Sub 24

A couple weeks ago I managed to grow leg over a bike and ride around the block. At first my brain was convinced that it was ON, time to start riding again! The reality is I can ride for 15 minutes before my hand gets tired and stops hanging on. Ok baby steps, baby steps…Thing is that all these baby steps have been diving me crazy. I need to do something! Luckily Rach saw the need for action and suggested we go camping. Somehow I transformed that idea into a quick sub 24 backpacking trip.

IMG_4012

We drove till we found some mixed snow and dirt and then walked back into the woods just far enough to be out of sight of the road. After setting up camp we did a couple walks around the neighborhood, exploring this new spot, enjoying the spring air.

The day was wonderful. Warm sun and a slight breeze, plenty of dry ground to walk on as well as significant snow for the dogs to party in. We walked till the dogs got tired. Then we cooked, made sweet little fire and shared a bit of whiskey watching the sun go down and stars begin to pop.

 

FullSizeRender-23

We slept well, got up, made breakfast and coffee, feed the dogs and slowly broke camp. After sweeping camp clean, we strolled on back to the little blue van and made our way home. Quick, Simple and Easy!

What a difference a little trip to the woods and some time under the stars can do. No objectives, no goals, no destinations. Just to be outside with the sun, moon, stars, the grass, trees and mountains was a very powerful reminder of what is important.

Wookies Don’t Quit

FullSizeRender-22

Wanted to shout out to everyone in my life. Near and far, familiar and maybe never have met. People can do awful things and we all see and feel the effects of that everyday. People are also full of energy, light, ideas, beauty, love and encouragement. It is easy forget the latter when it feels like we are against the wall.

My perspective shifted big time this weekend. I felt pressed hard against a wall. I felt alone and overwhelmed by the task of getting healthy and getting out of debt. In that moment of desperation I thought I’d just sell the only things I own that are worth a damn, my bikes. Well seems the people in my life heard this, did not agree and responded. Within 24 hours enough money was raised to cover a good bit of my current medical bills. This generosity was enough to make me tear up, but the comments people left made me openly sob.

I am so touched, so awakened, and so empowered by this. No joking, no BS, I am taking this outpouring of energy and going forward with it. This has proven to me that what I do, does matter, that the extra mile is worth doing, that being nice, generous and forgiving is noticed. I’m looking forward to helping more and more in the future in bigger and bigger ways. This is real, this is going to happen.

Once again, I feel blessed and grateful beyond words. So much love to all!

This morning as I wondered about making coffee, getting the laundry started, I found an old picture of my Wiley dog. I had written some encouragement on the back to take along on my 2011 Tour Divide.  Funny how we can come full circle and find our own words to be such pointed statements.

IMG_3876

If anyone needs some advice, a bit of love or some inspiration, please let me know, I’d like to be here for you…

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.

img_3782

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…

img_3714

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.

fullsizerender-21

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.

img_3722

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!!!

img_3757

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.

img_3422

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

image1

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.

img_3310

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.

img_3307

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.

img_3190

Still Moving Forward, Stay Tuned.