Saturday, September 12, 2015

Next stop: The end of the world

I had no intention of writing to this blog again, so let me backtrack a bit. 

This last year has ranked pretty high in Alyssa's personal-development years. I ran a lot more trails, I got into doing ultra distances, but more than any of that, I fell in love with being outside. 

Big-name races started to lose their appeal to me & I kept wanting to find trails to explore. When the trails got too hard to run, I started hiking. Big day hikes, multi-day backpacking trips, tenting in campgrounds, sleeping in a VW in a trailhead of a National Park. This "I-love-not-camping" girl has turned a sharp & unexpected corner.

It's all fueled by the desire to work hard for a visual reward.

The Lost Coast
Skyline to the Sea
Lake Sonoma
I spend a sick (really, it's sick) amount of time looking at pictures of the wilderness. A lot of those pictures are of things we have in the Bay Area, which ends up inspiring weekend plans. 
Bolinas Ridge
Russian River
But I also look at a lot of forests and mountains and alpine lakes and vast bodies of water that couldn't be more foreign to me. 

The secret is, I'm envious of those photos. I want to see those things myself, not from a filtered screen. The list of things I want to see was starting to get long and I didn't have time to chip away at that list because, well, reality bites; I've had jobs that couldn't afford me more than weekend trips.
Like the time I crammed Iceland into a long weekend

I took a new job that will hopefully afford me more flexibility so I can act on this dream to live the visual life I'm obsessed with right now. 

Combining a lot of things in one, which is not out of the ordinary for me to go all-or-nothing: I want to see another country -- so I'll see a few. I want to be on another continent -- so I'll be on a couple. I want to run and I want to hike -- so I'll do both. 

Next stop: The end of the world
I'm going to Antarctica next spring, and I'll run a marathon there. After that, I'll be doing some exploring in a couple Chilean national parks.

Purpose for the re-do
In my search to find information on Antarctica and, more specifically, the challenge of running there, I'm not locating a lot that isn't redundant publicity pieces. I want to change that. I hear nothing but incredible things about the entire southern experience, and I want a place where I can talk about my training leading into and the journey itself. If not to help someone else who wants to run it too, but to remember this big bucket-list thing I've forced into motion.