The Pro-generalist

“Life without change is boring.”

I recently came across the concept of the pro-generalist, someone who excels at numerous sports but isn’t quite a professional in any one activity. Mammoth and Bishop are teeming with them (I may even be so bold and say ‘us’). The 5.12 climbers in the spring who become fantastic triathletes in the summer and probably teach yoga or jiu jitzu on the side before they start winter back country skiing or boarding down treacherous chutes and ravines. These incredible athletes are not quite “pros” at any one sport, because to get to that level you have to focus and sacrifice other activities to perfect that chosen life path. The pros lose some fun and freedom for fame. Our society idolizes the pro-athletes, but what about the equally impressive pro-generalist? There is no decent living wage for someone who shines at a lot of sports, but there’s plenty of sponsors if you’re a superlative: The best freeskier, the fastest marathoner, the strongest, etc.

Why is our culture so obsessed with -‘ests‘? When someone asks who you are and you respond with a one word answer (doctor, environmentalist, mother) think of how much you’re limiting yourself. It’s time to return to the celebration of the Renaissance person who can cook good meals, run in the morning, bike during lunch, climb after work, configure a GPS  before dinner for the upcoming backpacking trip and fix a bike tire all within a  24 hour period. Those are the people I would choose to be stuck on a desert island with, or a desert in general. Say, isn’t Bishop a…

A Long Run in the Bishop Rain

The typical view from my morning run along the canal; this wasn't taken on the stormy Friday

My new shoes were just too white for my taste. Last Friday we were blessed with 0.3 (guess-timate) of the 5.02 annual inches of precipitation and all day my body was itching to run over the savory earth and feel the tingle on my skin. Around 5pm i padded out into the dark clouds that so rarely grace this rain shadowed valley. The canals were lined with black and brown calves, nursing, chewing or running away from my methodical pace. My ipod died about half way out, so I took the earphones out and listened to the pin pricks of droplets hitting my skin, my fleece, the ground and the canal. The clouds ahead cleared and the blue sky over Big Pine seemed like a Truman Show deception. The Sierra momentarily glittered in the sun, newly veiled in white, looking too perfect and angelic to be terrestrial. I laughed and jumped on a runner’s high that made me continue further than I’d run in a while. I could feel my legs and it felt good. Maybe I should run a marathon? I forgot how good the rush of endorphines feels during the cool down shower when my racing mind finally calms down.

The Gang: Woodie, Eunice, Cynthia, Greg and I

The rain in Bishop equaled two feet of fresh fluffy powder in Mammoth, and while I wish I could say that I sliced through it all day Saturday I had to work until after the mountain closed. I met up with the Super Gang from a couple weeks ago (Greg, Woodie, Eunice, and a new friend Cynthia) on Saturday night where they let me crash with them at a place that could have fit an entire girl scout troupe. Sunday morning everyone on the chair lifts reminded me that I had missed the best powder day of the season, and still I had a fantastic time crunching over the gravely moguls. Greg once again photographed our crew and caught some great images of us that make us look much better than we probably are.

If it looks like this photo was taken right on top of me it's because it was - Greg cut me off and the photo doesn't capture the explicative that may have been exchanged.

On Monday Elsbeth and I ran a half marathon! I think that was the longest I have ever run. I had the day off and felt like a good work out, so we drove out to Fish Slough nestled on a volcanic tablelands with epic views of the Sierra and the White mtn. ranges.

BLM springs in Fish Slough, where Elsbeth and I swam with the pupfish

We stopped about 3/4 of the way to jump into a natural spring, which is also one of 3 sites containing the endangered pupfish . It was euphoric at times, hot most of the time and after wards my muscles felt a bit confused and sore like they used to during cross country.

We decided we should bake ourselves a lemon pound cake and make strawberry smoothies as a celebration. I really like my roommate! Although we picked up 4lbs of strawberries we didn’t end up making the smoothies and only just made the pound cake tonight (a day later). Surprisingly, neither one of our bodies were sore today so we played Ultimate Frisbee for a spell and biked until the sun set.

Another marvel on Fish Slough Rd.

Work is about to speed up with lots of upcoming events and the temperature pushes ever closer to breaking 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for almost 3 months. As the ancient chinese proverb says, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer it gets to the end the faster it goes.”