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Entries in Life (25)

YogaGlo and Boulder Cycle Sport | Giving back to our bodies

Yup, we're all getting older. And it's critical to give back to the body...especially when you do sports like cyclocross. It's taxing on all parts of the body. I'm so honored to work with this great company, YogaGlo, and their commitment to helping with very specialized approaches of applying yoga to sports like cycling. have a look at this video the Boulder Cycle Sport Ambassadors team did to talk through why inserting the practice of yoga is critical, and how YogaGlo can help with its distinct areas of specialization like cycling.

Reversing course with these 10 things

So, lately, I’ve see this flurry of posts on Facebook and elsewhere asking for the "8 or 10 things you didn't know about me". They’re all funny and enlightening but as we pull into this 2013 Thanksgiving period, I’m having, or pehaps wishing us all for, a mental shift. Maybe it’s just me but the centricity of all of us needs to reverse course…and directed towards thanks for all and to all of what you have in this life. We all need to reflect, and now. And so (and I recommend the exercise) my thoughts on where I am putting my thankful energy and practicing myself as it is nowhere near perfected…but inspires me:

1) This life. We're luckier than any generation before us and we still aren't satisfied. Nothing’s good enough. Why? Change it. Stop sucking. Stop deflecting and blaming. Fix your shit.

2) Your friends: You select 'accept friend' on your twitters and your facebooks every day. But what do you know about them? Ever hugged them? When recently have you reached out to your college bud or teammate or co-worker and said “you're rad” and “I love you”? “How's YOUR world?” The time for narcissism must shift. It’s all the same shit anyway in the facebook feed. Selfies, new cars and bikes. I do it to. First world stuff. Fun, yes, but the reality is we get sucked into feeling doubt about ourselves with the repetition of the imagery. Don’t say you don’t know what I mean. Shoot pics of random shit you and your friends have done in blissful moments and show those off.

3) Kids. They need you. Even if you did not create them. Help them. Coach them. Tutor them in math or HTML. Don't complain your generation was better. Inspire them to crush the reality we’ve made into something way more inspired. Shape their mental toughness to sustain what will be a tough go in the next 50 years. Because it is getting very very fragile.

4) Your job. I’m not saying ‘be thankful for your job per se. What I am saying is: “every single nanosecond counts.” Are you doing what makes your mind hum? I’d probably have said “are you doing what you love,” but love is a tough adjective for this and reserved for the brave who have cracked the code of turning passions into paychecks. But if what you do and who you do it with sucks, move on. The economy has never been better. Just grab it. Be thankful for what you know and believe in and apply that to an industry that needs you.

5) Patience. I am thankful for this…or the promise of it. Do not think you are the only one whose day completely sucked. The guy in the SUV probably had a shitty day too. Don’t block his path egotistically because you can on your commute home. Be kind, show patience and wave hi to him. Let him pass. Get home to those that love and need you. The moment will pass.

6) Health. Be thankful for it…or the many many paths you can take to achieve it. It’s never too late. You are not too fat or too wimpy or too feeble. Science and great medicine can help solve deeper problems if you face those too. But you need to absolutely believe you can start. Cork the wine when you know it is extremely hard to do and you think you need another glass. You don’t need another. Breathe to exhale the stress that’s binding your heart. Drink water, and tons of it, to cleanse and cleanse. Moderate it all with balance.

7) Mentors. Find one and be thankful for the time they can and willingly share with you. Your ego can get checked for a bit and you may not know everything, smart guy. Reach out and learn more. Ask for help. And return that favor. Tech start ups, kids coaching, whatever. Either find a great mentor to help you learn where the land mines are or be one to the next generation. Be thankful for those people.

8 ) Your home. Walk in to it and I hope you smile. It should be your absolute sanctity. Your safe place. The place where toxicity gets cleaned from you. If it’s not, ask yourself why and then ask those you live with how they feel. Make it the one place where you absolutely are you.

9) Church. If you go to the Catholic church down the street, the Mosque or the Synagogue, awesome. Your church may also be your trail, your favorite stretch of road, your garden. In any of these cases, be present. Not looking around at the neighbors in the pew and how much more holy you are or perhaps trying to climb the hill faster on a Sunday than the dude in a kit you’ve never seen before on 'your' climb. Respect your moment in the peace you probably deserve and need. Remember what you’re chosen church was meant for and practice that.

