After that last post, I was making fun of myself for throwing such a pathetic pity party but still wrestling with all kinds of emotions.
Dusty called Sunday morning and invited us out to their friend’s cabin via snowmachine. I hesitated at first, feeling safe and comfortable in my home, wrapped in blankets and snuggled up with my boys.
“I have a headache” I whined.
“So do I, but I think fresh air will help” Dusty countered.
“Let’s get up and go, baby” Howard offered.
What could I say? Clearly, I was outnumbered. Dusty and I worked out the details and Howard and I geared up.
Dusty offered us one of his extra snowmachines so that Howard and I could ride separately. I was a little nervous at first because this would be the longest I’d ever driven a snowmachine solo but I was up for the adventure.
We met up with Dusty’s mom and aunt and set out on the frozen river. I drove cautiously at first, keeping a relatively slow speed compared to my traveling companions until I felt comfortable enough to catch up. Finally, on a long stretch of snow covered ice, I pressed harder on the throttle and in no time, I caught up to Dusty who was leading the way for me. It felt damn good. The wind in my face seemed to blow the stress right out of my body and left it in the powder behind me.
As we approached the over land trail, I saw the leading machines make their way up the steep embankment and I initially felt trepidation, then I shook of my inhibitions and sped up enough to zip up the bank with ease and as I topped the hill, I felt the back of my machine lift up in the air for a few seconds and then I landed back on the trail and continued on my way.
I was smiling underneath my scarf and squealed with delight.
We eventually made our way to the cabin and after I disembarked from my machine, Howard approached me and I excitedly asked him “Did you see my air?”
“I did! That was awesome!” He said, dimples shining.
We spent the afternoon cleaning the cabin, hanging out, sharing a bottle of wine and snacking on salmon and crackers. A few other people showed up and we shared our bounty as they did the same. The weather was perfect, the sun was high in the sky, and we soaked it all up.
Eventually, we packed up, geared up, and hit the trail to head back home. The adrenaline pulsed in my veins as I throttled up whenever I got into a long stretch. I was much more comfortable. I was unabashedly giddy.
Dusty and his entourage made their way up the first embankment into town and Howard and I waved goodbye to them and stayed on the river until we got closer to where we live. As we approached, I realized the embankment appeared dangerously steep. I was hesitant and waved Howard on around me. He throttled up and made the embankment with relative ease. As I watched him, I held my breath as his snowmachine screamed and nearly went vertical and then tipped forward and finally carried him over the bank.
He pulled up onto the road, got off his machine, then signaled for me to do the same. He was smiling and encouraging. I was already looking around for a less angular embankment. I came up empty. I hesitated and then sped toward the embankment. Just as I got to the base, I chickened out and made a sharp turn to my left. I slowed down and turned to face the steep course again. I took a deep breath and said a prayer of “God, please let me make it up that hill”, then I went full throttle, headed toward the base and felt the nose tip up and I leaned forward and focused on the top of what seemed like a mountain. In a second I was up the hill and I came flying over the bank and landed right in front of Howard’s machine.
I yelled a “WOOOO!” and pumped my fists in the air. Howard smiled and said “You made it!”
Later, after we were settled in at home, Howard looked over at me and said “I’m proud of you honey, you made it up that hill and you didn’t think you would.”
As I drifted off to sleep that night, my body tired and spent, my arms sore and aching, and my face windburned, I felt incredible. I felt happy. And I also knew that when Howard told me I made it when I didn’t think I would, he wasn’t just talking about that hill.
I closed my eyes and said a prayer of thanks.