walking home

Tonight walking home from work I passed two liquor stores, both beckoned me with bright lights and sale signs. Still the buildings were simple wood and stone to me, no one inside really knew or cared for me or needed my $ to get by.

I found myself wanting to go to them. To get a 6’er or maybe some whiskey…something to take my mind off of my mind. Something to pass the time….

Life is a sum of all that time. Funny thing with time, when you have it and can’t use it, minutes become hours. When you are running/stressing to get, minutes flash with every heartbeat. Crazy is how much of our time is spent here, where we don’t want to be, waiting or rushing, working or commuting.

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my brain is charging, dashing, crashing…bloodied and beat

What is life about anyway? My life for the past 20 years has been about adventure, dogs, mountains, bikes, friends, racing…and of course the drudgery of what comes with; work, bills, chores, kissing ass. I hate the later, but it gets me to the former, which is some powerful stuff.

Yet taking a forced step back, I am wondering what is it all for? Is my life really just a big roller coaster endorphin ride? If so, why not? Pay your bills, mow your lawn and keep chasing that dream in your spare time.

thinking…there’s going to be more…

 

Inspiration vs FOMO

It is a fine line, like so many things. There are times when I feel like I can’t handle looking at one more damn social media post…

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It is hard, as I tend to find a nugget here and there that inspires me, makes me want to get back to the grind of training, the joy of dreaming and planning and the tough road of trying to save money.

The other side, the side that makes me want to put the damn phone down, is the Fear of Missing Out, FOMO. Seeing folks going on vacation, traveling all over to ride and race bikes. The envy of seeing new bikes that will not be coming home here any time soon. All the things I wish I was doing, now, right now.

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Such is life, sure is, I get that. It is my time to take a step back and deal. But I hate it. I am not perfect. I am envious. I want to travel and race. I want to go to the desert and camp, ride, repeat. Instead I walk. I have never been so thankful for my legs and my feet and when I forget that the rest of the world is riding and racing, it seems all good. But I want more and them damn posts about the Sedona, Alaska, Tucson, Idaho, Moab, just make me nuts.

Good news is my hand is getting stronger everyday. Monday I get a check up, hopefully a removable cast, and the green light to start PT. Time is passing, bones are healing, sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m getting crazier…. Then I loose perspective and things get dark. I see no exit to this tunnel. I have medical bills rolling in. I have no idea when I’ll be able to ride, much less when I can think about racing again. It all weighs on me too much at times. I really miss chasing my dreams.

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So I keep taking in the sunrises and sunsets. I spend a lot of time walking the dogs. I am dreaming of racing next winter. I am trying so hard to stay positive and looking forward. There is still much to be done, it is very trying to be forced to wait. To those that give me inspiration, your energy is appreciated now more than ever. Thanks!!!

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dreaming

Was out for a walk a few minutes ago. The waking world was a flat monotone of white. The  sky, ground, buildings all caked with snow. Between the slow spiraling snowflakes was a touch of faded pink in the sky as a tiny fleck of sun broke through the heavy blanket void of color. A good bit of the western sky glowed faintly for just a few minutes and then it was back to pure, flat, white.

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Things have been a bit rough for me lately. With months of almost debilitating pain in my hand, I was not living, riding, adventuring any where near my normal. My mind was taxed with anxiety and the unknowns of what life would be like post surgery, leaving me unable to be dreaming, planning, and making my next adventure happen. My normal way of dealing with the necessary BS of every of day life is to balance that with adventure. For the past couple years reality has dampened all of that.

Surgery was 16 days ago. Those days have been brutal. The pain was terrible, but that didn’t last too long. I got back to work after just three days off. I am now back to cooking, cleaning, doing chores. Had my first check up and them bones and Ti hardware are doing just fine. Life is moving forward, but it doesn’t feel like enough. Just like snowshoeing around and around, it is ok, but not enough.