10) You. When is the last time, if ever, you said: “I TOTALLY believe in myself.” It’s the hardest thing to do. Be thankful for what you have achieved and the plans you’re making. I need to tell myself this every day because I often let the demons in that signal to me it isn’t true. That I shouldn’t trust myself because I’m not smart enough, or fit enough or engaged enough. But I fight, every day, for it. The balance, the belief and the security in the knowledge that the worse option is to give up.

Be thankful for your radness.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Flying free

I'm posting a lot about my boys lately. Yes pride is driving a ton of this...but mostly amazement. On many levels. My boys are flying (almost) free now. Not completely solo yet (small rides by themselves on local/close trails...letting the reigns go a bit wider) but they are riding with their grommet friends and coaches in places I share with my best buds. Nederland, Winter Park and more. Magical.

Long dirt road rides with dad showing off all the local spots....

Short spins to just have that deep one on one you can't get with other brothers or parents nearby. Just soft pedaling, calm voices and laughs and authentic smiles that telegraph 'I'm alone with my daddy.'

I continually pull mind and self from all of this wonderment. I spend the time to ensure my sons aren't doing all of this, eyes rolling, to appease their old man. That 'this is dad's thing'. And it refreshes me when I see them kit up on their own. Bike gear...lacrosse gear...whatever gear. They're exploring, seeing, playing, growing.

But I'd be a liar if I said it's not a rush to rail singletrack and high altitude with my boys. It's here.


Thank you, Amy.

It's an incredibly selfish, self-centered sport this cycling of ours. And we're slaves to it because of what it brings us. The work, the rewards, the fun. But lest we forget how we can do this. Through support. Through love. Through understanding. All graciously afforded to us by our loved ones. Wives, husbands, children. 

My wife has always been there. Supporting me over the last 16 years in what often feels like a Quixotic adventure. Always propping me up when I've not achieved what I think I can and telling me I can. Cleaning me up when I am broken and bloody. Hugging me when I've done my best. 

She is now managing three of us. My sons and me in our quests to go fast. And we owe her so much. Too much to re-pay. Amy thank you for what you do to enable us to do it. And thank you for this wonderful gift you are giving our son. Taking him to his first National Championship. Providing him such an amazing experience. 

You are amazing. 

The next generation


It is time.

Since their birth, literally as newborns being held by their mom standing by the tape at races in Podunk CA to Nowhere CO, these kids have been raised with the sound of cowbells, freewheels and power-washers as the audible back drop to their weekends.

By intent, I’ve never pushed these little guys into biking. In fact, quite the opposite. I wanted them (still want them!) to continue tying everything: soccer, rock climbing, swimming, hockey. You name it.

But ever so subtly over the last year, my oldest started the inquisition: “Daddy, how old do you have to be to race?”. “Daddy, is there a Ridley I can fit on?” “Daddy, am I going to break my collar bone?” (I swear this was said…d’oh!”). He is 8 and he says he’s ready.

And so methodically mom and I started to get him prepared over the last few weeks. Racing license, bike, Boulder Cycle Sport jersey…and now most importantly how to go fast and have fun while staying safe. I want him, and his little brother when ready, to feel the joy I feel when I pin a number on. I’m not suggesting that I can ‘make him’ feel the same emotions fire in his brain as I do. Everyone is unique in that way, but I want him to feel that community spirit and maybe, just maybe, have him feel what his daddy feels and has devoted a major part of his life to.

Hup, hup. little buttercup. I’m proud of you and the little man you've become.

Hurling the anchor


It's coming. The sport that keeps me alive and motivated is coming and I'm not prepared...not even prepared to 'get' prepared. Too much floating around in life these days. Too much of everything....and yet I day dream of it. Arms up, flowing fast, smooth, free. I'm fit and flying in these day dreams. Age means nothing. I just accept the pain and I am driving.

Each year I hurl the anchor forward. I can feel its weight as I wind up and throw it in front of me. Allowing it to land and settle into the dirt. The anchor marks a point in the calendar year and gives me something to use all my strength to pull against and drag myself, and my often waning motivation, towards it.

Cross is the point of the year that keeps me moving forward. It is what I think about when I am knee deep in problem solving for work, stressed to the core, or when I need to find solace in my health. I know that 'just being there' at a race, with any training in my legs or not, that I've made it...again. It helped me stay alive through the year and gives me focus when it seems everything is blowing up around me.

