Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Wasatch Mountains

"The Mormon looked toward Heaven, but his Heaven was a Heaven on Earth and he would inherit bliss in the flesh"

´- Wallace Stegner, Mormon Country

The first thing I should probably clear up is I am not a Mormon. I don't think anyone who has been reading this blog for longer than 20 seconds thought I was, but now there is no lingering uncertainty.

When you see the Wasatch Mountains from Salt Lake City, though, it makes sense that many Mormons believe the celestial kingdom will one day be on Earth. (The celestial is better than terrestrial and telestrial, by the way. Telestial is only for whoremongers)

Even more so when you are running in these mountians- in the middle of the night- you might even believe heaven IS a place on earth, or rather a place inside of you, you have accessed in the mountains.

 Ok, so let's rewind... WHAT am I doing in SLC when...
these boys are in Duluth? (picture from this morning from SR)
I am on the interview trail. I am applying for training that can't be found in Denmark: it is Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and will allow me to apply for a Sports Medicine Fellowship and then I can practice this medicine and do research in this field anywhere in the world. It is exciting! This training program, whichever university I match to, will start in July of 2015.

I arrived at the University Guest House last night, right next to the hopsital and the Skaggs (relation??) pharmacy buidling and - there was the trail- there were the mountains, a 5 minute jog away, and a 30 second jog from the hospital door. I'm trying to see a downside to this. It's strange, it's like I'm incapable of being negative these days. I feel so happy and in love-- or ready to fall in love-- with humanity, with life, with the beauty of the earth. It is like all of the vitamins and minerals in my body are at the right level (or maybe it's because I have slept the last 3 weeks without warm little boy bodies next to me? )  I am ready to enshroud my boys with love and kisses on Saturday when I get back.

So 4 AM, I charge up the Wasatch Mountains, alone with my headlamp, shoes and maybe some clothing. 

It is rare to find a more beautiful phrase on a sign than "interpretive mountain trail"

The greatest thing about Salomon Sense is they don't collect mud on their soles ;-)
 But conditions in the mountains change by the meter. And soon I was just running again,out of the mud, in the wind-still darkness, feeling the contours of the mountains in very much the same way you feel emotions. It is almost not an analogy; it is just true. The rocky sloping and diving and delicate snow become symmetric with your soul. Don't believe me? Just try it.

Here I sat down and took a break, at my turnaround, looking over the valley.
And it looked like this. Not in reality, because everything was covered with fog, but I could feel that it looked like this. And now I can't even find where I got this picture, but it is exactly where I was running.

 On the way back, I got into trouble. One section got super slippery and I was crawling on my hands and knees, digging my fingers in the mud so I wouldn't tumble down the ridge. I was scared and SR called at that very moment. It is weird to be in the throes of nature, fighting for your life, and your i phone rings.
Baptized in mud.

Not about to waste a free day in my hotel room, I headed down to Salt Lake Power Yoga for some hot yoga with a view of the mountains.

Here I was anxiously awaiting the moment we would do mountain pose--- and we did. And you should have seen the smile spread across my face when she said "now do the inversion of your choice" and I inverted into my headstand!! Who knew inversion in Salt Lake City could be a good thing?
 At this yoga class, I met not one, but two runners who had had surgery done for Femoacetabular Impingement (FAI). It didn't sound like either of them was doing that much better after the surgery. I couldn't help thinking--- if only they had learned to run correctly! Well, no one is touching my acetabulum with anything! Below is a nice intro video to pose running Ole posted today. I really looking forward to getting certified as a pose instructor this March!

How do you define "Running"? from POSEtv on Vimeo.

But back to SLC..
Free bikes - or $5 for 24 hours (just like in Copenhagen!). I got one to bike back up the foothills to the hotel.

I don't just have a bad aim when taking pictures of myself. I have learned that if I only include half of my face, I am less likely to look asymmetric.

Running song of the day:

Closer by Tegan and Sara (okay, the entire heartthrob album is awesome, except "Now I'm all messed up") and this song totally reminds me of Taylor Swift in a cute way.

Now it is out to dinner with the PM&R residents and a day-long interview tomorrow. I'm ready with my photon joke! :-)


Jill Homer said...

I am a Mormon. Maybe not practicing anymore, but my family roots go back all the way to the pioneer days, and I consider Mormonism my heritage. I smiled at your references to afterlife doctrine.

How much longer are you going to be in SLC? I fly in next Wednesday for Thanksgiving. It would be fun to get together if you're still there, but I imagine you'll go back to your family for the holiday.

sea legs girl said...

Jill, wow, somehow that makes so much sense that you are Mormon. I have a lot of respect for the beliefs and traditions of LDS and my best friends in medical school were Mormons.

I am only here until Saturday but hope to be back again soon- with the whole family. I just got back from dinner with the residents and I am glowing; this would be an awesome place to train. So we'll probably have a chance to hang out here if that happens! I am also going to be in San Francisco to interview at Stanford on January 13th! I forget exactly how close you are to San Francisco, but maybe we could go on a bike ride? It's totally okay if you school me.

Thanks for commenting!

Jill Homer said...

I'm about 45 minutes south of SF, but closer to Stanford, only about 10 minutes away. There are great trails nearby too, as well as fun road riding. I'd love to go for a ride with you. Keep in touch about your schedule.

Olga King said...

This would be an awesome place to train, indeed. We considered it for our soon-retire move too. Best wishes!

Robyn said...

I had a seriously awesome run while visiting Salt Lake City in late September, out on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Glad you got to enjoy the mountains too!

I thought their children's hospital and labs were very impressive. Don't know much about the adult side. But it seems like it could be a good place to live for a few years.

maria said...

It would be so cool if you moved to SLC! I'd come visit you all--esp. Natty : ) : ). And we could meet in the mountains for fun & games.

Anyway, good luck!

sea legs girl said...

Jill, maybe we should switch to runining on those trails...I forgot the minor detail that I won't have a bike! I'll definitely be in touch.

sea legs girl said...

Robyn, yeah, they have this goal: The University of Utah will have the best health sciences education center in the country in 10 years. They are quite ambitious, but they have an entire building dedicated to polymers, so very few cities can boast something like that.

sea legs girl said...

Oh and Robyn, I ran on the Shoreline Trail to get up to Red Butte. Red Butte is cool cus it just shoots right up into the mountains.

sea legs girl said...

Maria- definitely and we'll visit you, too! Thanks for thinking of Natty!

Danni said...

Utah (or Harborview in Seattle) is where people badly hurt here are transferred. Must be good. Good luck! I hope you get it!