Friday, December 30, 2011

Snowshoeing the year to a close

Living in Colorado, you'd think I'd love snow.  

You'd be wrong.

I know I shouldn't hate, but I do.  I hate winter.  It's cold.  It's dark.  It's depressing.  I hate all those.  

I used to be a skier when I first moved here from Iowa (another cold winter state, much much colder than Colorado in fact), and I actually became a fairly decent skier for a stretch of a few years.  But then I got old ... have you noticed how many old people live in Florida and Arizona?  I envy them.  At least Arizona, I'm fairly certain my flaky dry skin wouldn't know what to do in humid Florida.  Old people don't ski because they don't like being cold.  I fit perfectly into that category. 

But I do love living in Colorado and try to take advantage of the plethora of outdoor activities that this magnificent state has to offer (especially in the summer)....I love trail running in the high country.  LOVE IT!  I also love to climb 14ers (for you flatlanders not familiar with 14er terminology, "14ers" means mountain peaks which are 14,000' or higher.  There are 54 of 'em.  There are also 586 13ers, 676 12ers....) 
My son Ryan and I when we ran/hiked up peaks Grays and Torreys
in July, two 14ers, with the track team.
My friend Dennis and I when we raced in the Mt. Evans Ascent.
Nothing cooler than seeing these mountain goats in their element as I
climbed Mt. Quandary.
 Brendan loves to climb 14ers in the winter....




But I just can't bring myself to do that.  Burr!!!!!  Thankfully, Brendan has a buddy whose dad is a semi-professional climber and he takes him and his friend winter climbing (including ice climbing...with real ice axes and all).  That's just crazy stuff!

I will, however, venture up to the high country in winter if a Crazy Floridian calls and says he and his family are in the mountains vacationing and if I'd like to come and snowshoe with them.  I don't get as cold snowshoeing;  if I can keep constantly moving to keep warm, then the whine factor goes down substantially.  A nice thing for those around me.

Those that knew me last year may remember that Adam and his family were in town last December and we had a great time snowshoeing then.  Snow was great in the high country and we had a spectacular single-trek trail to crunch our snowshoes on and it was so peaceful and serene.  This year, the mountains have almost no snow - apparently the conditions are worse than they have been in 30 years (according to 9news.com) so our trail from last year was out it became a challenge to find something that worked, but snow on the east side of the Continental Divide is more plentiful and we found a trail, part of the Continental Divide Trail (the trail is 3100 miles, stretching from Mexico to Canada), near Loveland Ski area - not as scenic as last year and a bit noisy with the Interstate nearby - but off we went for about a 5 mile adventure....
My Son Brendan and I


Brendan.  He's pretty cool in his aviator glasses ;)
Adam (Crazy Floridian) and I.  Doesn't everyone tilt their head to the
side to take a picture?
Finding the marker for the Continental Divide Trail
So glad Brendan got that nice shot of my butt...
Thumb's up!
When I got home from the mountains later that afternoon, I was sitting in my bedroom and the room suddenly started to glow bright pink.  I ran outside and took this picture.... the sky was glowing this magnificent pinkish-orange.  Isn't it beautiful?!?  I stood there in my slippers on the icy sidewalk and looked at it for about 5 minutes before the sun closed shop on Denver for the day (and I was suddenly reminded I had no coat on.  Did I mention I hate being cold?).  It made me, one more time, look back and evaluate my day...and my year....

The snowshoe outing was good for me.  It let me hit the reset button on the gratitude meter and remember, in this very tough time I'm enduring right now, that I have plenty.  I get to spend time with my family and friends.  I get to smile and laugh and see beautiful scenery while snowshoeing (albeit freezing to death, whatever).  I get to run.....

So now, just 2 days before we enter a year year, I am thinking how I want to spend the next rotation around the sun.  It can be overwhelming to consider what we want to do, don't you think?  I think I want to take the time and consider the things I want to leave behind as well as the things I want to run towards.  I want to leave behind guilt, resentment, relationships that are not good for me, worries that hold me back, old versions of me that I need to let go, fears that limit my view, to name a few  And as I move forward, I want to get back in touch with the desires of my heart, not desires of my head.  I want to shift my perspective and consider who I want to be this time next year instead of what I want to do.  I don't want the way I fill my time to define who I am by default.  If I can turn my energy to consider who I am instead of checking off a "to do" list, I think it can be a year of great growth. 