This is season 14. Amazing. Each year after my first year I hurled the anchor forward in anticipation of the leaves changing and the temperatures dropping. I did this before my wife and I met. Before my children were born. Before I had any 'real' responsibilities and yet the exercise of dropping anchor on a place in the calendar continues to pulls me through year after year.

3 months.

 (photo by Joe Sales)

Little reminders

If I wrote this post on Friday, it’d been all interwoven with fairly bad references to piano wire, depression, rainy days and woe-is-me’s. But alas, things change, don't they?

GOPR0016 I don't write as much as I used to. I ride less. Every opportunity to is precious. The peloton that is life has just accelerated and I am pinned. Hoping I can stay with the group. But I did this to myself. I am in control.

But even with all that goes on these days, the focus on those precious times you can get out are so anticipated. I can not be one of those people who refuse to ride because they aren't as fast, or aren't as 'in form'. What the hell does that mean to a 40 year old husband and father anyways. Riding is my attachment to my youth. Me best memories.

So, I suit up. One leg at a time into the chamois. I throw my leg over my bike and rendezvous with my friends. Like kids. We ride and talk. Everyone is pinned with what life is throwing at us  I learn. Everyone is trying to do the best they can for their families. It’s what makes the people I choose to surround myself with beautiful. GOPR0017

The group ride is church for our set. Therapy at its purest. Some have the need to go off the front and put pain to the rest of us. Others  need to wheelie and table-top like little boys. We do these things and we all smile. We are alive and for the moment, the ‘real’ world is put in a compartment with its lid shut. No thoughts of deadlines. No thoughts of intervals. Just riding. Little reminders of why we commune in the woods.

We hit some intensely fun singletrack right by our houses this weekend. All from our garage doors. Deadly steeps up radically hard double track trail bringing us up to vistas that prove you really are in Colorado…and all this is available without getting into cars.

A short sneak peak at a slice of our day. The GoPro belies the steepness.

OHV Trail System Boulder (Scene 1) from Gregory Keller on Vimeo.

More of the goodness followed...

OHV Trail System Boulder (Scene 2) from Gregory Keller on Vimeo.

Commune with your friends as often as possible. For those that ‘do’, there will always be imbalance and the need to ensure not only you, but those that surround you are taken care of. It makes getting together for your penance that much more sweet.

Any way I can

These are days of absolute personal growth and self discovery. There's no way I can explain it any cleaner. This new life I've created has me challenging myself and everything I've known in my upbringing...

...Leave a perfectly good, well paying job.

...Take a flyer to see what I can do.

...Opt out of a paycheck. Feel discomfort.

It's completely eradicated the once comforting 'struggle' for balance I'd strived for all these years. Wrote about all these years. Complained to you about all these years.

I blew it all up. I let the teeter totter take control and just let go. Just to ensure I can feel and understand more about what I think I am made out of.

I get my solace in any way I can. Even escaping to the garage to run a rag and a wrench over under-ridden bikes. They'll be there when I'm ready to return. When I am ready to focus on that part of my life again.

They will not be neglected too long. These bikes have brought me to the best places mentally and physically in my life.

Ebb and flow to avoid life's dabs

I've had no warm up. No time to guage the corners, the transitions, the start chute.

I'm coming in cold and trusting my instincts and experience. Yet my first lap is going terribly.

The fans who line the tape and expecting a performance must be thinking 'this guy's not that great'. Or so the mind is looping and trying to convince itself.

Try and be calm. Try and be smooth. Try to have confidence. Try to be strong.

Trust yourself even in the face of an over excited mind tripping into overdrive, sending out radically thrashing signals of fight and flight. No time to even understand what is the right path...or if there is another path that I simply can not see.

Ebb and flow. Feel the bike and trust the tires. Use your experience and limit your dabs. You are allowed some and are expected to have them. But be prepared to clip back in....

...and sprint.

Fixies are stupid

OK, I almost can't take it any more...having seen this video over the weekend in all it's HD glory after the Snob posted it. Perhaps 'cross is going mainstream, but honestly I'd rather hang out with a bunch of daddy's making their eyeballs bleed weekend in and out in the mud than a bunch of posing hacks smoking butts and wearing tight ass jeans.

And then I saw this. And it made me smile.