Settling in for a spring of digging deep

After spending time in Joshua Tree, Orange County, Los Angeles, Death Valley, and Grand Canyon (stories coming, promise), we are finally back in Santa Fe for the summer. We were going to take longer to get back here, but some opportunities presented themselves for us to arrive earlier and help out a friend with house sitting. In the spirit of saying YES to things, this was a good choice. We were asked by other friends to house sit for a week and they will pay us for our efforts, plus we found more stable living for the summer and fall in the childhood home of an old friend of mine. Evan already found two jobs, and I have some stability to focus on writing, which has been obviously lacking for the past few weeks that were spent in California.

While Evan flexes his hustle muscle, I’ll be building my riding muscles as I train for the Great Divide. California also offered limited riding opportunities, so I need to pick up my training game. My stomach was also upset for a lot of the time I was in California, and my friend with whom we’re staying is doing a cleanse with me to help detox. The name is off-putting—The Crazy Sexy Diet—but it is a great reset button for an athlete who can’t afford to stop eating all together. It’s vegan/plant-based, unlike other cleanses like Whole30 that seem like starvation for an athlete who doesn’t eat meat. The simplified version is that we aren’t eating sugar (except in fruits and veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots), wheat, dairy, table salt, or fake meat, and we aren’t drinking coffee, black tea, or alcohol. Then there are other big things, like meditation, drinking water with lemon in the morning (and lots of water throughout the day), exercising every day (but “no GI Jane shit” because that creates acid in the body, which we’re trying to flush out), no eating solid foods before noon (kind of like a Gremlin, but different), and self-love.

We started Monday, so today is day four of 21. Yesterday, my brain started to drift off. I tried to put the cashew butter lid on a drinking glass, and swapped words for basic things. But my friends at The Broken Spoke had arranged a small group ride in Galisteo Valley, and I didn’t want to miss it. As Evan and I left the house, we realized we didn’t have any food. We picked up a few bananas, figuring we wouldn’t be riding for too long. At the trail head, Evan noticed he had a broken spoke (heh), but luckily we still had all of our bikes in the van so he rode my mountain bike and I rode my Fargo. It wasn’t the right bike for the trails, and my brain wasn’t in the right space for the trails, but it was a good test for both of us (the bike and I). At some point we will be riding some sick single track in Colorado and I will likely be in a similar space of too few calories and vices (even if my vices are gummy bears and toast with peanut butter), on a trail a bit out of my skill level and a bit more technical than my bike’s design.

view from the peak

We did okay, though, only walking some technical sections and able to hold our own on the climbs and the more open or flowy descents. I did spill out once, and it’s the first time I’ve wiped out on my bike in a long time. It was a good reminder that while there’s a reason I wear knee pads, baggy pants, and a helmet, it also doesn’t really hurt too bad to fall most of the time. It’s just dirt.

We were out for four hours and rode for probably three, though I don’t know how many miles. Jett and Kevin from the bike shop brought snacks, and luckily the included gluten free raisin bread and almond butter. The bread wasn’t in it’s proper bag so I don’t know if it *exactly* fit in the guidelines, but otherwise I’d have bonked and would have been in a very bad spot for making it back to the car. With the snack, I was able to make it out alive, and had barely enough energy to go on a hike afterwards. Settlin

The hike was short, but steep. We reached the top of Sun Mountain as the sun was just touching the west side of Santa Fe, sparking the tin roofs and HVAC units aglow in a blinding light. Downtown was just beginning to flicker on with street lights turning on as the sun started to shade the neighborhood in mountain silhouettes. We hurried down the mountain before sunset because the trail is too difficult to navigate in the dark, and instead caught the bright pinks and greens chasing us between buildings as we drove home.

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My communication and thought processes aren’t what they should be, as I’m increasingly using the wrong words for things or forgetting very basic things; my short term memory is all but nonexistent, though today is better than yesterday. My writing and work have increased and I’ve been able to focus on bigger things. I think that typically I distract myself with too many tasks and thoughts, my adult ADD getting the best of me. But with my brain slowed down just a bit from its detox from the addictive substances of coffee and sugar, I’m able to sit down and create. I hope this pattern stays, but that I can regain some of my common sense.

The detox has also been a great reintegration into Santa Fe life. It is indeed the City Different and there are a lot of characters here. Life moves at a different pace, and I wouldn’t survive this detox if I was living in a more fast-paced or even evenly-paced city. The night before we started the detox, we rode bikes with our friend Joel around the La Tierra trail system. Afterwards, we went to his place and drank some nice scotch and enjoyed the setting sun in his backyard. Santa Fe is the interesting balance between plenty to do and plenty of time to get things done. Mañana doesn’t signify a laziness or a boredom, so much as an honest, “why rush?” And really, why should we? We have as much time on the planet as we do, regardless of how quickly we move through it. So we might as well enjoy every moment rather than pushing through to get done with a chunk of it sooner. Sure, it’s been less than a week since we arrived, but I’m enjoying the time here spent not wasting time waiting for something to happen, but actively participating in anything and nothing all at once.

camper at night