Dropped Third Strike

I grew up with a baseball in my hand, and as such I carry a lot of classic baseball analogies with me in my life despite not having swung a bat in many years. This weekend's endeavors harbored a scenario that I would liken to a dropped third strike in baseball. I still struck out, but then I still got on base too.  I swung and missed, but the catcher dropped the ball opening the opportunity to advance to first base remaining in the game, and possibly still scoring arose.

All this baseball applies here as a metaphor in that I was scheduled to go down south to Fruita, Colorado to meet up with a bunch of my college buddies for a long weekend mountain biking trip. Due to a variety of factors the whole trip melted down at the very last minute. A real swing and miss. A full-on strike out, and all the disappointment that comes with it. The dropped third strike scenario comes into play in that one of those old college buddies had a friend of his, Brian, that was traveling to my area in northern Utah and was looking to ride an area just north of his destination in Orem called Corner Canyon, a little over and hour south of where I live in Ogden, Utah. Our mutual friend made the network connection between the two of us and the plan was on. I also have a ski buddy of mine, Lance, that lives right at the base of Corner Canyon. Lance and I have been trying to link up for a ride all summer, and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to put it all together to have Lance show me and a new friend around his backyard trail system. An opportunity to get on base and possibly still have the weekend result in a mountain biking score!  

^Yeah boys! Lance (L) and Brian (R). 

^Corner Canyon delivered with smooth flow single track...

…and some spectacular fall colored views too.

^Totally on 1st base, and stealing 2nd base, and 3rd base too! The blustery fall day kept the climbing nice and cool. The head wind tested my legs, but chasing Lance and Brian tested them even more. I am just barely getting over my rest and healing period of the off-season and definitely behind the curve on my cardio and endurance. Trying to keep up with Lance's pace affirmed my shape. Anyone that ever skis with Lance always says that he skis fast. Now I also know that he climbs fast too! Lance humped a pretty geared up single speed up some steep grades that had me spinning out my granny gear. Dude has got legs for days. Led me to think that I may start calling him "Fast Lance" from now on after noticing the trend, and to get my motivation for my fall training program pumping to whip my legs back into winter ski shape. I always rest and heal in the spring and summer months giving my body a bit of a break before starting the whole grueling preparation for another gnarly winter ski season schedule again. Chasing these boys got me fired up to get the ball rolling again.   

^Lance and Brian grinding out one of our last climbs on the ride.

^Lance put together a fabulous ride plan for Brian and I to join him on for the cloudy fall day. The grey weather did not downplay our stoke at all though. As we pedaled back into Lance's driveway my legs were just starting to really tap out. Some high fives and smiles as we all departed, and I was driving back north to Ogden feeling like I just stole home and totally scored some good mountain biking with buddies after the whole strike out ordeal. That's when the title for this post came to me! We can't hit a home run every time we come to the plate, but if we hang in there, swing away, and be ready to run at opportunities when they arise, then I think we really can still end up scoring even when we are bummed that we struck out. With beat legs and lungs plus the rest of the day free from plans, my dog Murphy had the right idea… a nap before going out to dinner with my family.