If someone had told me a month ago that I’d be sitting my butt at home for the better part of the day, while the mountains are getting solid snowfall and the weather has mostly been great…well it just wouldn’t have seemed possible. This whole situation has blown up so fast and we’re just at the start of it. I’ve tried to balance what the state has mandated, with physical and mental health, but as (mostly) a rule follower who sees the reason for the strict rules I’ve drastically reduced my adventures. Did I go cross country skiing last week before the snoparks closed? Absolutely. Did I hike in the national forest while the trailheads were open. Yep. I desperately miss downhill skiing, biking and paddling and I understand that under certain criteria I can still do these activities, yet it’s still a balance.
As referenced last paragraph I sometimes bend the rules. For sure. I tend to use judgement as my guide versus hard law. What I have never had much patience for is the mindset of people who think…”well it’s just me breaking the rule and just one person won’t make a difference”….said 7.4 billion people on the earth. It feels selfish since we know with this disease you can be entirely asymptomatic yet infect other people.
So how do I “get after it” under our somewhat fuzzy guidelines? Well for one, I’ve realized that sticking to schedule and structure is a really good thing for me. The first week of Stay Home Stay Safe, I waited until the weather warmed or just hung out because I could. That super- sucked for my emotional well-being. Now, I get my exercise done first thing, as I’ve done for decades. I run locally, out my front door early–even better if it’s raining/snow as the trails are empty. I could hike out in the forest (not accessing it via a trailhead) but choose instead to walk to those “essential” places I need to go. Walking to work, as one example. We’re not open, but one of us, each day works at the shop to accomplish those tasks we need to do, to keep the ball rolling for that magical day in the unknown future where we CAN open and service the public (I’m guessing, still, with fairly strong restrictions). I walk everywhere I can. Why not? I have time and I need to burn off energy I’d otherwise expend riding the trails.
Why am I avoiding the things I really love when technically, I could do most of it “legally”, with some very small inconveniences such as parking by the side of the road versus a developed trailhead? Well for one, St Charles and related urgent care centers have suspended all “elective” surgeries “indefinitely” which includes injuries such as torn MCL’s, ACL’s, etc. Basically, all resources have been redirected to support the already overwhelmed infrastructure. I don’t typically live in fear of getting hurt and chances are it would be fine. Here’s the thing though. I feel like following the requests, as have been put out there, is a sign of solidarity. I’m not a health care worker, risking my safety going to work every day to serve the ill. But I have plenty of friends who ARE, and they’re scared of catching it. I can do this. I can stay my ass at home, for the most part, and hope this helps (if everyone does) shorten the duration in total.
Check out this video (link below) produced by my buddy Jaymo. It features Alex McClaren who Jaymo and I interviewed last year at “Trail Tales”. The guy was a pro-mountain biker who after witnessing a horrible car accident, walked away from the pro circuit, went back to school and eventually became a paramedic. He’s the real deal. Pretty much sums it up. Thanks for listening….