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My kingdom - a whole day chasing steep hills and snow patches in Rock Creek Park

Why to follow the beaten path when you can go up and down every hill you see? I wish I were a deer because people would find it easier to accept my erratic route and not judge me too harsh for wandering on the hills.

I start early in the morning on the Western Ridge trail, with a twenty-six pounds weight vest and four pounds weights on my legs and it looks like a very promising training day. No gloves on as my hands need to be conditioned for cold.

After the trail ends, I head towards the Rock Creek Stables. So many hills to run up to train and the river is always near, singing the same cheerful song through the blocks of ice! Because of my erratic route, as I am constantly trying to choose the steepest up, I am wandering away from the trail but as I am not trying to get anywhere in particular it doesn’t bother me. It feels like I am in a scouting trip where the only purpose is to train well and enjoy the nature. At every step, the nature offers me an opportunity to train different skills: fallen trunks with snow on top challenge my balance as I use them as balance beams, tall ridges and rocks high above the river put to a test my fear of heights, slippery slopes make me look for the best foot holds.

As I am wandering in Rock Creek park, I can’t help not checking the map for the old Capitol stones. I get there, and I am in owe: every piece of marble has a story to tell and their beautiful ornaments and decorations stand proof to a time of glory. The rocks look abandoned, tossed in the forest in a random order, but maybe they are just silently waiting to better times, when their history will be respected again, and more people would be able to admire them. They’ve been there since 1958, when the architect of the Capitol removed hundreds of sandstone and marble blocks from the building, some featureless slabs and some ornate carved pieces, most dating from the building’s original construction.

My light jog and climb made me forget about everything and I haven’t realized the sun is about to set. Very few people out today and I felt like Rock Creek is my kingdom…What a beautiful day.

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