Despite my current proclivity for nonfiction in leisurely reading, the fantasy world of fiction consumed my childhood. There are three series in particular that dominated my imagination: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, and finally the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. While the first two series originated in my time, Narnia originated in 1950. It was a series my mom loved (I believe she identified strongly with Lucy), and as such the series as a whole holds a special place in my heart.
Much like the thought of receiving a letter from Hogwarts on my 11th birthday was a thrilling albeit unlikely possibility (I did almost write my college admission essay on my devastation), the thought of one day opening up a Wardrobe to fall into a snow covered world never ceased to be potentially possible. Walking to the lamppost to find a new Fawn best friend, and then immersing oneself into a terrific battle of good versus evil in the form of a lion and a glamorous witch, only to find out you were in fact royalty in this wonderful world is, to this day, something that gets me pretty excited.
Even though I haven’t given up hope there isn’t a Narnia in any of my Wardrobes, I’ve accepted that I must seek this wonderful and exciting world elsewhere in the real world. A couple weeks ago I’m excited to say I found it in New Zealand (and then a little bit everywhere in the world following that).
New Zealand was unlike any place I’ve ever been. The 16 hour time change and 27 hour travel day(s) instantly created an element of magic to the country. Just imagining how far I was from my home base made this feel a bit like Narnia. And then we went for a run down by a lake, skied up into the clouds on a crust cruise day, and a week later ran through a rain forest to an absolutely stunning waterfall. Every thing seemed just a bit more exciting- even the baked goods were magical (date scones, I haven’t forgotten about you yet). The people had the most soothing accent, the skiing was sublime (literally a valley called tranquility), and the ability to train on snow in September a true gift.
After many hours on snow, and many hours on a plane ride back home, I was exhausted. I felt about how the Pevenesie children must have felt following their epic battle for righteousness after tumbling out of the wardrobe. I tumbled out of the plane, and tumbled into bed. For about 9 days. Turns out doing the biggest weeks of the year, three races, and then traveling for 27 hours isn’t kind to the body. But I still sought that Narnia feeling, even if it was 85 degrees and sunny.
During that off block, I rediscovered the magic in the mundane. I could really delight in taking the dogs for a mile walk, making a delicious dinner with my mom and dad, and gossiping Taylor Swift with my little sister. I then took a much shorter flight to Rapid City, and found the magic in a beautiful mountain bike with my boyfriend. I’m now in Park City, Utah for a training camp, and am excited to find some magic here.
New Zealand was an amazing experience. Not only was it the best training decision I’ve made in a while- I vowed to get on more snow this season and New Zealand allowed for that invaluable addition- but it also refreshed my perspective. I relearned that Narnia isn’t necessarily behind a wardrobe, or a 16 hour time change away. It can be in an easy run in the woods, a perfect cup of coffee, or an exceptional recovery nap