Wednesday, January 1, 2014

discoveries

Each year my mom gives me a new datebook from the Smithsonian.  When I receive it, I know the new year is near.


The town I live in celebrates the transition from one year to the next with the Great Pine Cone Drop.
Weatherford Hotel in downtown Flagstaff

Last night the Great Pine Cone was lowered. 
Suddenly it is 2014.

This morning I made my way to the annual Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association New Year's Day run, to commemorate the promise of brand new year and embrace community.

Community.

I heard Neil Weintraub's laughter as I approached the designated meeting spot on foot.  Friends were all gathered, to share a run.  It dawned on me how lucky I am, to have this.  To be able to run a few blocks and join friends who also want to move their bodies, to experience life in this way.

When I contemplate what community means, what it is, all I can come up with is this: meaningful.

Recently I flew into a smallish airport in Mesa, Arizona.  As my plane was landing, I reflected on how I could pretty much count on not seeing a single person I knew there.  I deplaned and made my way to the parking lot.  Upon approaching my car that had been sitting in the lot for four days, I found a slip of paper on my windshield, under the wiper blade.  Dang.  Did I somehow get a ticket, in this parking lot I'd pay for upon exiting?  No.  Turns out it was a note from Steve Rhode, a Flagstaff friend and neighbor.  He had recognized my Team Run Flagstaff bumper sticker and just wanted to wish me happy holidays.

I then made my way across Phoenix, to the home of Dustin Phillips and Elisa Venezia, who lived in Mountainaire (just outside of Flagstaff) for years.  Dustin took me on an enriching run in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.  Next he made me a sandwich from their Christmas ham, for my two-hour drive home.

Community.

I have no resolutions this year, save for being present.  In the current moment.  Nothing more.  I am reclaiming simplicity in my life.  In my running.

My Garmin malfunctioned during TransRockies.  I replaced it with a Timex GPS that I got at a significant discount through a friend.  It broke too.  I tried an app on my iPhone.  It was alright.  I decided to run without measurement.  Without knowing the time.  Or pace.  For the love of it.  It has been a week.  It feels great.

Wishing you a very inspired new year, full of freedom of every kind.  And friends.

Coldwater Rumble 31k

Coldwater Rumble 31k
January 21st, 2012 - Goodyear, Arizona (photo by Aravaipa Running)