The timeline for me returning to riding, training, and racing isn’t perfectly clear. It will happen and I am really hoping my hand will be relatively pain free, but the time off of having fun is crushing me. There are also some big bills coming in soon, surgery ain’t cheap. All this has weighed heavy on my head and shoulders. I feel like I am unable to see the exit, I am really struggling to see where I can get back to what I love and what makes me tick.

Thankfully I grumble out the door for a dog walk. Reluctantly taking my eyes off the treacherous frozen ground, and there it is. White walls of clouds begin to catch a pale faded pink. There amongst the bleak blanket of nothing, there is a spark of color, light, energy.

In that moment I cracked through a ceiling of darkness. I rose up above my self in that bit of faint color beaming from the sky. Just enough to see farther, wider. Just enough to be reminded that they might be far, far in the future, but there are dreams to chase, big, big dreams.

 

Surgery and Bouncing Back

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Wednesday January 4th at around 1:pm I went under. I did not witness the surgery, thankfully I saw no knives, no blood, heard no crunching of bones or whirling of drills. I simply woke up groggy and fuzzy, my hand wrapped up in a splint, thick with padding and ace bandages. There was still no pain, the nerve block was totally effective. No evidence of that major reconstruction, just my big fat pink fingers poking out.

By 5:pm I was home. Eating food and drinking water felt so great. Sitting on the couch with the dogs was very comforting. Having Rach near was so wonderful. The biggest thing was IT was done, the anxious, nervous part was over, now it was time to be patient and heal.

Then around 8:pm the block wore off and the deep, deep aching began. Soon that ache became a throb, the throb began to scream, and I began to moan, groan, and twitch. I was eating pain killers, Advil, and icing my fat sausage fingers. Still the pain was sharp and incredibly intense. I was feeling totally exhausted, eyes burning, sore and dry, still I did not sleep. Nothing but groaning, shaking, and sobbing.

After that first night, my outlook was bleak and grim. I could not imagine dealing with this level of pain for long. Got clearance to up my painkiller intake, which is a double edged bonus, but it helped. Then about 30 hours after surgery the pain faded. It still hurt, but suddenly I didn’t want to scream anymore,and I could sleep!

Since I haven’t had any major breakthroughs but I’m moving forward. Getting better at using both, my non-dominate left hand and my fat swollen fingers to do everyday stuff. I’m zipping my own zippers, tying my own shoes, making meals, walking dogs, even shoveling snow! The road ahead is dauntingly long, I’m fighting my daily FOMO as best I can, keeping my head down, marching forward.

Thanks to everyone for the help, love, and support!!!

Moving Forward

Immediately after scheduling the surgery on my hand, I was filled with hesitation. The same hesitation that kept me grinding my teeth and promising my body it was the last race before getting it fixed. Still it was scary to see that date on the calendar. To know that if I did all my homework that would be the day.

Now that day is tomorrow. Holy Shit! I am scared. I am scared of not having control of my body. I am scared of the pain. I am scared of the FOMO I will feel. Mostly I am scared of going crazy.

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This morning I got up to go for a quick spin. My legs felt great, my lungs pumping wonderfully in the cold air. A wisp of speed here and there making my spine tingle with joy. Funny much I don’t want to give this up, even quick short rides across the street. I just don’t want to stop riding my bike. I really don’t.

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Riding my bike has truly changed my life, it has given me so much joy, it has exercised so many demons. It has been such an amazing outlet for all my wild energy, a place to put that crazy fuel to work. I love to do other things, but none makes me feel as alive, as purposeful, or as whole and solid as riding my bike.

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Still Moving Forward, Stay Tuned.

get up and get down

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Been sleeping in a lot recently. Pretty much since this year’s CTR I have felt some serious extra gravity pulling me back under the covers. Even I know that sleep is good, I love getting extra sleep, especially after big races. But the past few months were something else. I wasn’t just tired. I was blown.

