Thankful

Things have been feeling pretty heavy lately.
I put a lot of pressure on myself in my run up to the AZT800 and the aftermath of that experience left me wondering a lot about my life choices. When you spend so many years pursuing a passion it can feel like a failure when the result isn’t what you hope for. I have learned a lot about myself and my mindset through this chunk of experiences. Perspective change is a wonderful thing.
I learned about a week ago that an old friend that I have known for 20+ years took their own life. It has been so hard to digest all the thoughts and feelings this brought up. Although we were never close, I have felt incredible guilt for not being more present in their life. What if, right? I have also felt so much sadness and darkness pondering the suffering it takes to take that action. While we weren’t besties, I knew that guy, I think we shared much on the inside. I also allowed myself to imagine the relief from all that suffering that mind must have felt leaving that body. Not to condone this path, but who are we to judge if someone is hurting that much!?
On top of that my dog has been declining lately. He was such a strong, happy and super athletic boy not that long ago. He has lost so much weight and looks so sad and depressed it is hard for my heart to handle the disparity between now and then. We got some palliative care for him and he is on a bunch of meds to ease his pain and brightened those eyes. So far there is some improvement, so very grateful for the caring help of some talented animal folks.
It has been really hard to digest all this. We can not live without loss, but it sure does hurt. I went for a little bike ride with Rach today. It was a nice ride, we had smiles on our faces, we joked and laughed, it felt great to pedal the trails. Riding bikes is simple, but so lovely. I feel very lucky to have found something that I feel so passionately drawn to. Despite the rough spots I can’t wait for more.
I am incredibly grateful for my little family, my wife and daughter have become such a big part of my life and my desire to be a better human. I love them so much. I am also grateful for the wonderful communities I get to be a part and the support of good friends in my town of Gunnison and in the rad world of bikepacking.

The past month has been full of heartbreak and deep thinking, but also powerful realizations and pure love. With all this I am getting through this heavy shit, for that I am grateful.

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