Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hiking with Geoff

Because Geoff and I are both into the Outdoors and both spend a large chunk of our time involved in outdoor activities, I think most of our friends just assume we spend a lot of time outdoors together. This couldn't be further from reality. There are a handful of good reasons for this: Right at the top, our schedules (I work nights and weekends; he works mornings on weekdays.) Then there's the fact we both value our solo time, usually have different training goals (which means he runs and I can't keep up with him) and also have different ideas about what makes for a fun few hours outdoors (which means I go out and ride my road bike in the rain and he darts up muddy trails and we both believe the other is enduring hell on earth.) So any time Geoff and I go outside together, it's actually a rare event ... a novelty. A date.

Today he actually agreed to go hiking, one of our rarest dates of all. I think even if I had perfect memory, I could still count on one hand the number of times Geoff and I have hiked together in two years in Juneau. Geoff does not hike. Geoff runs. The way he sees it, it could take him two hours to run ten miles up a crazy steep mountain and back, or it could take him five. He'd just rather bust it out in two. For him, the five-hour effort is twice as hard, but that's what he gets when he has to follow his stumbling, slow girlfriend up the mountain. Lucky for me, he's planning to run a marathon tomorrow (his first!), so he didn't mind doing a "low impact" walk up Blackerby Ridge. ("I don't think my heart rate went above 100" he told me as we were crabwalking down the sheer ladder of roots that we had to climb up for a vertical half-mile just to reach the ridge.) I, on the other had, would have redlined at anything faster than 1.5 mph.

(Geoff carried a cold Pepsi and a bag of Sun Chips for his "peak" snack - I have taught him well.)

The ridge was pretty well socked in with clouds and the views were obscured at best, so having Geoff there definitely made all the difference between a fun hike and a fairly disappointing one. We finally discussed at length what went down the last few days of his GDR, including psychoanalysis about whether or not he really "had" to quit. I said yes, his motor stopped firing, he was done. He still thinks there may have been a few tricks the kick start his sputtering engine, and it was great fun to speculate about what might have worked as we slid down the muddy trail. Before I knew it, we were back to the trailhead. It was a solid five hours, but one of my more effortless-seeming workouts in a while. Yes, solo outdoor activities are a wonderful thing. But company is kinda nice, too.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:22 AM

    Bravo! You've done an excellent work. Keep writing. A friend from Greece.
    Katerina

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  2. Anonymous4:40 AM

    Dropping out of the race wasn't all that bad as it was his first time, and lots of others dropped out too. He just set too high of a pace, pushed himself too hard too early, didn't take enough time to recover, and probably didn't eat well enough too. The most embarassing part though would be that the English woman had giardia, recovered, and still managed to finished the race. At least he's not as bad as the guy who dropped out because his dog died....must be another Tyler Hamilton.

    Please tell me that's not a mini-pony tail he's got in those photos.

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  3. i think i'll just assume the above comment is trying to be sarcastic. if so it's actually quite funny. if not, then i'll say only that you were wise to post anonymously, as it makes perfect sense not to want so many idiotic comments linked to oneself. i'm banking on the sarcasm though.

    i do kind of wish i had a cool rat tail though, but unfortunately that's just part of my hat.

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  4. Anonymous6:35 PM

    Geoff... ignore anon... it is funny how he got under your skin though... dude what do you expect?... your better half dumps the drama of your lives out on the web machine for all to see... you gotta take the lovers and the haters... you can't be suprised or defensive when some douche bag takes pop shots...

    BTW... awesome pics and cycling adventures... keep sharing the adventures Jill... looks like paradise...

    I must admit the pics clearly show a rat tail... but honestly, who gives a rats-ass on ones choice of hair style... I'd bet anon sports a camaro mullett...

    Floyd... Billings, MT

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