Wilderness medicine – feeling a little less inadequate (and other thoughts)

1 Aug

1, 2, 3, 4, 5… AVPU… A, B, C, D, E… Vitals… SAMPLE… oh, and watch out for that snake over there.

The outdoors appeal to me in a way I can’t really put into words. Whether it’s as simple as getting on the road bike and pedaling until I’m away from everything or doing some destination hiking in Rocky Mtn Ntl Forest, trying my best to not break me or my MTB on any number of trails, or (like last week) watching Pacific Ocean waves crash into rocky Mexican cliffs with a good book in my hands, I am a creature of solitude. Fiancée excluded (she also LOVES traveling and escaping the mayhem ❤ ), I love to get away. People, noise, hustle, deadlines, people, pressure, people…

Getting away from people and noise means just that though. Getting away from a support network should the need arise. For reasons I can't fully explain a couple weeks ago, maybe while reading Fire Season by Phillip Connors (great read, btw), I decided that I should be more prepared, both for my own benefit and for anyone who might be near me. Two weeks later I snagged the last open spot in a wilderness first aid course put on by NOLS and WMI (think of regular first aid but with more improvisation and without the luxury of being able to call 911 and have the problem taken off your hands in less than an hour).



So, 16 hours of class later here I sit. Exponentially better prepared for the shitty part of the search for solitude and peace. In fact, after going through this class I decided that I’d like to go even further. Anyone who really knows me can attest to the fact that I can’t sit still. I always have to be learning, or doing, or teaching, or building or something. I’ve already started thinking about going to the next level and going through the wilderness first responder level stuff.

Another cool part of this weekend is that one of our instructors is an ultrarunner… and I love to blog stalk endurance athletes. After logging who knows how many miles last summer on the roadie (with some amazing century rides) and a couple more on the MTB, I got off the bike for MUCH longer than I should have (work, life, etc). Life is affording me some much needed downtime at the moment, and after reading a couple pages of our instructor’s blog I have to say I’m re-inspired.

It’s never too early to prep and I always work better with an endgame in mind. I think it’s time to put a plan together for the Hotter ‘n Hell Triple Threat next summer. 13 mile MTB race Friday night, 100 mile roadie ride Saturday and a half marathon trail run Sunday. Who know’s maybe this jumbled mess of thoughts in blog form will transform into a training log.


Maybe she’ll check her site traffic and see the click from here and maybe not, but either way, big thanks to Liza Howard (and Ky Harkey) for the great time this weekend. Though unexpected and certainly not part of the lesson plan I also have a bit of a new perspective on things.


And all of this also reminds me that this blog is about more than the day to day nonsense that frantically zigs and zags throughout my brain. I need to do a better job of documenting the experiential side of life. To the three people who might occasionally read what I write: expect more ride reports, trip summaries, beer reviews, etc in the next few weeks to months. Cheers.


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