Saturday, May 23, 2009

Montana made a man out of me

Montana made a man out of me. After spending 4 relatively balmy years in Colorado, Montana made a man out of me. -20 air temps, incessant winds, endless secondary roads and kind folks are the defining characteristics of my last year in Montana. It should be known that this post and all of the connections made therein (between my experiences in Montana and the impact that those moments had on me) are in relation to the last 10 months of continuous running - and thus the runs.

The list that follows chronicles the distinct moments in which Montana made a man out of me;

- The wind... My first hurdle to overcome upon moving to MT in July, was coming to terms with the incessant winds that are so much a part of the climate here on the eastern slope of the Rockies. Running nearly a marathon a day for the 30 days of September 2008, numbed me to this infernal force.

- The people... On a longer run out in the country, I became lost (as in seriously lost in the coulees, with no vantage point to be had). After 18, maybe 20 miles, I was beginning to worry, as the town I was expecting to be nearing, was nowhere in sight. What's worse is the lack of people out in the area. The entire run I saw one car, and that was at about 20 miles. I waved the woman down and she, in turn, being an incredibly kind Montanan, taxied me back to Centerville.

- The terrain... The Le Grizz 50, made a man out of me. After taking the MT 50 mile state champion title for 2008, Miss MT and I joked about me being Mr. MT on account of the USATF title. 

- The cold... This winter, without the option of treadmill running, it was either suck it up and run outside, or not run at all. Of course I chose to run outside. It really wasn't a matter of sucking it up either. I came to love running in the cold. It is truly invigorating. -35 degree wind chills on Saturday morning long runs made a man out of me. 

- Becoming numb... Ultimately, all of the above, played into becoming, perhaps not so much numb as compliant, at peace with the wonderful place that Montana is. Montana made a man out of me. I have gotten to the point that I am honestly disappointed when it is calm, sunny and 70 degrees out. I now loving in adverse conditions. 

Montana made a man out of me.

1 comment:

Deane Christianson said...

Very well written Brian. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom and experiences with the rest of us!