Vibram Takes Me Where I Want To Go

It seems like the last two weeks really flew by and I apologize for the lack of an entry last weekend.  I have an admission that I’ll just get off my chest right off the bat; part of why I didn’t write last weekend was that I ended up not running during the crazy heat wave we had in VT.  With temps into the 100’s and incredibly heavy humidity it wasn’t exactly appealing.  When that was mixed with a holiday and then family in town I let the excuses pile up and I decided to find alternate sources of activity for the week.

It’s easy to make excuses.  I was reminded of the new Nike commercial, “No Excuses”.  I’m sure we can all relate:

However, my week was not a bust.  I had a full practice of massage clients and I swam almost every day.  The highlight of the week was hiking to Cady’s Falls with my pup.  Cady’s Falls is a natural waterfall and river carved out of a rock formation in Morrisville, my home town.  I had heard about it but kept looking in the wrong places (though that did help me find a nice swimming hole on the Lamoille River).  The hike was gorgeous.  The first quarter mile the path is surrounded by raspberry bushes and I snacked as I walked towards the river.  I learned later that I could have walked down the river to get to the waterfall, which would have been far less challenging than the road I chose.

I veered left up a path and headed on a steep hike upwards.  I ended up crossing paths with a couple who told me I was headed in the right direction so I kept going until I found the waterfall…and I was above it.  Two men swam below and, despite the loud wooshing sounds of the falls, I could hear one say, “Look, she’s up there!”  Obviously, I had not taken the “standard” path to get to the falls; though the path was well-traveled enough that I don’t really get points for originality.

After casing things out I stashed my belongings behind a rock above the falls and I slowly scooted myself down slippery rocks at the edge of the falls.  Since I didn’t risk bringing electronics down with me, I have no pictures of the beauty, but it really was a sight.  The base of the falls opened up to a deep swimming area that was almost ice-cold; much colder than the rivers I’d been swimming in.  However, given the heat and humidity it felt so good!

Toby ended up jumping down the falls.  I didn’t get to witness this but the reaction of the two men who saw him jump was pretty stellar.  We played around for a while and then I started scoping out the banks of the river to see how we could get back up.  That’s when I realized there was no safe way up.  We’d have to go back the way we came which meant climbing up the waterfall.

My Vibram Fivefingers were such an asset on this venture.  I definitely took my time, but I had no problem scaling the rocks back up to the top of the falls.  Toby, on the other hand, took some coaxing.  He was scared, and I was nervous that he might get hurt but I wanted to let him try it before hiking down and rescuing him.  I stood at the top of the falls and called to him.  He anxiously ran all around trying to find another way up until he came to the same conclusion I did.  I could see when he made the decision to try to climb up the falls, it took all his puppy courage.  He did a great job climbing up the rocks and only had one paw slip.  My dog is awesome!

Truthfully, I don’t think he would have been able to do it if I hadn’t been running with him and building up his strength in the past few month.  To be honest, I don’t know if I would have either.  Running has brought me confidence in areas that yoga, weigh lifting and aerobics have not.  Running encourages me to be adventurous and that sense of adventure crosses over into my hiking and swimming experiences.  I feel not only in shape and physically strong, but I feel a strong mind-body connection and an organic push to be in motion.

Wow, I’ve yammered on so much that I barely have time to write about the running I actually did this week.  While many Vermonters are still complaining that we’re in a heat wave, as soon as the temps dipped back into the 80’s I was ready to hit the trail and I was back on schedule for this whole week.

Monday’s run was such a relief.  I thought getting back on the trail for the first day might seem arduous but it was anything but.  As soon as I started my first sprint through the field I realized how much I missed it.  The runs were some of my fastest, but the speed-walking parts were slow as the raspberries and blackberries along the path are ripe and I just had to steal a few bites.  By the time I finished I was covered in sweat and Toby and I jumped right into the river which was warm and wonderful.  I just floated there for a while and let the current take me.  Have I mentioned just how much I love Vermont this time of year?

Friday was less amazing but still fun.  It was extremely humid and I thought I was timing my run perfectly to be out during a downpour.  Unfortunately, while I managed to stretch during the downpour, it really turned into a sprinkling while I ran so it was not the nice relieving feeling I was looking for.  I also had to forgo my swim as I had an unusually high workload for a Friday.  Oh well, I’ll certainly be swimming today and I’ll be back on the trail again tomorrow!

I’m going to risk the tl;dr labeling and add one more soapbox paragraph.  The only really discouraging thing about my explorations of Cady’s Falls and my Friday run was running into litter.  Cady’s Falls had empty beer bottles and soda cans strewn about (I’m definitely bringing a trash bag with me next time I head there).  Yesterday began an event on the Mad River Path called “Story Walk”.  It’s a really cute concept in which pages of a children’s book are laminated and posted on the path so as you walk you can read the story.  Good to promote reading and exercise, I love the idea!  I’m not 100% sure this was related, but along the parts of the path that had the story there was a ton of silver glitter littered all over the path.  I was shocked.  Who the hell would pour non-biodegratable shards of reflective plastic all along the path?!  Anyone who’s been to a rave knows how freaking hard it is to clean glitter off of anything, let alone an outdoor trail!  I’m planning on complaining to the town (something I rarely do, but this really bothers me) and I encourage anyone else who uses and enjoys The Mad River Path to do the same.

Happy running, swimming, hiking, jumping and anything else fun and outdoorsy you’re up to this week!  Yay, summer!

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