Friendships

I attempted Borah Peak this last weekend. I wouldn’t of had this opportunity without knowing and having the chance to get to know some good people. People that one can only refer to as friends.

I needed to go down to Pokatello to say goodbye to Zephanie and Chad before they moved to Tuscon AZ. So when Jill mentioned that she was going down to Interbike I wondered if there was a chance we could go hit up Borah Peak in Idaho. We were going the same way. So instead of moping around wishing I could visit my friend Heather in Seattle I took the opportunity this weekend to forge some new friendships and revisit some dear ones.

The entire scheme was born out of a idea to go visit my friends Zephanie and Chad. Zepahanie was my training partner during the “worlds” season and we enjoy a true deep connection that only two endurance athletes can. We have ride numerous training miles and have finished 6 – 12 hour training rides together. We have good stories to tell and know about some of our personal defeats. A true bond that can not be documented in a blog post. Chad is her husband and together they have become a major source of strength in my racing and personal life. I like them a “shit load”. They are moving a million miles away. I will miss them.

Going to say goodbye to my friends was not all that bad because on the way I was able to do some camping and hiking with some new friends.  Jill, Norman, and I took on Borah Peak the tallest in Idaho at around 12,662 feet.

Norman was a late edition to this weekends expedition. One which made the weekend complete. He hosted my bikes first “sleep over slumber party”. Norm jumped into our plans with both feet and even agreed to drive us and our gear around for the weekend. It is one thing to go on the Borah climb but to want to endure the rest of what seemed to be a lot of running around and hanging out is another.

We will be racing the MESSS (70 something mile bike and 25 mile wilderness run) this weekend together. I will lean on him heavily for advice on how the hell to run 25 miles with no base.

Just about everyone knows Jill, well anyone that reads her blog, which is about everyone. My friends know her because I use some of her stories involving courage and strength to inspire them. If you know what the Tour Divide is then you know Jill. If you know what a fat tire snow bike is or have snowmobile maps in your drawer for the explicit use of finding snow biking trails … then you know about her.

I discovered much more about Jill. I experienced a “hike” up a mountain to find a extremely genuine and fun person. I am convinced that she is about something bigger then riding bikes for long distances now. Just by hiking with her, and sharing some of the same fears, I overcome some fears on the mountain. As the weekend unfolded it became obvious that we share a lot in common. Probably the reason I identify with so much of her writing.

Oh yea, and she is really good at avoiding a tackle. Upon rolling an ankle I dove forward and was lined up to do a massive body slam tackle on Jill. She did a quick snap turn leaving me rolling to the side and into some thorn bushes. I am pretty certain she has played some sort of tackle sport in the past. My hand still hurts.

How can anyone fail when they have great friends? Without friends I could never enjoy going further faster and find those little chunks of my soul in the farthest corners of endurance activities.

Last weekend some friends and I climbed Borah Peak.

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