In spite of the scars
The emotional scars are similar; I can trace an my ongoing fear of water all the way back to visceral memories of a misguided wander into "Amazing Mumford's Water Maze" at Sesame Place in Texas, at the age of 3. My latest addition to the irrational fear basket is snow slides. Last weekend, when Beat and I went hiking through the rapidly melting snow around Walker Ranch, I became startled by snow sloughing of the rocks and had a real panic reaction — heart racing, nervous shivering, eyes darting around. It's annoying enough that I can't deal with putting my face under water or riding in small boats; now I'm afraid of the most benign instances of falling snow?
Now I imagine grinding along those mountain roads, and viscerally feel as though I'm choking on dust, and my head weighs a thousand pounds, and I stare blankly toward beautiful horizons, only see a bleak kind of vacuousness. I recently realized that these poor associations with the Tour Divide have made me less inclined toward what is objectively one of my favorite things in the world — riding my bicycle through scenic landscapes.
Perhaps I don't have to be scarred for life by the 2015 Tour Divide. Perhaps I can even go back to that route someday, and restore the wonderful experiences of 2009. Perhaps Beat's insistence that it's possible to manage Grave's Disease and "make Jill great again" holds some weight.
Or maybe it was just a good ride amid the ongoing, body-and-mind-thrashing rollercoaster that is life. I'll take it. It reminded me of the lyrics from "Home" by Field Report:
"The body remembers what your mind forgets.
Archives every heartbreak and cigarette.
And these reset bones might not hold.
Yeah, but they might yet."