Graham & Pebble's Quest for Rest
- Erin Swanson
Graham is an award-winning alpinist who explores the mountains, trails, and crags of Central Oregon with his fun-loving canine sidekick, Pebble the doodle. Below, this Ruffwear Ambassador duo share how they hit pause on playing hard to rest and recharge.
The Power of Rest
The sun was setting as we reached the final rocky wedge of the unclimbed peak Changi Tower, a stunning 21 000 ft wedge of granite in the Karakoram. From the final belay, Scott, Steve, and I each climbed the last 20 feet to stand on the coffee table-sized summit.
The route had taken three hard days of effort from our advanced base camp on the remote Lechit Glacier. On the final day, Scott had put in an amazing effort as he led through a series of ice-encrusted corners of red-gray granite on the upper mountain. He climbed confidently and powerfully on the steep terrain as Steve and I drafted behind him.
As we started down, I took over, leading our descent down the mountain back to safety where we could finally rest and recover.
In the outdoor space, we love talking about action. We share the run or the climb that we took on and quite probably the pace or grade of the endeavor. We lean into the moments when our heart rate was peaking and we felt the edge of our abilities.
“There I was on the west ridge of K2, my heart pounding as I carefully torqued the pick of my ice tool into the vertical rock. I felt them bite, and I leaned into them reaching for the next hold all the while ignoring the huge exposure falling away beneath my feet.”
By the same virtue, many of the stories that we tell about the lovely furry beasts with whom we live are driven by action – those bursts of wild energy as they engage with the joy of being a dog – Billy's amazing jumps to catch the ball or Pebble's zoomies when she sees snow for the first time in a season.
And it makes sense – these are the moments of action and performance for which we strive. They tend to make for great photos and provide great storytelling.
But what about the antithesis of action? What about REST?
Those moments when we stop, let down our guard, and relax our muscles. They can be just as powerful and just as noteworthy.
According to the dictionary, Rest is – to cease from action or motion: to refrain from labor or exertion.
It’s when, on Changi Tower, Scott, Steve and I made it back to our bivy ledge and were finally able to lay back and sleep in our small tent. The feeling of pulling into my sleeping bag was magical as I felt my body relaxing into a reclined position.
It’s when Pebble gets home from the park and promptly stretches out and falls asleep on her Restcycle™ Bed.
Last year, I was training 20-30 hours a week in preparation for an expedition to the Karakoram Range. To recover, I was attempting to get 10 hours of sleep per night and Pebble, our labradoodle, was there – snuggled up in support.
She served as an inspiration in the realm of rest. She would wake up after me, go to bed before me, and nap regularly during the day. As a result, she was ready to rage at the park at any time during the day.
There are many ways in which these little furry family members can inspire us. Their energy, joy, and enthusiasm are infectious. But as we consider how they do it, how they gather the energy needed to frolic in the snow and chase that ball, let's add the way they rest to the list of inspiration.
All this to say, Pebble – you darling little doglette – thanks for all the snuggles and encouragement to occasionally be calm and rest.
Eager to hear more? Follow Graham & Pebble’s adventures on Instagram here: @pebble_the_doodle.
If you’re craving a moment of peace like Graham & Pebble – to stop, let down your guard, and relax your muscles – check out Ruffwear’s dog beds & blankets and hunker down.
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