Soulshine

This is a little diddy I wrote WAYYYY back in day ..back when I could do a lil’ sumthin’ on them trails. It was an email I had written to my training friends recounting a particularly grueling adventure race I had raced in the day prior. It was actually shot off in response to my friends decorated account of their victorious Xterra Triathlon perforamce from the weekend before. So the friendly provocateur in me felt compelled to raise the ante

Sunday, June 12, 2011, 12:59 PM

So bummed to have missed out on last week’s Tsali Xterra Triathlon with my compadres….

1/2 mile swim, 5 mile run, 10 mile bike …in 2 hours.

Fuck yer pretty little Xterra…. πŸ™‚

8-10 miles of trekking and bushwhacking, 30 miles of mtn. biking, 6 miles of paddling…

and its only hour 10.

2 more hours and 9+ miles of mountain biking to go.

Lightening cracks and thunder roars…sending all the day visitors to the state park fleeing from the grounds like patrons flying from a burning building.
We hop on our bikes and dodge the racing cars out of the parking lot to head into the trails.
The thunder rolls closer, huge pine trees swaying back and forth…leaves and branches begin sprinkling the trail.
Storm clouds cover the sunlight…
I forgot my lights…
fuck me.

Wind picks up…thunder rolls closer…
Is that noise the breeze in the trees or the beginnings of rain?
Who knows…we’ve got checkpoints to find.

We roll on down into the single track…
gettin even darker..
wind picks up…

It begins to sprinkle, then heavy sprinkles…i can hear it before I see it.
Then….the rains came….heavier by the sec..increasing in sound and intensity…
and then in sheets…and more sheets …

Wind blows it sideways, up ways, down ways…straight into my eyes…
I sit back on the saddle….and swish down the trail.
Hands slipping off the shifters…
‘cuz i forgot my gloves…
fuck me again.

Rain pours through my helmet ….down my back…puddles in my shoes.

No need for lights by now since lightening is illuminating the trail at regular intervals.
The storm is directly above us.
Thunder cracking so loud it sounds like the roof of the earth is actually crumbling into pieces…
those pieces falling in the shapes of leaves and tree limbs.
One in gigantor limb that plummets to the ground about 5 feet in front of me…
No time to slow or stop…i careen towards it…maintain my speed but rear tire gets caught.
I fish tail…sliding down the trail almost sideways.
I nose it up..straighten it out…shake it off…
and press on.

oh man..

..what a RUSH πŸ™‚

Single track has now turned into a raging river…with pools of water at the crevice of low points.
…crackle crackle..snap pop POW..BOOOOOOM BANG!

I smile as water and mud spit splatter my face.

Thunder so loud it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Lightening so fierce it burns your corneas.
Almost brings you back to your childhood state of fear..

Almost.

I squint to make out the trail through the curtain of rain.
I sit back… let the tires roll.
Rain, mud, dirt and grime spit up from every direction.

Splashing through the pools of mud…up and around…
plowing through rock gardens that are now rock ponds..so deep you can barely see the rocks.
Screw it…push through it, hope for the best.
Continue on..racing the rushing waters down and around the next corner.
More rocks down the next turn…now face to face w/ slick rock face ..ha..NOW??? 
Rock face glistens back at me w/ the devilish grin of the Joker…water pouring off the edge…
Fuck it…roll down and hope for the best…
… and press on.
Stopping to grab a check point and check the map.
So considerate of Xterra to plot the points for you πŸ™‚
We quickly glance at the map for our next CP.
I’ll see your bloody Xterra, and raise you brier lashings so fierce its as if we’ve been tied to the whipping post.
Melanie’s arms a slashed bloody mess, blood drips onto the map, washed away quickly by the rain..pounding down so loud I can barely hear her talking next to me.

“Continue this trail to the next CP..unless you wanna bail..?” she yells
“FUCK NO!! ” I shout back

Mel grins ear to ear as we hop back on our rides.
We press on…if its at all possible that the rain could get any heavier or louder..
it sure did.
I realize that storms this severe usually only last about 20-30min in the south.
A fleeting thought I had over an hour ago.
About halfway through…still 3 more CPs to go.
We press on.
Re-hydrated by the waters that pour down my face..collecting salty sweat along the way…as it drips into my mouth.
I sip on my new found homemade electorlyte drink…better than the lukewarm bath water I’ve been sipping on all day.
Fueled by every CRACK-BOOM-BANG of thunder.
Re-energized by every flash of lightening…
I press on.

I’ve never felt so ALIVE.

Not racing friends, competitors or even myself…
but the baddest mofo in town…
MUTHA FUCKING NATURE.
She definitely brought her A game today.

Racing against the lightening…I wonder what it actually feels like to get struck by lightening…would my heart actually STOP..or would I just go into V.Tach..??
With every crackle-boom-POW..unsure if its the next round of thunder..or the next gigantor tree limb to greet me with a blunt force trauma.

We press on.

We exit single track onto gravel roads…just as the rain begins to lighten..mutha nature giving me a fair nod “well played” she says…as she rolls along to the next town.
Make our way to the paved roads back to the TA… now littered with limbs and leaves…looking like a ravished town following…well…a really bad storm πŸ™‚

Podium finishes and medals at Xterra…
We get… 
JACK-FUCKING-SHIT

Mud in my teeth, tick bites in the unmentionables, scratches and scrapes soaked in the lilly-pad mud fest I waded through to grab CP 30, then washed off by the stinging pound of storm rain.

No other all-female teams so results lumped in with the male teams.

But a single track ride so exhilarating…my heart races just thinking about it.

Who needs sunshine..

when you got SOULSHINE.

SUCK IT 2011

Yours Truly
Stacy Lynn πŸ™‚

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