Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Exhaustion building

Working backwards....

We moved this weekend. Into a new house in the town I work in. Actually our house is 1.5 miles from my office. It was previously rented by a coworker of mine, and a former member of my department before that. We like to keep things in the family, I suppose.

It has a big, fenced back yard with a garden. It has a finished, connected garage where laundry will be done and video games will be played. It has a big(ish) kitchen, a living room with tons of light, the perfect-sized bedroom and an extra room ...for me. A room of my own. So far "my" room has a desk (no chair) and my closet. Maybe I will put more there soon. I envision it being my "office/yoga studio".

I biked to work for the first time today. This was a feat considering I'm not the most confident cyclist in the world. I know I'll get better. I'm exhausted from the stress of it (silly, I know). But I'm also residually exhausted from the weekend. Because said previous renter/coworker is busy moving into a new house & becoming a father & other life-changing events, we hadn't actually seen the place before we got the keys. We took everyone's word for what a great space and what a great deal it is. And it is.

I dropped by on Friday after work, gawked at the emptiness and decided which rooms and closets would hold which things. That night, we drove back down for dinner and for Aaron to see the place and to drop off the three boxes worth of books, DVDs and CDs we'd actually packed ahead of time.

Nothing else was packed. Nothing. But, we don't have too many things at this point. We had just enough to fit into our last 600-square-foot studio apartment, so we weren't too worried about the packing side of things.

We were fully packed by about 1 p.m. on Saturday, and just about had everything under one roof by 9 p.m. that evening. I tried to unpack a bit, but my feet weren't having it. Aaron had to work on Sunday morning and early afternoon, so I unpacked most of the house by myself and at noon made my way back to the old place for cleaning duty. It wasn't a tough job since the apartment was teeny and essentially brand new. Aaron joined me at 1:30 or so. We took a break and grabbed lunch and made a Target trip before we finished up cleaning the kitchen, taking out the last bit of trash & cramming the cleaning supplies into the back of my PT Cruiser.

I headed into our moving experience physically tired and sore from a day - Friday - of canyoneering. I'm writing an outdoorsy story for work, and the director of the school's "Adventure Leadership Institute" invited me on a trip with a group of kids training to teach a canyon leadership class. It was their second time to run this particular canyon, and it was my first time running any canyon...

After a two hour drive in a van, we stopped on the side of the road and suited up: wet suits, dry jackets, booties, helmets, PFDs and canyoneering harnesses, which are different from climbing harnesses in that they have rubber bottoms. Yup. You're essentially wearing a rubber diaper.

Wearing all of this gear, we bushwhacked through a forest to get to the canyon. We started out wading through the creek, which was actually the most difficult part of the entire trip for me. I'm always careful when I'm walking over rocks. I go slow. And, it turns out, I go even slower in water. But, the water got deeper and the rocks got bigger, and the walking part got easier after awhile. There were several slides down rushing water and jumps into deep water off high rocks and tree trunks - fun.

And there were two repels. Before this, I had only repelled off of vertical or slightly overhung (or slightly slabby) surfaces after sport climbing. Repelling down a waterfall into shallow water is different. Your life is in your own hands, sure. That part doesn't bother me. The part that did bother me was the sliding-down the rocks part. My leg got stuck and my hip popped on the first one... And also the whole water part. Before I started, they told me that climbers have a tendency to stop repelling and wait for a moment if they feel uncomfortable, but when you're repelling down a waterfall you shouldn't stop because the water will just keep hitting you and building up. I understood this and was sure I wouldn't have a problem during the first, short repel. I was wrong. The first thing I did when I felt a little freaked was STOP, and the next thing I knew, the whole team was yelling at me to "keep going". Hilarious. I did better the second time.

And I made it out of the canyon alive. Tired, but alive. It was an awesome experience, and I think it will make my story stand out. I just have to finish writing it...

I was also tired starting out on the canyon trip because we'd been out late two nights before seeing The Postal Service at the Rose Garden in Portland. The show was amazing. I'd never been to a concert at a venue that big before. And Jenny Lewis was amazing. She was, of course, my favorite part. Before the show we went over to Dave & Rebekah's and had salad and pizza and beer and wine and cider and the rest of my marion berry pie. It was a great night and totally worth the exhaustion that followed.

So see, it's all building on itself. Last night we were back in the climbing gym. And after that we finished laundry and cleaning the new house. We're having our first guests in the next day or so: Aaron's mom and two Aunts are coming. Yup, I'm gonna need a nap after my ride home from work.

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