I can't wait.

Happy New Year, my friends.  It has been an absolute pleasure sharing the miles with you this year and I look forward to sharing more next year.  I wish you the biggest blessings to carry the quiet desires of your heart!

Jill

62 comments:

tahoegirl said...

That was a really nice post. MI is cold, too. Really cold. I would rather live in CO. :o) My 2012 bring you happiness.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

I think I would have a love hate living in CO. Beautiful amazing and things to do in winter, but yes I really detest being cold. So I will try to refrain from complaining about the 90% humidity in FL

Ewa said...

Happy New Year, my dear friend. It IS going to be a good one, I just know it. We will make it a good one, right?
It is funny, I get cold more often here, in "sunny" CA than when I am in snowy countries.
Loved your pictures, every one of them. I am itching to go to the mountains and play in the snow... oh, wait, there is none! I know, I am like a broken record but this is supposed to be winter!!!

bobbi said...

I actually wish we had snow right now - but then again, I love it. One of these days I'll get a chance to visit CO. It looks so gorgeous there!

Happy New Year!

Christi said...

Great post my dear! YOu have captured me in a nutshell. No wonder we get along!

I wish you the best in the coming year. May your heart's desire become your reality.

Love ya! And bring on summer please!

Aimee said...

Snowshoeing looked fun!! My husband and I can't wait until our boys are old enough to go...hopefully next winter!

I hope you have a wonderful and happy New Years!! :)
p.s. the weather is supposed to be in the 50s next week...let's meet for a run!

C2Iowa said...

Green with envy here -- great pics. As for cold in Iowa -- not this yr yet; thank God.

please keep one thing in mind about your running: you are a running machine/top notch coach/live in an awesome area/and most important:you didnt have surgery (unlike someone I know).

Happy New Yr!

Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal said...

Those pictures look awesome!

Happy New Year to you too!

Morgan said...

I've always wanted to snowshoe, perhaps I'll finally try it this year if we get some snow. (Which I'm entirely ok never getting any) :)

P.S. LOVE your header image, I have a few shots like that myself with my sisters. Love DT Denver.

Karen said...

I always thingk I might like to live somewhere where there is snow because you do have all those cool winter sports but then I wonder how quickly that might lose its appeal. LOL at deciding what to do in our next rotation around the sun! You make it sound like we are going on a cruise :)

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

Honestly as beautiful as it is here I don't love it at all! I much rather be playing in sand with the kids collecting sea shells.. LOL!!!!!!

Michelle said...

I always LOVE reading your writing. You are such a calming spirit as a read! :) I hope that 2012 treats you wonderful and that you can clean out the old and start with the new.
Thanks for all you do in the bloggy world! Happy New Year, my virtual friend!

Michael said...

Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and for the great post. It is always fun to see nature in all its grandeur, and that fact that you have almost literally "out your back door" is VERY cool indeed.

Happy New Year to you and yours !!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Have a wonderful New Years!

Jason said...

I'll have to rethink buying a bakery in Colorado if it is that cold out.......haha!

Those pictures are awesome though. How much fun does that snowshoeing look? Glad others like to do it.....maybe I'll like it to when I do buy that bakery.

Kate said...

"who I want to be vs what I want to do". I like that a lot. The to do part is way easier for me to think about right now. I hope this next year brings you peace and happiness and a whole lot of fun. Let's just leave the stress and strain in 2011, huh?

Your pictures are so beautiful, but I can't believe you didn't mention our Mt. Whitney escapades. Sheesh! How soon they forget... I'd still love to get out there and snowshoe with you. Someday...

brg said...

just recently started following your blog. You have a lot going for you and I hope you get to be exactly what your heart wants you to be.

runningforthree said...

I think I would love hiking in the snow. Then afterwards I can have a nice warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Sounds perfect.

Glenn Jones said...

I think you guys need to spend New Year's Day here at the beach in Southern California. It's supposed to be 80 on Sunday.....

Glenn Jones said...

Oh - Happy New Year Jill!

