I skied for about 3 hours yesterday on the pristine cross-country ski trails around Big Sky, Montana.

If you haven’t been there and love to downhill or cross-country, I HIGHLY recommend it. There are miles and miles of the best groomed x-country trails I have seen anywhere in the US to date. Kai and the kids said the downhill skiing was stellar as well.

I’ve been getting into podcasts lately on my cardio days. I know I’m late to the cultural phenomena “podcast party”, but OMG they are so cool! They are a game changer for those of us who like stories, like to be entertained, and like to learn while continuing through the hustle of life. Some favorites so far: the Tim Ferris Show and She Did it Her Way.

So, yesterday I was all ready to go on this beautiful trail in Big Sky. I got all my gear on (that takes about 10 mins), but realized I had forgotten my handy and coveted ear pods back at the house. Arggg!!

I spent the next few hours of skiing in my head – thinking, planning, debating. My mind came back to this fundamental question:

Can this extrovert be happy in solitude?

We are not talking an hour here or there, we are talking extended solitude for days and days.

Don’t get me wrong, I love downtime and need it. My favorite things to do alone to recharge are: go for a run, read at night, take a bath, and…..well, I don’t do much alone. I have four kids, a very busy life, and I love my friends. I need people around me.

We live in a time of constant connection and without a doubt, I am guilty of buying in to that. However, slowly over the last year or so I find myself declining invitations and choosing to spend more quiet time at home with my family.

I’m pickier about how I spend my time. My kids and husband are super fun and need me, and that’s a part of it too. But, I have discovered that I like more thinking time. The reality is, that at 45 years old and four kids in various challenging stages, I have a lot to think about- likely more so that I did when I was younger.

Did I subconsciously find a way to blend in various challenges with the ski across Norway? No question, the answer is yes.

Beyond the challenge of fundraising for a cure, I knew there would be the mental challenge of pushing myself through the physical pain of the training and long ski days. However, I had not consciously factored in the mental challenge of battling my extrovert ways, and finding happiness in solitude.

Cross-country skiing is an exercise in solitude. Even when you are out w a friend, you are generally single file. Your heart rate and breath typically make it impossible to chat. Skiing across Norway, I will likely spend 6 hours a day alone, in my head, maybe some on a podcast, but mostly alone- for 9 days straight.

Here is what I came to skiing yesterday: being alone for extend amounts of time may not always be fun, but it’s important to do. I believe I will be able to pay more attention to the present, my body, confront questions that I have dogged for years, maybe find creative solutions to issues. I’m starting to think that I will find happiness in my head, happiness alone.