Over the past couple years in my run up to Western States I have often thought about Michaelangelo. Reason is, as all of us know, Michaelangelo believed that that work of art was within the stone and it was his job to expose the beauty within the rock. So it has been with my fitness over these past few years.
I have come to know that, deep in the recesses of my body, fitness lies. However, given the vagaries of life and living at different times and at different contexts it can lie buried, dormant, sometimes for months at a time.
However, with the right blow of the hammer, the correct cut of the chisel, the art that is the Western States fitness can emerge. And, for me, that sharp cut happened today.
It started innocently enough. My plan was to run up and down Carbonate Mountain four times. Three miles and 1500 feet up and then three miles back down. Lather, rinse, repeat...
Lucky for me I had Brad Mitchell along with me so we were not going to be lazy on this day. We did the first lap in 30/18, the second lap in 29/17 and the third lap in 31/18. Then, Brad met up with his wife and daughter and headed to the coffee shop. I was left to do the last lap alone.
I'll be honest, the first five minutes of the climb sucked and I fought the urge to turn around and head back to the car several times. By the time I got to the 7 minute mark I was reduced to a walk and I told myself, "Just get it done."
Then, as if on cue, around 10 minutes into the climb I began to feel It. I began to roll into the hill with a slight bit of energy and I began to feel moderately good. The negative voices in my head quieted and were replaced by voices of hope and joy and positivism.
I got to the top in 33 minutes and floated the descent. It was clear, the art was emerging.
The beauty of rolling into shape had reared it's head.
And, I smiled all the way home.