The Gift Of Snowfall

by | Dec 12, 2013

It took a while – perhaps all of my life until today – to realize how much I like to ache. Less than 24 hours after my race in Rhode Island ended, I woke up to our first snow on the mountain. Data point: I love referring to the mountain. Our little village sits atop a seven mile climb from all directions. All 724 of us live at what can be best described as the icing on a 990’ high cupcake.

Once the early morning shoveling was complete, I made five trips with the wheelbarrow, taking logs from the woodpile over to the house. It’s 100’ each way. That’s when a light went on; the feeling, the euphoria, and the aches I had in my back and arms, along with the residual pangs from Sunday’s race – these sensations remind me that I am alive. And to be alive and able, and doing physical work outside in the low temperatures is a beautiful thing.

I’ve always loved the recovery period that follows a hard ride. During those hours after a shower and refueling, when the legs still inform of the miles, the climbs, and an interval or three. Folks who don’t make these efforts may never know what I know. Heck, I don’t know what they know either, and I’m not about to trade places. There’s an exhilaration that’s gifted back after exertion. We each have our threshold, and today mine was met at 10AM.

I like other aches too, those not the result of hard labor. Emotions can also be taxed to a breaking point. Whether it’s a good cry, stress, or loss, when I experience these, my senses are heightened. Being in the middle of a rough patch or indecision, grief – whatever, the feeling inside is equal to the shoveling, the lifting, and the hard rides.

No matter where an ache comes from, being perched in its center is also a gift. I like it when I’m there. And I miss it when I’m not. I’m comfortable in both places. They remind me that I am alive.