Irene said...

I'm now in that warmer weather category as well. Hubs wants to go skiing or snowboarding, but he'll probably have to take my son. My joints hurt thinking about it, and I don't like going to watch other people ski/snowboard. I'd rather do instead of watch. m

Happy new year, my friend. A lot happened this past year and I'm glad I was fortunate to meet you.

Cheers!

SupermomE12 said...

I actually love the snow and cold and really struggle in the heat. Your pics are BEAUTIFUL!!! Happy New Year and I hope 2012 is full of blessings and adventure for you. ;)

Karen said...

Happy New Year! I love that you've got so many mountains to train in AND snow. I have to make it out CO sometime soon. :)

After living in Alaska, I've come to find that there's no such thing as "too cold" just "not enough layers". :) For me, it's more about not wearing too many and sweating through everything that impacts the whine factor.

Raina said...

I loved all your pictures...scrolling down, it looks like son, son, sheep?! and then Beautiful mountains....

Snowshoeing sounds like fun XT. Not something I can do out my back door- but FUN.
Hope training is going well for you!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

nice post. thx 4 sharing.

pensive said...

Happy New Year! You are so awesome, and I'm grateful that you share this part of your life with us.

As for the cold: not a fan. I go to the mountains for the ride in the car, and while everyone else hits the slopes I hit the spa and the coffeeshop. To each their own. I would love to try snowshoeing, but we've said that so many years now...

GZ said...

Happy New Year Jill. Hope our paths cross in the 0-1-2. Run HAPPY.

Grannie Frannie Runs said...

Yes, I hate the cold also. I hate weather that is colder than 60 degrees!! That is why I live in Louisiana.

Jamoosh said...

By the time I finished my run on the beach this morning it was in the 60's. Come on down!

Mike said...

I hate winter too, but I love skiing in Colorado. Beautiful pictures! Makes me look forward to our spring ski trip to Breckenridge.

Terzah said...

I'm no downhill skier, though I may try it when my kids learn, but I LOVE snowshoeing and xc skiing (to the extent that I can do the latter--not great at it). I think this may be the last year where I worry about the kids being too little for these things--hoping we can spend more time in the mountains next year!

Great post! You inspire all of us constantly with your words and gorgeous photos.

Adrienne said...

Happy early 2012 to you!

Hopefully through your awesome experiences and adventures, you'll come closer to finding who you want to be, and start running towards all things great!

Hope that makes sense;)

Stay the course!

KEFFitness87 said...

What an amazing with post with equally amazing views!! Wow! There is a conference I am supposed to attend in June in Denver, even though it won't be winter I can only imagine how it looks in the summer!!

Happy New Year!

Char said...

I'm with you in leaving behind all the crap that happened last year and getting on with all the good stuff. I know neither of us get to totally control what happens but we can hope and dream.

Happy New Year Jill.

Jenny @ The Little J-Bird said...

I love this post. :) I've only climbed one 14er so far but hope to get more next summer! There is a similar list in NY in the Adirondacks--46 peaks over 4,000 feet (I know, not quite as high as yours). ;) My husband and I climbed them in the winter to become Winter 46ers. It was quite the journey.
But honestly? I'm with you. I hate the cold. I'm from NorCal so I'm a sun loving, beach going girl. This snow and cold in Upstate NY is for the birds. Or eskimos. One or the other. :) Happy New Year!!

Matthew Smith said...

That looked like so much fun! It looked like an awesome workout too. Colorado is so beautiful. Maybe one day I'll live there too. Happy New Year!

Courtney Foster said...

I always say I want to live in CO but I am sure all the things you dont like about it would be the same reasons I would get sick of it! I live in MO and we get cold but not much snow and no mountains.

Caroline said...

I miss the snow
and white Christmas
and REAL winter...I hate the heat like you hate the winter!!! :)

Happy New Year Jill!!!!

Alma said...

Thank you and happy new year!

See.Kate.Run said...

I love snow shoeing. I don't get a chance to do it very often but it is a great way to get outside and enjoy the quiet softness of snow. I think it is so cool that your son enjoys getting outside and that you get to do that with him.

I have really enjoyed reading about all your adventures this year and look forward to the next year. Happy New Year!

ajh said...

