Independence

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Elevation: Rising
Rising Wolf Peak: 9,513 ft (Glacier NP)
Beehive Basin Cirque: 9,800 ft (Big Sky)

Happy Independence day y’all. My freedom has rung through scrambling up mountains and strolling along ridge lines. Roaming these intimidating landscapes, my existence feels at ease. My ambitious spirit always curious of the next escape. I question tradition, and naturally rebel against the established.

The last few weeks have been memorable – a nice line of lessons I’d like to share.

– The one time you don’t bring bear spray you will get run off a trail by a bear.
– When you can feel the static in the air at 8,000 ft and get shocked from a rock – GET OFF OF THE RIDGE and RUN LIKE A GIRL.
– Believing you can float on top of snow is naive, you will fall down to your armpits and   laughing will be the best coping method.
– Stubbornness can lead to trekking through glacier creeks and lakes to bag a summit. Wet feet builds hella character.
– Climbing through roofs and cracks in Eureka, MT is not the highest risk: trying to save your orange from rolling off the cliff is.
– While lead climbing/bouldering I forget everything: feet, movements, holds. Just know that I am -leading- my reality. Leave the worries of success behind. Relish in your limits and you will overcome them. Awareness of the present moment and you will find your flow state.
– Snow is abundant in the summer in Montana and I’m digging it – literally and figuratively.
– My “fuck it” attitude towards running has been quite a spiritual experience. Running 10+ miles with no water seems to be a trend; with elements of survival I tend to run faster, longer, and lighter.
– You cannot run away from your darkness, confront it and release the tension. Darkness is only the absence of light.
– Life is more enjoyable with humans to share it with. Grateful for all the people I’ve been making memories with lately.
– Motion may be my identity, but stillness is where I get my energy.

Get out there and establish your own traditions. Deep-root into the terrain that uproots your convictions. Genuinely desire growth and embrace change. Adapt and yearn for understanding. Be compassionate towards humanity; our individuality thrives on the vitality as a whole.

When the air is thin – the oxygen low – I am freed from the influences that push me off my path. I travel the trails with expertise and quest for the simplicity of life – to live, love, and accumulate experiences. Express yourself freely, and your independence will follow. But my dear, freedom comes with a cost: the cost of risking everything to live your dreams – and I sure hope you conquer that mountain.

(( More photos depicting these experiences on Instagram: @elevation.rising ))

Lesson No. 15

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Been overflowed with gratitude today in the lifestyle I have chosen.

Meet Big Blue #2 and my trusty bike. They follow me everywhere – haven’t understood their logic. I’m not gentle on my gear, I play hard.

Sticker #1: double black diamond – reminds me to stay gnarly.

Sticker #2: “shit went down in Montana.” Oh yes it did. Finding myself here.

Mountaineer? I’m meant to travel across mountains.

I was built to roam – grateful to share the miles with these wheels and the inspirational people I meet along the way.

Lesson No. 15

[ Practice gratitude every day. ]

June 12, 2019

Lesson No. 14

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[ Let go. ]

I’ve fallen off the pedals a couple times this week. Some graceful, some impactful. Some expected, some unexpected. Some reasonable, some unreasonable.

There has been loss in my hometown and love goes out to family, friends, and the community. I’m riding right there beside you.

I rode hard this week in remembrance and for my own therapy. All these bruises I’ve gained – worth all the tension released. There were times I held on – times I let go of the handlebars.

I chose to [ let go ] of fear and sorrow and I arrived at the present moment.

Isn’t that our (sole|soul) responsibility? To live for this moment right now – cause your never promised another. Squandering time may be one of our worst crimes.

Please go out and live. Live for yourself and for the ones that time was cut short. Know that everything will be okay. Let your emotions go – don’t hold within.

Death is apart of life. Let go of expectations of the in-between stuff. Acceptance of the things we cannot change is important.

Some days are clear conditions, some muddy and rutted to hell. But keep riding. Worrying about the trail ahead will cause anxiety. Concerning yourself with the miles already rode will cause anguish.

Love with all your heart and take care of one another. Your never going to know the last encounter or if there ever will be more than one. Just like your path – you may never get to ride it again. So please enjoy it – now.

Leverich Canyon, Bozeman, MT. 6/9/2019.

Lesson No. 13

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[ Fall like the rain. ]

My instincts have been screaming – haven’t been able to comprehend the tone. My mind racing, trying to find the next exit: the next escape.

My body is here, but my soul was wandering in the woods. Needed to seek out silence from this noisy world.

My senses come alive when I realize the potential in each drop falling from the sky. Every plant, every being, reaching out for the precious resource.

Honey, I hope you fall like the rain. Every drop is life-giving – learn from this. You might be one small being in this universe but your ripple effect has more power than you perceive.

Your actions, your intentions, your kindness could make the difference. Learn to fall with grace and bounce back with resilience. Once you find your footing – run. Run with the knowledge that you have the ability to overcome any challenge laid out for you.

Don’t let the gloominess cloud your vision – invert and work on your own darkness. There are reasons for the seasons – listen to them. Once your doubts and fears have fallen, stand up with exuberance for this life we are so lucky to live.

Lesson No. 12

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[ Ride til the end. ]

Yesterday I rode 15 miles into the mountains for you, Spencer Sande. Thoughts and love goes to family and friends.

A life lost so soon never feels good.

When I arrived at the end of the trail – the sun shined for you.

6/3/2019 – Rattlesnake Recreational Area

Lesson No. 11 & 10

No. 11

[ Disconnect to connect. ]

Please take days to disconnect and explore outside. Run wild with your imagination. Allow  yourself to just be.

Been craving a day or two away from technology to appreciate the world around me.

(( Running around the north shore of Lake Superior has always been a form of escape to me. Open water – vast space. Grateful to be connected to such an amazing place. ))

3/28/2019 – Two Harbors, MN

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No. 10

[ Catch the sunset. ]

Don’t have much to say. Just get outside!

4/21/2019 – somewhere in ND

 

Lesson No. 9

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[ Be vulnerable. ]

Expose yourself to the elements. The mountains don’t seek out shelter during the storm. Being blown around is good for you – teaches you to stand your ground – establish your core.

Allow emotions to pour over you like the clouds pour over the peaks. We all have darkness – confront it.

We tend to relate vulnerability to weakness but truly it amounts to strength – strength to accept your shortcomings/happenings and keep living.

If your struggling in any part of your wellness journey – understand that the calm is coming – endure.

Even if it breaks your heart – believe in your storm – your wild fire. Choosing harsh climates creates a more humble being.

When the weather breaks – use all your senses to enjoy the view. Be vulnerable to the beauty of the natural world – let it take your breath away for you to realize it’s presence. Be grateful for the hardships in your life – it yields for a deeper, rugged, and resilient soul.

Praise the storms for their power – power to bring you to your knees so you learn how to stand up – every time.

Hyalite Reservoir – 5/19/2019