Wednesday Motivation: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Yesterday, I completed a morning hike the 304 Piestewa Nature Trail in a record post-surgery/blood poisoning time of 39 minutes. Still 7 minutes off my best pre-surgery time, but down 30 minutes since I started hiking post-surgery but pre-blood poisoning.

The weather was amazing yesterday. I started the hike as the Piestewa Peak sunrise drummer was finishing the drums and as he started started the morning call/prayer (you should check him out).  

I pushed myself by reminding myself of the unremitting current of Kan Thila in the Maldives. On that dive, we wildly overshot our drop point, and our group wound up swimming into current for a good 5-10 minutes. We signaled several times that we hitting our limit, and at one point the guide aquiesced and allowed us to hook into the reef to catch our breath.

It was a good dive, I got to see my first ever attempted predation of a moray eel on an octopus (and the octopus escaped with a jet of ink – also first time I’d seen that in nature!), but man, that was a hard dive for the first part. 

The land always can show mercy, even under the blistering Arizona sun. You can stop moving and the land will not drag you backwards. You won’t lose your place if you stay still. It offers trees for shade and a place to sit. The sea, however,  will not offer you an iota of kindness. It either is, or is not. The current will drag you, or tire you when you swim into it.  There is seldom a safe place to tuck into to hide from the endless sweep of a tide.

So while pushing myself up the first hill, I kept repeating “If you’re tired here, what do you think the ocean will do to you? There’s no stopping to take a breath”.  I’ve got a 90 day goal to hike the Piestewa Peak Freedom Trail without a single stop. That’s 3.6 miles with an 1105 foot elevation gain. Yesterday I did about half that, but in the ocean, in might all be for naught if you don’t keep moving like a shark. 


What motivates me? Keep moving.  When  you’re moving you’re accomplishing a goal.  When you’re moving, you’re alive.   When your legs want to give out and your lungs are screaming for more oxygen – pile it on.   

Because you might not get another chance.  If I had given up against the current at Kan Thila – I would have never seen a 3-second battle between a Java Moray and an Octopus.   And that’s a memory I would have regretted not collecting.   

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