Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Peak Experience

"Human beings do not realize the extent to which their own sense of defeat prevents them from doing things they could do perfectly well. The peak experience induces the recognition that your own powers are far greater than you imagined them." – Colin Wilson

Truer words could not be spoken.

This week I have felt the peak experience several times over, and I am living in a blissful state. Not only did I spend the weekend exploring the powerful beauty of Sedona in a way that I never have before, but it is absolutely amazing to me how my body has reacted to being fed adequate and efficient fuel. Call it cloud nine, call it the runner’s high, call it what you will – my rosy glasses are showing me an amazing and awe-inspiring world right now.

Lilac and I went to Sedona this weekend to celebrate our decade of friendship. For many people, having a close friend for 10 years may not seem like a long time, but there have been many ups and downs for us during that time, and we have stuck by each other, and supported and loved each other throughout – so we wanted to step back and really appreciate what it means to have someone who is ALWAYS in your corner, who knows every aspect of who you are, and who loves you for the person you have become.

Rather than do the standard Tlaquepaque and Church in the Rock tour, we decided that we wanted to be outside for our adventure – specifically because our relationship has grown even deeper since we started meeting weekly to run and race and tri together. So, we decided to hike Boynton Canyon Trail, and take a Pink Jeep Tour.

Boynton Canyon is spectacularly beautiful. The trail took us from the Enchantment Resort out through the canyon, where we hiked along the bottom of the canyon, through the forest trail while looking up at the amazing red buttes that surrounded us. It was such a cool morning, almost dewy, and the quiet peaceful trail really started the day out on the right foot. It took all of my tension away, and left me feeling relaxed and content. It was as good as an hour massage.

The Pink Jeep Tour was certainly not as calm – we looked like bobble heads as we went up the unpaved and rocky Schnebly Highway, but the views were incredible, and filled me with awe. I’ve never experienced Sedona from the perspectives that we saw it, and it was truly remarkable. We drove all the way up to the top of the mesa and were able to look down at the valley of red rock and buttes. What a view! What a trip!

Since we had hiked on Saturday, I decided to swim and bike on Sunday morning. I was a little nervous about swimming, since I had just had such a breakthrough swim, and I was afraid that it was a one time deal. I did the exact same 40 minute exercise, and although it didn’t feel quite as natural, I actually swam even better! I swam 800 meters MORE on Sunday than I had done on Wednesday. It’s unbelievable! I somehow fit 16 extra laps in the same amount of time as I had done on the fastest smoothest day of my life. Even more, I felt great! I couldn’t even believe it, and I kept re-counting the sets that I had done expecting a math issue to come up, but it never did. It was absolutely amazing!

My biking has also improved. The last two times I’ve biked I’ve simultaneously had high mileage and speed events. To do one is great, but to have both the fastest and longest workouts happen at the same time is unbelievable to me. I’m also increasing the intensity, and have had no ill effects. It feels great!

As if all of that weren’t enough, I had a GREAT run today. I did the exact same workout as my long C run, and I some how ran .25 miles farther in the same amount of time. I also felt like I could go for another 15 minutes – my legs weren’t wobbly, I wasn’t out of breath, and I wasn’t counting down the seconds. I’ve never felt so good after any run – never mind an 80 minute run!

Maybe (obviously) there is something to this nutrition thing, because since I’ve started fueling appropriately I have gone from a slow and consistent chug chug chug up a long hill to an unbelievable jump right up to the top of the mountain.

The view is great from up here. I feel uplifted, and full of self-confidence. I feel like there are limitless horizons and vistas to experience, and I have the confidence and courage to get out there and explore!

1 comment:

  1. i've always wanted to do one of those jeep tours - you see them everywhere up north here and they look so fun. sedona would be the perfect place to explore like that. and i think it was a beautiful way to celebrate your friendship. oftentimes, unknowingly, we take our close relationships for granted but it doesn't sound that way between you two - its really special.