Grace, Grit, Gratitude

Sadly I’ve had no new comical spooky experiences with which to bring joy to the world. By the end of yesterday I did feel like death incarnate mind you.

Yesterday we did 16.5 miles of hiking, gaining 4,650 ft in elevation to reach the summit of San Bernardino Peak at 10,600 ft. It was a beautiful ascent, although the wind was blowing so hard in certain areas I wasn’t sure if it might scoop a few of us up with it.

Holding onto our hats we persevered until we reached the top. For some it was the end of the So Cal 6 pack challenge (where you ascend the 6 main peaks of Southern California within a 9 mth period, 6 mth if you’re not in touch with your inner Bear Grylls and don’t wish to be doing parts of it with zero visibility and in crampons). For the finishes the completion of the ascent meant the cracking open of champagne. For me it was the cracking open of a bag of Snickerdoodle cookies. Nom nom. Bubbles may be good but cookies are better at the top of a monster mountain, just ask the blue dude off Sesame Street.

In any event we took some time to sit a top before the wind kindly told us to sod off back down again.

The descent was where the pain set in. I’d been brewing a bit of an ache in my noddle for about the last half hour of ascent. I was not dehydrated but during rest remembered my lessons learnt from having ended up in hospital post London marathon some years ago – pure water alone does not provide a body all it needs in hydration. You need the salts. So at the top I duly imbibed rehydration salts along with cookies and a, freshly made that morning, egg sandwich. I figured altitude therefore was the culprit and as we descended all would be well. Sadly as we descended the headache got worse, broke into a migraine and brought some nausea along for the ride.

If we now look to the title of today’s snippet of Larry Wisdom. In one of my yoga escapades this week my teacher talked of the 3 G’s, grace, grit and gratitude, which together deliver the 4th G of greatness. I definitely had grit which was what kept me going. I just about managed to hold onto grace I think, by descending without inflicting my pain onto others. Although I fear the black silence could have been more graceless than moaning, and I didn’t really manage a meaningful goodbye to the lovely Jill I had just met, and I kind of pushed us to abandon the other half of our group to get home ASAP, so okay yep the grace needed some work. The gratitude I shared back to the group that got me up the hill and tolerated me coming back down, to the mountains for being beautiful, to the chipmunk that came out to say hi, the mini husky who licked my hand despite the owner saying she’s usually so shy, and to my body for not giving up and getting me home. Ultimately Saturday probably did not deliver real greatness.

I was in bed by 8.30pm probably asleep before 9pm and slept a good 11hrs. Some part of me was not good and was telling me so. The greatness was the feeling of jumping into a bed of fresh sheets. Okay ‘jumping’ is an ambitious use of words, I sort of crawled in.

Today I have achieved better overall. I have been to yoga and I was most impressed when the little doggy who had joined his owner, walked the room saying hello to everyone before realising I was by far the greatest, or smelt the worse, but I’ll go with the former. Either way he came and sat next to me and wouldn’t move, my doctor Doolittle status continues to thrive! Since the class I have been practicing my inversions – only grit really existed here. Why are handstands so much harder than headstands? A headstand I can gracefully lift myself into and hold. Handstands, I kick around like a fish it of water, fly up, fail and fall back down to earth like a heffalump (sorry people downstairs!). Little does Man know but when he comes to visit next week he’s getting yogic with me. It can only help to have someone hold my legs up whilst I practice. Let’s just hope I don’t kick him in the face and knock him out. I’d say it’d be awkward to explain at the hospital but I’m not actually sure in LA if it would be.

For now however, I have much more calm ahead of me. I have 90 minutes of a crystal sound bath held within a mirrored infinity room art installation. To many it sounds like madness to me it sounds like heaven and I can’t wait! Perhaps I’ll tell you about it later.

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