Entries in family (69)
Today was one of those days where everything just gelled. From the moment we woke up and heard our boys silently playing Legos downstairs, sharing and just being kind to each other...for once...Amy and I smiled and knew this day would be OK. And so it was.
Amy had some classes she was taking today so it was a daddy-and-the-boys-day. My boys love it. They actually sing this chant: "It's daddy and the boys day!' Unbelievable. So, when asked what they wanted to do, anything, they said: Go biking! Sweet! So we hooked up a good'un!
So, I captured it all. I love these moments. I got so excited just riding, flowing and laughing. I could feel that deep warm laughter like I hadn't had in a LONG time. And my boys yanked it out of me. The writing, the picture taking...well, it all is important to me. I have this fear, this core fear, that I'll forget. Not remember the details. The faces, the way my boys voices sound. So I obsess (like you all know...) and I document. And so, I share this with you. Click on Seamus' victory salute below for the album...
It is extremely safe to say that Amy and I are 'anti-holiday' types. Love is a 24/365 day holiday...love, in fact, takes no holidays as far as we are concerned. We inject it into our lives everyday, well, because we l-o-v-e each other and don't need some contrived Hallmark card to express what we can say to each other every day. I mean, wouldn't you rather say the words you mean, rather than having them created for you by some college intern at some mega-card company who's going to smoke a bowl and party with his college buds that night....just as soon as he finishes his latest creation...
Love. It continues to blossom between you and I like the flower I gave you the night we first met.
GAG. I thought so. So, Amy and I went for a ride....
We hooked up a snowy Hall Ranch and finished up with a Valentine's lunch at Oskar Blues. Some Leroy Browns and some soup....yum. The ride was such a purge for us. The tension has built again on Side 3 of the Three Part Teeter Totter and it's scraping the ground....family and riding not being able to re-balance things for me....for us. I will say though that it isn't for a lack of trying and pushing....if not simply flicking...the dominoes we need in our family to instigate the change we so desire.
Believe in it.
Watching my lady ride is something else. She drilled it in pretty adverse conditions at Hall with snow covering most of the ride. She's not used to it but was PRO as she navigated all of the madness back there. We just took it all in and again embraced life...our kids....the family and life we've made...and the promise of things yet to come here in Boulder. It's good. Scratch that: it's great.
Amy at Hall 1 from Gregory Keller on Vimeo.
Honestly, things are immensely in perspective (just one look at the news and watch what's going on right now in Gaza..e.g. some families haven't left their homes for 5 days without food) and we've got NO problems in the grand scheme. Seriously.
This said, it did come close folks. Really close. I am saddened for what was or beautiful surroundings. Beautiful open space now a lunar landscape.
My photo set here....
Pray this isn't the scene that is seen. There are massive fires in Boulder tonight and I am writing this from a Marriott with my family...dog and cat included.
I left the bikes behind. F-it, right?
Honestly, all will be fine. I suspect smoke damage, but as I closed the garage door while pulling out from my driveway as Boulder's finest watched me exit the 'hood. I saw a glimpse of my prized bikes as the electric door closed shut. "Adios," I said.
Again, all will be just fine. But this time, just a glimpse...a mere moment in time....I can see how families must react in situations like this. I can not even imagine what those who lose everything must go through. But the heart rate certainly got elevated this evening as we were evacuated.
The one person who can rip your legs off any time of day, any time of year is sick my friends. This is the one person we all literally, not figuratively, look up to for so much inspiration. He guides us out of the shit more often than you know, and for me personally has influenced my career and spent the time helping guide me. And now it's time for us to do what we can to guide him as he gets up out of his life's saddle to crest this fairly sizable hill.
It's just another hill Jerome. You've crested plenty before. Plenty.
This beautiful vid was put together by Just Keith at the Boulder Cup. We all had "Get Well JC" taped to our stems that day. We hope you felt the energy JC. Just a little push from your domestiques.
We love you Jerome. Be well and your family is here waiting. Mostly to try and drop you.
It's growing. Can you feel it? 1500 racers in PDX on any given weekend. 80+ people on a training ride in Boulder on a Wednesday AM. It's a wave that is growing. If you love it like I know you do, give back! Bring a kid to a 'cross race! Let 'em get muddy! Walk the course with them while drinking a hot cocoa!
It's happening here in San Francisco...
And here in Boulder...
The Boulder kids clinic above I reported upon earlier and took place yesterday on their Veteran's Day off from school. Ghris Grealish's DBC guys were there as were all of Ben turner's CLIF Bar team. Amazing.
What are you doing to help the sport?? Give a clinic. Or keep taking them to learn more to teach others down the road. Take your neighbor to a local race. Help set up or take down the course as a volunteer.
You must believe me when I say this: In no way shape or form did I Jedi mind-trick my wife into doing what she's about to do tomorrow:
SWEET!! She sprung it on me two weeks ago that she and her friend were 'just gonna do it'. Now, while my lady lives with likely the biggest cross geek of all time, this was very much her thing and honestly shows how powerful this whole sport is at hooking the innocent into its grip. The wave of growth this sport is reaching is clearly at its crest! Home makers and professionals alike are getting the bug. So good. So very good.
