The Snakes Own North Mountain

So there I was in the workroom. Feeling ok about myself.

And one of my co-workers comes in and says she knows my trainer.

My what?

Do you mean J-Vicious?

Oh,no. He’s the one at PlayFITStayFIT. I don’t mean him.

Honestly, my brain didn’t actually immediately go to fitness, anyway. When she said that no, this was someone else, I stood there for what felt like hours as my brain searched its memory for when I allowed someone to take me on as a project. Who that might be. What aspect of my life they were training. And why they weren’t here at this exact moment to handle this exchange.

Then she clarified.

Endong.

Endong…?

She thinks Endong is my trainer.

Soooo…

Yeah….

So, obviously when Endong threw the idea of North Mountain out there last night, I had to bite.

Because he’s my trainer and all.

I asked if we could go before the rattlesnakes wake up. And also my juvenile probation clients.

He said they feed at night. The rattlesnakes. Not the probationers.

And then he sent this.

Well, that’s entirely comforting.

We asked other humans to go. But Rogue is working every day until the end of time. Tiny Brazilian was already committed to Mill Mountain. Goose’s Mom is heading to a warmer climate. And GJB is saving himself for Christmas Mountain.

So that’s how I found myself standing in the Dragon’s Tooth parking lot at 6:33am.

Sunrise.

No need to go any earlier, because there are no views on North Mountain from which to experience the sunrise.

Besides, a 6:33am start time already meant a 4:30am wake up.

You know, there’s something a little twisted about waking up earlier on the weekend than you do during the workweek…

Stopped by Orange Market on the way and ran into Badass Walters. Tried to convince him to run North Mountain.

He said no.

Pretty firmly.

Found Endong lying in front of the Dragon’s Tooth sign. I assume he slept there last night.

He does things like that.

It’s why I wore my “I Will Have Order” tank. As a warning. To try to keep him under control. Since no one else would go and help me watch him.

Luckily, we found Newbie in the parking lot. Looking north. So we scooped him up and took him along.

He’d only done the loop once before.

With Drinkwater.

I explained that we’d be going at a normal human pace. Because me. And not break neck Drinkwater pace.

So maybe it might be less brutal. Kind of. A little. A little less.

And it worked well. Having him along with us.

He kept Endong entertained so I could slack off a little bit on the way over to Grouse.

And on the way down Grouse.

And on the fire road.

I was about to slack off on the way up Deer.

But then Newbie started screaming. I mean, not screaming. And also not jumping around and running back towards us. He totally reacted in a calm, casual, unconcerned manner.

When he saw this.

Don’t see it?

Yeah, I’m not sure how he did either.

How about this…

We saw it once Endong pulled his blanket off of him.

Sleeping.

And also not sleeping.

And no amount of pleading and stick poking was gonna make him move.

His mountain.

Cool.

Except we were on Deer.

No way in hell we were turning back.

So we clawed our way around the bank, heads bowed in respect, as the serpent refused to even acknowledge our existence.

After that it was smooth sailing back to the finish.

I mean, maybe not smooth.

Because rocks.

But no additional threats to our lives.

So that was good.

And when I saw this sign and I hadn’t hit 3 hours yet…

I realized that Endong is, indeed, my trainer.

I’m still claiming J-Vicious as my official trainer.

But Endong has been training me for years. On the trails. And roads.

He’s my Original Trainer. My OT.

And thanks to him, I PR’d on almost every leg of this loop this morning.

He’s probably the only human that could ever get me to PR anything on that loop.

And only because he wouldn’t ever verbalize that that’s what was happening.

But we have an understanding now.

He will not attempt any additional loops without notifying me first. And I will do the same.

Ive learned my lesson.

The snakes own that mountain now.