dirty laundry

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photo by “dirty”

I really do try and keep a peaceful and even keel with every aspect of my life. Like anybody else, there is some dirty laundry piled in a corner in my head. I am not perfect or pure of thought and I am too often envious of what others seem to be able to pull off.

Thing is, I want more. More bikes, more riding, more training, more racing. Right now there is a clock ticking and all my crazy ideas are getting stale sitting on the back burner. My body is getting older and a bit more tired and I want to get out there before I’m too used up to be competitive. Making it happen is the crux that has frozen me in my tracks.

There are some big races that pull me, always in my head, always reminding me that I haven’t been there and done that. This nagging keeps whispering in my ear at the same time that this balancing act of keeping a roof over my head, food in the fridge and still chasing my dreams is a kicking my ass. In the past with my fanatical obsession leading the way, all else was sacrificed in order to make it to the start line. I almost always return home completely broke and right back to work in order to get by. It has worked for many years, I have raced well and scratched out a meager living. But that bare bones style has taken a toll, I’m starting to feel the effects of burning my candle at both ends…and there is still much to do.

I manage to get my head back on straight and focused on what I can do, and then I see another post on Facebook and I lose my grip. Seems like some folks just live the dream. Riding, training, racing, traveling all over the place, all the time. I try to stay in my zone and not think about what everyone else is doing, yet between social media and my ever curious mind, it becomes impossible to ignore. I keep plugging away, doing my thing, I really do want more.

Hard work will get you there and I continue to work my butt off. Yet with an industry that seems only interested in pushing “Enduro” and if the media does pay attention it is celebrating the few who are already hooked up. It is like a slap in the face. How does one get more support when this is the situation? How does one take weeks, even months off of work without support? How can anyone compete with people who ride, train and race all the time?

When it all boils down and my head stops spinning, I can find peace with this life. I have wonderful friends, awesome bikes, an amazing backyard. I am lucky enough to have dreams that burn so brightly inside me. I am still pretty damn healthy. I will keep racing, adventuring, taking in the sunsets and sunrises, and making friends as long as I can. I have to keep in mind that there will always be a massive pile of laundry that needs a washing, I simply must concentrate on dirt that is mine.

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11 thoughts on “dirty laundry

  1. I am older than you Jefe, and we all wrestle with the demons of life. Should i have done this, or that, was I to soft on this person or that, should i have listened more and talked less with my wife….the answer is blowing in the wind….. I revert to Yoga….We are all where were supposed to be, it’s all as it should be, and we have no control over any of what happens. We are not Human doings, we are all Human Being’s 🙂 We do our best everyday, take opportunities as they come and make the most of all relationships we are blessed to have. After 25 years this year, my wife has told me she is leaving me….I am the most fit, and most grounded i have ever been and yet she feels she needs to go….i wrestle with this mentally, blaming myself, but i cannot change where we are, its her time to do what she needs to and i have to let her go. Money, isn’t happiness, Love is happiness, and i see you as a rich man…Ride on, love often and just be awesome. That young man in IL is still freaked out about how cool it was you talked to him on FB…you were the most famous person he has ever met…your one of his Idols. His role model. Fill your heart on that and realize you make a difference. Your riding makes a difference, and your behavior and style do not go unnoticed. You matter, a lot, to so many other people. I road with you once at Hartman’s and have never forgotten it….and never will. You’re a rockstar! and i tell the story of you to many people as i travel about, and they listen in amazement and awe of your journey. Here’s to life and the blessings it has, and will bring, to all of us.

    • Funny how often I think the same thing. Crazy thing about being an “athlete” today is the expectations to use social media, a lot! Often it is written into contracts that you have to do so many blog posts and constant Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. It isn’t simply about training, racing and being a good spokesperson, you also have to use media to promote it all as well. It is an interesting and weird way to keep racing bikes?!
      Thanks for the good advice, someday I will take it!
      Jefe

  2. I’ve been off the Facebut a couple years now and it seems to be working well for me.

    Interesting to read your perspective on things post Old P considering you placed so well. My run didn’t go so great 😦 (again!?! super frustrating ) and I shared a lot of the same feelings.

