Altitude Sickness

Getting back to my true self: lean, clean, energetic, clear

By Brady Crain

Pico Mountain, as seen with slim to no coverage, is grounds for a good hike

I had a pet subject all picked out for this week, and then I completely forgot it. Gone. Poof. And now I wonder about a possible latent TBI from smacking my face on the ice a couple of weeks ago…

In any case, my knee is healing well, it is stable, fairly strong, probably at about 85 percent now. The only thing I have to do is avoid twisting it for another few months. I started to get a bit itchy this past week, so I hiked Pico a couple of times in a row, the first time straight up the glacier on sneaker spikes with ski poles.

It was a beautiful hike. I love powering up the main Pico lift line, straight up, no bones, no turns, just crank out the vertical to some good tunes and the sunrise. No drama—a little pain on the way down, but my good knee hurt for the last few minutes, too.

The second day I put spikes on my ski boots and hiked up the glacier with my skis on a pack (my skins are too old to be effective on ice, and I really prefer boot-packing on hard surfaces). My legs were a bit sore from the first day, but it was just nice to be out there going uphill. I didn’t even really care about the ski down, but I was in a hurry so wanted to shorten the down-climb. It was fun, and it started to get my legs back into shape.

All told, things are just great, and my other fitness regimens are going swimmingly: lifting, pushups and pullups, yoga, etc. I am now in my first long stretch of eating clean in quite a while (I pounded starches after the Spartan Ultra, and didn’t stop until late February… starches make me doughy, hoarse and asthmatic), and it feels fantastic. I am getting back to my true self: lean, clean, energetic, clear.

You may think it’s hooey, and you may not need to change what you eat, but for me, changing my diet in 1999 was perhaps the most important act I ever performed aside from taking Taekwondo classes. So much has changed from that one little step.

Given that there is little to talk about on this day, it is time for an update for Pip the Impaler, who is as much of a punk as ever. I have given up on trying to socialize him, and considering drastic measures, like neutering and getting him a female companion. Or maybe I’m thinking about neutering him so that I can have a guinea pig companion. I still miss Pete. A lot.

By the time you read this, I will have skied about 145 days, and that is a pretty good year, and we are nowhere near done. To hell with girlfriends, MCL tears and guinea pigs. I get to ski every day, and that is the coolest thing ever. Oh! And I remembered what I wanted to write about, too. Hopefully I will still remember by next week.

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!