I’m now nine days through the madness that is April, and it’s all trudging along in a very let’s just trudge along sort of way. I was in SF last week for our spring work onsite, and while it was slightly (ever so slightly) less exhausting than past onsite weeks, it was still physically and mentally draining. I have, over time, come to label myself fairly comfortably as an extroverted introvert – I can happily handle social situations and have a heavy proportion of moments where I am outgoing and am energized by surrounding myself with people, but I wholeheartedly admit that I only truly re-energize and reset with solid, quality alone time. I know I’ve probably written this before, but it’s a large part of why I run (and why I started running); I rely on that guaranteed solace where I can disappear into whatever world I want, even if everything else around me is spinning like crazy. It’s the same reason I used to love doing my math homework, or get engrossed in literary worlds or relish having some sort of complex coding problem to solve – I can focus my entire mind on one thing and escape all other stimulation.
Anyway, I’ve learned gradually over the course of these weeks that to survive the extraordinary amount of input and time being ‘on’ and extroversion overload to invoke a formula that involves some combination of only going ‘out’ one night, maintaining a routine of sleeping as early as humanly possible (which often takes the form of being in a hotel bed at 7pm to watch Jeopardy), and waking up early to run with my SF friends, to revisit my favorite (and not-so-favorite, I’m looking at you, Market Street) city routes and catch up on things non-work-related. It works. For the most part. But again, it’s still exhausting.
I made it back on Friday night at a fairly reasonable hour (despite a ridiculous chain control slow-down in the rain mess of incompetent drivers) and was greeted by a houseful of excited dogs and people I enjoy, and like every time I ascend back up the mountain, I was hit with the happy content feeling of ‘I am home’. I had Saturday off from both jobs, and in light of my general fatigue and the fact that it had snowed (yes, really, again) overnight and through the morning, I opted out of the scheduled 3.5 hour run I was supposed to do, and instead ran a very steady paced six through fresh powder, was a responsible adult and did my errands, and then spent all afternoon curled up on the couch getting lost in J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy while the snow continued to fall over the mountains outside my window.
It was the kind of ‘recovery’ Saturday I desperately needed, and I greedily want more.
And now, it’s Sunday night, and Otis is laying on top of me while Theron stares out the window. I taught my final ski lesson of the season to five girls (and was stalked very annoyingly by their parents the entire afternoon…) and am equal parts excited to finally have some time back and sad/shocked at how quickly the season went, in a bittersweet combination that I’m told is common across the ski school world. I have three-and-a-half days this week before hopping on a red-eye to Boston and am finally starting to focus on how awesomely cool of an experience it’s going to be and after a week of solid runs down at sea-level, am feeling much more ready in general for the whole thing. In a few weeks, I get to set off on a mini roadtrip to see my parents and explore yet another section of the west coast/best coast I haven’t made it to yet. There is a large bowl of Moose Tracks ice cream and warm, homemade brownies in my immediate future. The sky is turning a fantastic shade of purple, blue and orange as the sun disappears at the late hour of 7:30pm.
These are all good things.