Hiking highlights

As we are full-on skiing (!!!) and haven’t hit the hiking trails for some time, it seems like a timely moment to summarize the hiking season in Zermatt.  First of all, we lucked out weather-wise with a serious lack of rain.  This, obviously, benefitted us, but is concerning long-term for a place that depends on rainfall.  I definitely revisited plenty of familiar trails, but I also explored new ones – both in and around Zermatt and also on some of the overnight trips.  There are still PLENTY of trails or summits that I missed, and while a part of me would love to hike to the Hörnli Hut and touch the base of the Matterhorn, I don’t have a deep, pressing need to make it there (unlike one of my colleagues, whose efforts have now been thwarted at least three times!) or a few other places. Continue reading “Hiking highlights”

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Retour des Alpages – A brief weekend in Annecy

We’ve officially crossed that half-way point, and I’m finally getting around to jotting a few ideas here and there about the experience thus far.  I’ll return to the Swiss adventures, of which there are many, but, for now, a quick recap of our quick weekend away.  It’s funny because Zermatt is so beautiful, and you’d think that one would never tire of the mountains and views and trails.  While I wouldn’t say that I had grown “tired” of these views, at that 5-6 week point, I was beginning to feel a bit antsy – that I wanted different views.  The timing of the trip, therefore, couldn’t have been better, and I suspect that I was not alone in feeling that I wanted to do or see more.  For the students, the trip connects to their English and Art History classes, and it’s an interesting weekend for them.   Continue reading “Retour des Alpages – A brief weekend in Annecy”

A return to the mountains

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Just a few icebreaker games in the shadow of the Matterhorn while totally jet-lagged and suffering from the altitude.  Great way to start!

This has been a long time coming, talking about how unhappy I was for the past two years.  Last fall, I decided that teaching middle school was just NOT the right fit, so I made the decision in November (if not before) that I’d end the year but not return.  It was a weird situation to know so early that in June, 2018, I’d officially be ‘unemployed’.  I also didn’t make the decision lightly as the school has a great reputation and I worked with great people.  I couldn’t, however, deny just how unhappy I felt teaching that age group.  I have total respect for those dedicated middle school teachers who connect with students, support them, and enjoy that environment.  For me, it just never felt like a good fit, and as much as I wanted it to work, I also wasn’t willing to sacrifice my happiness and sense of self/identity/whatever just so that I would have a stable job.  I also recognize that I was (and am) incredibly fortunate to be able to make that decision. Continue reading “A return to the mountains”

Road tripping: Whistler and Squamish

At times I feel spectacularly boring or predictable when it comes to life and the patterns that seem to define my experiences or to which I revert.  Case in point, back in 2014, when I undertook the first full ironman journey, I wanted the trip part to be about more than just the race.  And so it was!  Not that the race wasn’t a priority, but I appreciated that it was part of a broader experience.  So, this time around, as I considered races, Whistler seemed like the logical choice.  First of all, I’d almost signed up the previous two years, and I’m still not sure if Whistler will host long-term.  But there were other reasons too.  Not only did it offer a lot in terms of a race experience for athletes and also spectators, but, like Coeur d’Alene, it would be a chance to see friends and family and a beautiful part of the world.  Win/win! Continue reading “Road tripping: Whistler and Squamish”

Post mortem: IM Canada

There’s this saying “Third time’s charm”, which might be true in some cases, but I don’t think that I’d sum up my Ironman Canada experience in such a way. It’s been just over two weeks ago since I crossed the finish line, and I’m still sorting through the experience.   I have to be honest with myself and admit that I was nervous about even finishing – hell, I was nervous about making it to the start line when I signed up!  I don’t want to be one of those people who initially say “I just want to finish” and then complain about their overall time.  I will say that with Wildflower and IMCanada, 2018 shaped up to be the year of personal worsts.   But it’s also the year of tackling fucking hard courses despite slightly sub-par fitness and/or feeling my age, and there is something to be said about that too. Continue reading “Post mortem: IM Canada”

Sizzling summer (already?)

Although it technically isn’t summer (we’re still a week shy of that date), it has felt like summer since mid-May, and our yard would definitely agree with that sentiment!  It has already been a scorcher here in Colorado, and, yes, the fire season kicked off with a vengeance.  It is WAY too early for fire season to have started, but that is the reality of the world in which we are living. Continue reading “Sizzling summer (already?)”