…it’ll pick you up! Tired after what seemed a long week, we went back on the trail – the cross country ski trail – and down to the Kicking Horse. Winter gave us another fine afternoon, safely below zero and with the promise of more snow from gathering clouds.
We sped down the hill with a grace that could only reveal my unease at the increasing pace. In another triumph of hope over style and technique, gravity and a previously undiscovered sense of balance delivered me safely to the valley bottom without a tumble. Several times, I considered throwing myself down (a stopping method that has served me well) but the ski gods were smiling, or at least amused, and it wasn’t necessary.
Relieved to be at river level, we kicked on down the trail, tracking the river and happy to be sliding along the flat valley floor. We had it all to ourselves, the entire afternoon spent without seeing another person. Free of witnesses, we strode along mightily on our skis, looking majestic as we ate up the kilometres. Oh alright, so it wasn’t exactly like that, but it’s true about the no witnesses. No one saw me stop for a quick rest, planting my ski pole so firmly into the edge of the trail that it went in over halfway and I fell over. A slow motion sideways slump, and nope, no witnesses. Not even Mrs. PC (I couldn’t keep up…)
I untangled my legs, skis and poles, pushed myself back up, and decided to be less majestic and more careful. Fortunately, the wonderful landscapes provided the real majesty, and with each steady kilometre I could feel the cares of the week fall away. Further into the woods and along the river meant a growing sense of calm, and we were both grateful for that. We enjoy the work we do, but it is pleasant to put it to one side for a while, and simply be somewhere else. Each step, kick and glide makes you stronger, happy to be in the present, and recharges you for whatever might be ahead. I think it’s hard to be out hiking, or on skis or snowshoes, and feel burdened…
By the time we returned to the start, we were (I was) physically tired yet mentally restored, and feeling strong, like a kicking horse. I love how that seeming contradiction can work!
Thanks for reading, here’s hoping you get or you are outside, and have a wonderful weekend!