So before I made off on my trip to the UK this week, I set up a mini clinic for Amy and her friend Angie last weekend. We brought out the port-o-barriers and I gave them an hour's worth of the good stuff. Both these ladies rocked. Clearly they have some serious athletic talent, but after the instruction, they just got on with it inexplicably well. I've never seen anyone pick it up this fast. We did my basic 'intro to barriers' which breaks the process into three fairly easily learn-able chunks. And nothing is learned at high speed. All slow speed until the little nuances are felt, and then we crank up the speed once the comfort is there. The three pieces come together and we go full bore at the port o barriers to gain confidence Today, as you'll see, we upgraded to unmovable logs.
So, the evidence! Amy is ROCKING it. While I was away she practiced the barrier work skills by herself once, then we did these hot laps you see in the video along with a bit more instruction. All before the Boulder Res race tomorrow. Her first. I'm so proud of her...
from Gregory Keller on Vimeo.
And of course equally solid lap after lap. I made her get a bit cross-eyed so she could feel her body when it's gasping for air as you come into barriers. Mainly so she can know what to expect when you're under stress. But all she could say..."THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!!!"
I am so impressed and proud and in awe, I do not know what to say. My lady RIPS!!!
Coasting through life can be easy. Will it be as fruitful as a life lived? I dunno. I really don't and choose not to care about that path as I can't accept free-wheeling. I need the chain taut at all times. It's only this way that the teeter totter can maintain the balance that is so required for the mind to be at peace.
As it doesn't rest.
Doors opened today. Feelings felt that haven't been explored in...well a long time. I flicked dominoes earlier this year to do what I thought, and still believe, will create new chapters in life that ensure smiles. A firm belief in no accidents, just opportunities.
I want to raise my arms above my head again and look up at the sun and exhale that breath that has been inside for so long...you know the one that when released, is like a purge of the soul and in its void is that shimmering feeling of happiness in the middle of your chest. Relief. If you think I am speaking about winning a bike race, nah, this is better. It's about belief in one's self for something bigger.
There are no accidents. Can't be. Only what you make life to be when you keep the pedals turning and the chain taut.
Re-entry back into family after nearly a week away (and sometimes more...as will be the case for some hops I need to make including Europe) can be trying. Maybe it is just me and the uber-emotions that get crankin when I am away and when the triumphant return happens, life has been moving here too. I can't be naiive to that.
Sincerely...I hate travel. Despise it. When the plane is wheels up, on its way to my next destination, I look at my watch and will start calculating the hours before I get home. Rainman style. 86 hours 42 minutes and home. But ironically, being out in 'the world' is my strength. Speaking. Meeting. Eye-contacting. Arm waving. Connecting. Convincing. Converting.
It's my painful dichotomy. I have to suck it up.
But coming back home when the senses are on fire, my mind is on over-drive as I pull the car into the garage and shut off the engine and breath out. Home. Thankful the Triple 7 didn't lose a wing. Am I getting a cold? What meetings do I have this week? Can I get out on a date with my lady tomorrow? Should I even line up at the race in Somewhere, CO? Do I still have it? When will the cycles finally snap the rubber band?
When away, I am the fish that has been yanked out of the water and am sitting on the wooden seat of the fat man's canoe as I bake in the sun, scales drying, mouth pulsating....doing what it can to pull in oxygen. The pulling-into-the-garage-from-the-airport from these trips is my symbolic re-entry into the water. It takes me a few moments...OK, maybe a day some times....and then I come back to normalcy. I can breath again.
I can do this. I can balance. I can be there when I need to because you know my intent is good and my mission is to get home. Be home. Feel home. I can be precisely who I am and continue to try only because of your faith in me. Is it a hedge? God, I don't know. But it is authentic....even if it has no answers present to me, to us, at the moment. It is, what I speak of, a continued search for the next wave in our lives. No more scales baking in the sun. I need to be drinking oxygen.
Thanks for the photo, Brian. It spoke all of this to me.
The days are clicking by. It's unbelievable. I blinked and I was eating waffles with KP and Dubba in Belgium....and now am already feeling the coolness of the mornings again.
The changing of the leaves is here. The gluing of the tires is here. The bruising of the shoulder is here. The bury-yourself intervals are here.
Even with the greatest of perspectives on life which I try so hard to have...e.g. beautiful family, beautiful friends, beautiful health (when I'm not yard sale-ing myself over rocks mind you), etc...I use 'cross as an anchor to literally PULL me through the dog days and get me through to the calendar's finish line. God I love it. 50 degree sunny days, embrocation, trees blowing up with color, cowbells making my ear drums rattle.
I still struggle to make sense over career, goals, etc. It's all there in compartments I manage and I am blessed to the core as I push onward with it all (painfully on the imbalanced teeter totter days), but I swear to you I have a vision and know precisely how I'd like to crush it....but I digress. I'll not take up pixels here on that now....
The family these days makes me smile so wide. My beautiful wife is flourishing and we both stand back and watch these boys of ours grow into incredible young men.
I want them to have a 'cross in their lives...whatever it may be. Sports, art, love of some form or another. To help pull them through.
Everyone should experience this.