Properly Introducing "Donkey"....

It seems I didn't properly introduce my lil dirtbike previously, so I thought I'd do it now...

While he likes to look all harmless and mopey most of the time, especially when he's parked beside his big brother (the graceful and sturdy stud), he tends to be quite ornery and show his butt when I'm on him. Like a donkey, he bucks and brays and kicks and farts and generally either wants to go at full RPM and/or buck me off (often all at once).

He reminds me of this lil donkey from North Africa who wanted attention and would follow me around, but then when I'd try to pet him, he'd try to bite me and would take off bucking and braying and fartin' and making all sorts of racket!  Looked all innocent until ya get to close!  (Note the comparison of my Donkey and this lil arse.)

His latest exploit was earlier this week when we took the bikes out to the western Sycamore Canyon area where we were minimally packed to ride, hike, explore and camp. The first 30'ish miles were on primary paved roads, with the first 20m of those being on a smooth highway through the desert/red rocks but where Donkey couldn't quite go as fast as the max speed limit as he's pretty much a midget.  

Once out of the old mining town of Jerome, the rest of the roads (50'ish miles) were on dirt -- wide fireroads, doubletrack jeep roads, as well as some ol mule-packing trails.

(Sorry about the quality, most were w/the phone camera.)

So, for our little excursion, ol Donkey (he demands I capitalize his name) was fun and relatively well-behaved most of the time.  However, apparently he had some flashbacks to his former ass-life on the rougher stuff, because he simply refused to take me up a few rough pitches. While I'm pretty comfortable ascending/descending the rock stairs, slickrock, loose gravel, deep sand, etc., apparently I have not yet mastered the steep pitches which have 10" of loose dust/sand and big babyhead rocks and giant unsettled boulders scattered intermittently below the surface.  That, and Donkey simply doesn't want to take me up them.

So, by the end, I'd crashed twice out near the Great Western Trail. Neither were catastrouphic; in fact it was more like we were  'rrvv  rrvv' up the loose and rocky pitch, slammed into a jagged boulder, I put my foot down (forgot it wasn't my 21lb mountain bike to catch, and subsequently all 200+ pounds fell on top of me...all atop a bunch of jagged rocks and CB watching the whole ordeal. Cheap entertainment!  Five minutes later was a redux basically, with Donkey still being stubborn and me being kinda gun-shy at that point.   CB hauled Donkey's fiesty arse up the pitch where he got 'tied up' beside his big brother while we decided to hike from there.

(No, that is not my knee or calf; it's the goose-egg that was growing at top speeds on my shin about 15 mins after the 'crash'.)

So, Donkey and I are still getting to know each other, and while he's genuinely a pain in the arse at times, I think I kinda like him. :-)

On A Leash...

I never considered myself a runner.

Until… I hurt my knee.

Until…yesterday, when the surgeon told me that surgery isn’t really applicable to my type of knee injury at this point (busted up/missing cartilage) and that I should find a new “hobby”.  So, his news caused my heart to stop and my eyes to well-up. (I never said I was tough.)  When he added “I suggest you forget about running and take up competitive cycling or the eliptical”, my soul died a little.  Did he realize he just kicked me in the gut, my soul?!

Running’s not a mere hobby to me. I don’t live for 5Ks, rather, I live for running around and PLAYING outside, chasing jackrabbits, tracking coyotes, chasing my shadow, exploring mountains, exploring deserts, bugging my boyfriend (c’mon let’s go play AGAIN!),… You get the drift.

So, what did the doc say?  No more running for a while – and to not even try for another 5-7 months (already 2 mos down).

What do I do when I’m stressed?    I run.  I play.
What do I do when I’m bored?    I run.  I play.
What do I do on beautiful sunny days?    I run.  I play.

 I’m now stressed.
 I’m now bored.
 I live in beautiful northern Arizona surrounded by red rocks, forested mountains, vistas forever and miles of trails.

I will run again.  Period.
(And in the interim, there shall be lots of time on/in the dirtbike, kayak, roadbike (urgh), pool, 4x4,. etc.)