very much a bottom-rung student of yoga myself. so i don’t quite view it as teaching as much as it is sharing. all i can do is share the practice i’ve developed over the past 8 years. and if i have to get up at 5:00am and plow or ski my way the 13 miles down the dirt road to the gym to share my practice with people who may or may not come (although everyone this morning bought a ten-class punch-card! yee haw!), then sweet. i’ll take it.
i am about a year and a half away from riding my bike from the Tour Divide: riding my bicycle from Canada to Mexico. Hardscrabble is on top of my training. I just sure as hell hope gets her spunky ass out of the truck when it comes time to put the chains on!