Colorado would be a pretty great place to live. I love where I am though so for me it is a great place to visit. We got 12 plus inches of snow and it was wonderful. I keep my mouth closed though as my husband plows it and brings in all the wood etc. and doesn't like it so much. I just "play" in it.
Hang in there and get through these times.

Patrick Mahoney said...

I did a ton of winter climbing in my 20's when i lived in New England. No 14k peaks but the bases are lower too so you still are looking at some decent vertical.

Maybe again someday

Black Knight said...

A beautiful post with awesome pics. You hate the snow but most of the photos are with you .... in the snow! You'd have to spend part of your time in this part Italy to enjoy the sun and the good weather.
Happy New Year Jill and .... run strong my friend (..mmm where have I seen this quote?...)

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Will Travel said...

I think that even people who don't like snow will fall in love with snowshoeing - it's just so fun!

Happy New Year, Jill!

Kathleen said...

I am not a cold weather person either!!
Happy New Year!

ilikemargarine.com said...

happy new year, chica! Thanks for taking me along on your adventures all year.

Julie said...

I read this post right after you put it up and am just now getting back to post a comment! Not making that mistake again. :)

First off I want to say that I happen to think who you are is pretty great. I hope you will get to that same place. However with that being said I was just thinking to myself that I think sometimes I'm not as nice to the people I know in real life as I am to my bloggy peeps.

Snow shoeing looks like fun...native here and I've never been..kind of sad huh?

Laura said...

Gorgeous pictures! We spent the last 6 yrs in upstate ny, and it was similar- I had being cold! But there were plenty of cross-ctry skiing and outdoor options, just not as scenic as Colorado. I appreciate your words on growing in who you are, rather than what you do, in this coming year! Looking forward to getting to know you better!

Petraruns said...

Oh Jillie - love the snowshoeing but the bit at the end - that really struck me. Happy new 2012 sweetie - may it bring you what you are wishing for!

Laura said...

Happy 2012!!
I really try to have a positive attitude but...I really just don't like winter at all.
Tonight's run is going to be freezing..like 3 layers worth of clothing cold. yeah...

Teamarcia said...

How do you slip these posts past me? Guess it would help a ton if I looked at my reader. Ha!
Come on don't say old, cuz if you're old, then what am I...wait don't say it.
Here's to a spectacular rotation girl! I'll be orbiting by in just a few short weeks! :D

Molly said...

I don't downhill ski anymore, I'm too darn clumsy, but I like to ski cross country, easier on the creaky joints : )

Gorgeous photos as usual, I remember the goat : )

Happy New Year Jill! May you have the best year yet!

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Thanks Jill. I just got a chance to read this post. I love your idea on goals for the coming year, and shifting perspective. I think I will do the same.

misszippy said...

What a fantastic post. First, I am so with you on the snow and cold! The Southwest calls my name at retirement, trust me. Second, snowshoeing is such a great way to take in the beauty that surrounds you. Good move getting out there.

Finally, I wish you nothing but joy and health in 2012--you so deserve it!

fueledbyspite.com said...

Great attitude! Best to you!

Kandi said...

Snowshoeing looks like it'd be something I'd enjoy. I haven't done any winter sports in years though. I am hoping to get skiing this year but with wedding planning in full swing right now and the big day less than 2 months away I doubt I'll make it. The resorts around here are hurting because the lack of snow!
Happy new year, Jill. I look forward to hearing about your running and life for another year. Thanks for all your kind words and advice this past year.

Raina said...

Just looking over your race list for 2012. Wow! There are a lot of comp'd races on there! How did you swing that awesome deal? Hooray!!

Neon Blonde Runner said...

That photo of the clouds looks like it's straight from a National Geographic magazine. Beautiful!

Tim said...

Wait. Cold? I know the high mountains should be cold but I have this dream of moving to Colorado to GET AWAY from the cold in Iowa. (BTW, about 4 Iowa cities, including Cedar Rapids, were included in a recent article about the "25 Coldest Cities in America.")

So if I move to CO I'm still going to be freezing? I had this idea that the cities there were magically fuzzy-warm in the Winters, at least compared to Iowa.

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