Week 17: Everything Looks Perfect From Up Here

When I landed at SFO on Monday evening, flying back from Victoria, the sunset hit the bridge and the city just so everything looked exactly perfect out the window, as if the whole thing was simply a toy model of itself. In between the clear sky and the golden shadows, it looked like every picture you’ve ever seen of the landmarks, the hills popping up in miniature.

But all I could think was maybe that’s true of anything. From this height, if you get the lighting right, anything can look like a postcard.

I flew back from Victoria on Monday. I fly out to Costa Rica this Thursday. I sat down to write this and I can’t even remember what else happened this week.

Tuesday, I went through a string of appointments. Plus, had to get all my vaccines for Costa Rica in one go, because I didn’t have the time otherwise. The nurse said, “That’ll hurt later.” And I was, like, yeah, well. Tuesday was also my birthday.

That makes it sound more depressing than it was. It was really just a regular day. And then I ate a massive fancy steak and had some wine. As you do.

Tupac made friends with a raccoon. I tried to scare the raccoon away and Tupac chased after him. Not sure what the plan is if he catches the guy.

Yesterday, I raced the Dipsea too, because three half-Ironmans in five weeks wasn’t enough. The Dipsea was what it always is. You try to make up the headstart on the people ahead of you and you try to hold off the fast guys you got a headstart on, all while throwing yourself down shortcut trails and over the side of a mountain. I did it purely off fitness — just run hard — which worked OK enough. But at the top, someone said I was in 46th and I thought, “Oh, shit, I have to go for it now on the downhill.” Then I slid over the side of the trail into a bush, and then I fell off the stairs, and then I accidentally ended up in a creek. And at that point, you have to evaluate if a broken ankle is worth the difference between 52nd and 59th. Like I told my mom: “I wiped the blood off and it was fine.”

I finished 58th, which is the best I’ve ever done. It also appears that at least one of the bushes I crashed into was a poison oak bush.

When I got home tonight, I needed to do laundry, so I have clean clothes, and I stood at the top of our landing, with the two laundry bags in my arms, and couldn’t figure out how to get down the stairs. The whole day, at the office, I got up and down the stairs by leaning on the wall or the bannister. Every time I stood up from the desk, my legs would buckle. But with both these bags in my arms, I couldn’t hold on to anything. I stood there for maybe 20 seconds and then I thought, “OK, well, one step at a time always gets you there eventually.”

My friend, Pete, was at the top of Cardiac Hill during the Dipsea, but he didn’t expect me as soon or as fast as I was running. This was the only picture he got of me, and for some reason it feels very appropriate this week:

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3 thoughts on “Week 17: Everything Looks Perfect From Up Here

    1. Kelly said once that the Dipsea is everything you were told not to do as a kid – don’t throw yourself full speed down a hill, don’t try to jump across a creek, don’t run down the stairs – which is exactly why it’s so fun. 😳

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