The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 21

COURTESY DINA MISHEV
I THOUGHT IT IRONIC THAT I HAD
OTS WHEN I HADN'T TRAINED FOR
ANYTHING FOR YEARS. OR MAYBE I
HAD OTS BECAUSE MY LIFE AS A
COMPETITIVE ATHLETE WAS OVER.
among other symptoms) in addition
to breast cancer, it was easy
for me to make the argument
that my excessive exercising was
justified: I could wake up tomorrow
morning with a paralyzed
leg or learning that cancer had
returned; of course I should see
how many times I could ride up
Beartooth Pass in a day, or how
fast I could run the Teton Crest
Trail while I was still capable of
doing these things, even as how
increasingly crappy I felt made
me enjoy them, and my time outside,
less and less.
SEVERAL YEARS INTO MY ATHletic
malaise, riding my bike to
the top of Teton Pass I was even
more despondent than usual about
how hard I had to work to go so
slowly. I cried as hard as I pedaled.
Switchbacking across hillsides
covered in blooming arrow-leaf
balsam root and Indian paintbrush
with views stretching to
four mountain ranges, I couldn't
see any of this beauty past my own
sadness. Sometime during my time
exploring and adventuring in and
around Jackson Hole being outside
had ceased to be about being
outside. It was instead about me
and what I could do in it. So when
I couldn't do what I wanted at the
level I wanted, being outside made
me miserable.
OTS wasn't just an opportunity
to fix myself, but also the key
to again enjoying being outside.
If it meant I could get back to
" normal, " I was OK with several
months of not exercising, which,
because exercise and outside had
become synonymous to me, I also
took to mean several months of
not spending time outside. Even
though I was OK with this, I felt
that I could only do it by removing
myself from the obvious and epic
outdoor temptations of life in Jackson.
(When I'm trying to cut sugar
from my diet, I have to remove all
sweet treats from the house.)
It took three days to drive from
Wyoming to the East Coast home
of one of my best friends from high
school. Barbara's city has many
things going for it-a great arts
scene, diversity, amazing donuts. It
has more strip malls than trailheads,
though.
After several days, even though
I was full of donuts, I felt empty.
Barbara, who has brain cancer,
suggested we go for a " short, slow "
walk. " Let's get outside, " she said.
This outside was the opposite
of Jackson's; the landscape was
neither epic nor easy to access. The
trail we walked was on the campus
of a private school girdled by subdivisions,
and to get there we had
to walk three-quarters of a mile
on a road without a shoulder and
with a lot of cars that exceeded the
posted speed limit.
We stopped and sat on a short
pier at a man-made reservoir. Even
if this water wasn't covered in a
thin layer of algal scum, it would
OUTDOOR RETAILER SNOW SHOW 2022 /
21
reflect no mountains; it was not
fed by melting snow and glaciers;
and its banks were not lined with
wildflowers. But sitting at the end
of the pier, giant carp swimming
in the water beneath our dangling
feet, I was filled with more natural
beauty than I had been in years.
I WENT BACK TO THE RESERVOIR
every day for the next two weeks,
until I left to go to my parents'
house on Maryland's Eastern
Shore. Each walk offered new
delights-the first of the spring's
hydrangeas; the stiff, waxy, emerald
green leaves of the rhododendrons
lining the path tickling my
shoulders; the sun glinting off the
reservoir's algae, making the water
look like it had been bedazzled.
On the days she was too tired to
join me, I reported to Barbara the
Miracles of Nature I experienced.
" They're small, and amazing. "
By the time I made it to my
parents' house, a very smart, very
experienced medical doctor had
told me I wasn't suffering from
OTS after all. He instead offered
that chemo and/or radiation had
likely done long-term damage.
Tucked under a down blanket in a
hammock as a stiff wind blowing
in across the Eastern Bay bent the
tops of the locust trees above me,
I thought about what this doctor
had told me: " I'm sorry, but I don't
think it's something you can fix. " I
was sorry, too, and sad. But I was
also hopeful. There'd still be a lot of
work to do on my relationship with
the outdoors when I got home to
Jackson, but my break from " training
for life " put me back on the
road to appreciating the outdoors
rather than merely seeing what I
might accomplish in it.

The Daily - January 28, 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Daily - January 28, 2022

The Daily - January 28, 2022 - Cover1
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - Cover2
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 1
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 2
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 3
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 4
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 5
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 6
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 7
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 8
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 9
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 10
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 11
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 12
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 13
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 14
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 15
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 16
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 17
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 18
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 19
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 20
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 21
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 22
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 23
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 24
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 25
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 26
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 27
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 28
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 29
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 30
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 31
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 32
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 33
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 34
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 35
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 36
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 37
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 38
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 39
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 40
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 41
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 42
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 43
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 44
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 45
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 46
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 47
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 48
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 49
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 50
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 51
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 52
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 53
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 54
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 55
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 56
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 57
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 58
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 59
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 60
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 61
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 62
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 63
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - 64
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - Cover3
The Daily - January 28, 2022 - Cover4
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