    Funny how when we perform poorly or when we do well we still tend to compare ourselves to others. What I’ve come to figure over the years and I constantly have to remind myself. Whatever we are doing we need to do it for us. When you are racing others you are really racing yourself. How fast can you go or how long can you ride without sleep etc. True focus seems to come to me when I’m concerned with no one else but myself and the moment I’m in.

    Honestly your up there in my book and I often think…Man it would be so sweet to throw down a time like Jefe on the divide some day. Your actions speak far greater than a Facebook post. Many of us have big goals but only few act on them like you have.

    As you were saying previously we don’t know the road others have taken to get to where they are now. It often seems like other people are so much better off or happier, but in the end that is for us to decide. We create the road we want to live on.

    • Robin,
      Sorry to hear your OP didn’t go so well. I did a quite a few 24’s with mixed results for many years. ThenI got into bikepack racing and I learned so much more about my pace limits and how to be more self contained. Since then I have done much better at lap racing.
      I agree we do tend to compare ourselves to others and I do it to no end sometimes. It can really take the fun out of racing and living too. This last “Dirty” post was more about missing opportunities due to lack of funds, I feel like I have a few more years of fast racing in me and I don’t feel like I am getting out there as much as I would like, while it seems some of my peers just keep racing.
      Then again after cooling off and thinking about it, I’m stoked to be where I am and look forward to pulling off what I can in the future.
      Keep on rocking and rolling, Thanks for reading

      Jefe

      • I may have read a couple posts and jumbled my thoughts into this one. I’m a good bit younger than you and I often feel the same way about funds/time off and how if I don’t do some of these races soon I may never have another chance. One of my closest friends is a year younger than me and pro/sponsored so its always kinda in my face lol. Seems like all he does is race and ride 10K $ bikes for the most part.

        I’ve done the CT twice, Divide once, and a slew of other of my own adventures. I have a good understanding of pacing but unfortunately I have a bit of a medical condition with the heat. I was expecting a high of 78 at old P and I think it hit 89. I should have been better prepared to deal with it but oh well. There’s always next year? 🙂

        I road the first lap perty much on your wheel the whole time. Honored to have ridden with you. I look forward to reading about your future endeavors. Stay strong and I will try and do the same.

        I was planning to do divide this summer but after some mental coagulation associated with Old P I’m thinking CTR as a meeting ground (less time off work). Maybe we will cross paths there.

        -Robin

  3. Jefe, you and I have talked a few times. You probably don’t remember me, no worries. Like some others I’m older than you – mid fifties. A few words… I’ve done over 1200 bicycle race days in my career. I’ve obsessed – many times in retrospect, far too much on getting to the start line and trying to beat everybody and actually not doing it very well. I was chasing the dream. I chase different dreams now though, like just pushing myself for longer and longer, and being cognizant of where I am when I am there – not somewhere else. Yes, I am much, much happier with myself now.

    You live in an amazing place that many in the world can hardly perceive. You have done MANY amazing things that so few can barely dream about let alone attempt. I’ve heard more than a few people mention your name and hero in the same sentence.

    Carry on… find the balance…

    One last thought. If you push yourself to such extreme highs, the lows are going to come.

    • Hi Greg,
      If we have met then I would remember you, but names don’t always stick as well as faces!
      I hear what you are saying and I see that in my future. Yet I am still eager to race/test myself against others for a while yet to come. And I can get cranky and upset, but perspective usually returns and I get a better handle and see how blessed I truly am. I am grateful for this life and feel lucky to do what I do(sometimes I just want to do more of it!)
      I hear ya on the highs and lows, it is a crazy ride sometimes!!!
      Take care, thanks for the kind words and for reading,

      Jefe

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