 

The physical exhaustion is something I am used to and bounce back from pretty quick. What I’ve realized is this time my mental game wasn’t on point. I was unsure about the next thing, when the next thing is usually burning bright in my eyes, keeping me going, making me wake up.

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I like to ride my bike almost as much as some people like to breath. I love the freedom and pleasure that pedaling gives me. Simply pedaling was never quite enough for me. I have gotten fairly obsessed with big rides, nasty rides, rides hard enough to make you cry, that I managed to forget that all bike rides are great. The good thing is I can still ride, the tough thing is after the CTR, I realized I couldn’t ride like I wanted to. I can ride, but I am grimacing between smiles. I can barely wrap my right fingers around the handlebar, always shifting my hand around to find a spot that doesn’t hurt. I shift from bar to bar end, to one finger, all fingers, no fingers. I sometimes catch myself not holding on with my right hand at all. Anything to just keep riding….

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A few weeks ago I forced myself to get up early. It wasn’t even to ride, but to sew. Ironically this made for a 13 hour work day, but it also opened my eyes. I saw that we are more than work and sleep, but you have to get up out of bed to make any of it happen. Since I have been getting up early most mornings. Sometimes sewing, sometimes walking dogs, sometimes riding my blessed bicycles. The first few minutes hurt, but the experience is so much better than a bit more restless sleep. The result is life, living and experiencing.

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So the time has come. Today I’m gonna call and schedule surgery to fix my right hand. I have been dealing with intense pain while doing my favorite things for too long. I have been putting this off because I could deal with it and still live as I wanted to. Now I am losing that ability and I need to get up and get it back. I am scared, so damn scared. I look at my hand and it appears fine, no blood, no bruises, no visible damage. I can move it, flex it, work and ride with it. But not the way I want to. img_2958

Time to get up and make things happen, they are not gonna fix themselves.

Take care everyone, be safe, be smart. Go forth with love in your heart and make good in this world.

34 and raining

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Sometimes the world we wake up to seems broken. Everything seems a little wrong, skewed sideways, a little backyards. The light switches are all upside down, the coffee tastes like tea, the tires keep going flat. Or it is 34* and raining. In Gunnison, in November.

Since we all come from different places, I imagine this experience isn’t the same for everyone, but I would guess that we all get it once in a while. Like the weird ass dream we were having, clung on for dear life and is now mixing dream and reality. Nothing seems quite right.

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There have been more than a few of these 34* and raining days for me lately. Days that turn to ugly depressing messes that would have been better left un-made. Yet we don’t retreat, we move on, grow, toughen up between the tears and keep trying. Man it sucks, but I forget all too often, that life can be easy, but not mine. Tough choices are key to moving forward, there is just too much to do to go back to bed.

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We are not islands. This is so true, we all inspire and infect those around us. I forget that one has to let go of the crap and embrace the glow. I am often surrounded with wonder, grace, and love, and still I wallow in my muck. It is hard to keep your head up, it takes work to move forward and let go of the crap. It is easy to forget, to sink inside, and not evolve.

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my pups, sometimes they make me crazy, sometimes they remind me to live in the moment.

I went into this past weekend grumpy. My head was a muddled mess of politics, self doubt, and some serious FOMO. I wouldn’t let go of the things that were making me sore. I dwelled on them until my brain was swimming in that junk.

Somehow I awoke from my lingering and grumpy dream. I opened my eyes, and once again, there before me was the patient and constant love of Rachel, and the glowing wonder of the place I call home. Things that are here surrounding me, but that I am sometimes unable to see, to recognize, and appreciate. While we can not run away from the sometimes harsh realities that face us, we must never forget to smile. We can never stop loving the world we live in and the people that surround us.

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It might be 34* and raining, in November, in Gunnison. I swear it is a sign that things are not right, not at all with this world. There is much hard work and many tears ahead of us, but we can’t let go of empathy, love, and forgiveness, without them we lose too many things that make us humans worth having around.

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Peace and Love to All!