Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some days the mountain leans back

Some days the mountain leans back, lies down gently and grants those who venture onto its slopes ease of travel. The trail appears a nearly horizontal traverse, whose view magically sweetens with each step;
On certain days the mountain lies in repose, as if to say, "today, I will rest and bear the burden of your sojourn". Continuing, the mountain adds, "consider this your rest and enjoy the journey".
On several occasions this year - and countless throughout my life - I have had moments in the mountains where the mountain has the appearance and the feeling of 'leaning back' and lessening its slope's angle. This may be an illusion: whose to say that the lower slope angle is not the norm and on most days the slope has the appearance and feeling of being steeper.

It is probably all an illusion! What is measurable and constant is the slope's actual angle. My favorite trail on Mount Sentinel rises about 2000 vertical feet in 1.2 miles, a fairly steep trail. As a rule, this particular trail's required effort seems commensurate with its steepness. But on certain days - and today was one of these - the mountain truly has the appearance of lying back and lessening its slope angle, allowing for a less intense effort that yields the same results.

The reason(s) for this phenomenon (and that's a stretch) may seem obvious: variables in daily diet/hydration, sequence in a work out cycle, mood, time constraints, etc. All of these things certainly play a role in overall fitness and point-in-time health and performance, but do not explain the visual appearance of the slope.

Today, the trail presented itself modestly, looking half itself while providing fully rewarding pleasant and easy passage. And I will examine no further.

Thank you, mountain.

Onward and upward,


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