Entries in family (64)
Holy Joy. The joy that only a wife can give to you. That was today. She and I, fat tires and in-the-woods communion. Sitter with the boys to give us that oh-so-needed grin session. Just like when we first met and we rolled in epic rain showers together railing trails we shouldn't have been on trying to mak e a B-line back to our car.
It's coming folks. I sense the change because the initial domino has been flipped. I flipped it. How can I do this? Because the one I love tells me the cage door is open. So many men have to suffer for the need to keep on keeping on for their situation. Blindly. Soullessly. My lady used her own Kung Fu power to kick the cage door open and set me...us free.
So Bliss. I apologize. I want you back as a reader. I'm so close to ending my crappy rants of boo-hoo-woe-is-me-isms. You are my benchmark and litmus test and I heard you as you sat in the back of BCS. It spoke to me. And I know how you, my peeps want me. How I want me.
So close. On top of it. Back doesn't hurt. Mind is freeing. Energy lifting. Spring coming. Kids laughing.
Big daddy's back. Big daddy is coming back, laughing.
Fat tires have drugs in them. Do you know this?
...on the toilet. Oh, my rides certainly rank up there too if I am not concentrating on ensuring I reach channel zero when the teeter totter is all out of whack, but the porcelain throne is absolute peace and focus for me.
Take my session this week while on the road. 5 weeks in a row. 5AM and I start the day with a think-session. That in itself is good news as I am usually bound up like a cement plant when I get in the aluminum tube out of DIA and get my game on in some other city. Nerves? Not enough water? I'm becoming an old fart? Lack of activity to keep the system churning? Those are the typical variables preventing , um..regularity, but Wednesday AM the factory was moving out the product very productively. So the thoughts rolled in.
Oh, back to the porcelain-inspired thinking. Even in the wee hours the hyperactive brain is on overdrive. And whence it use to be with inspired thoughts ranging from software product design to Ren and Stimpy, i got sucked into the teeter totter imbalance problem. So, what does that mean to you, my reader? Instead of speaking all in abstract and whatnot, I'll boil it out: It's side 3 of the 3 sided teeter totter imbalancing everything....and it has for some time (as you know). Why can't I just move on? 12 years. Started there before I met my wife and got married; we grows-dup some kids during this time; lived lives in the family of the company in SF before we even had a brain-fart about Boulder. We partied together, worked hard together, struggled together and crushed the competition together. What is it about me? Why can't I just move on? Why can't I take leaps of faith? As I kept on thinking, I kept on numbing and before I knew it I was crippled and could barely walk. The thoughts were deep and the session was good but I was late for my meetings. I left too many dangling thoughts there on that porcelain Wednesday morning.
Back home midnight Wednesday. Up an at it at 7 bells today with every input firing off rid lights, bells bleeps and buzzes. I shut them all down. Had coffee at the table with my lady and boys and helped get them out the door for school and for their days to begin. I get in my office chair and the thoughts flood in again. I can not focus on anything else. Why can't you do it man? This is not an issue of anyone in particular, the company or otherwise doing shite things at me to/me. I think it is just the beginning of a chasm. A very natural and gradually diverging chasm not unlike when an ice sheet breaks apart in the Arctic after naturally wearing away a part of itself. 12 years. Crispy around the edges.
The lunchtime training ride helped anesthetize. It's always temporary though. Tangentially, what was fun was dropping some full kitted-out roadie up Sunshine on my 29'er. Hmm. Maybe I'm not so bad off after all. But that smile was short lived as the thoughts got pulled right back to: what do I do?
Real focus on the root of the problem started to materialize the more altitude I gained on the bike. While I had these realizations before, or sort of stub thoughts about them, this trip to the mother ship spoke to me about distance between them...and me. My experience was different this time. I have been working 967 miles away (according to United mind you as I know that mile accrual intimately), isolated as one of the people trying to keep this company as successful and driven as when we were tiny and obscure. The core of executive team have circle wagon meetings at will....and decisions are made in real-time. Except for my input of course. It's not intentional, it's just reality. I'm not there. The decision to move here in 04 and the conditions of my situation were absolutely different at that time. Now, more than ever, my A game and the influence it can have is...limited. And that is a pain that is extremely tough to bear when you have as much self pride as I do. I try to do the best, but it's neutered.
So, all the rants you hear me go off on about teeter totters and such....it's all rooted here. the Family (side 1) and health (side 2) sides sing in harmony and are rock solid. But side 3's challenges lie at the epicenter of the fire in my brain. I do not expect many of you to understand, but those that know me will find this all fairly typical. I do not give up. It's like 'crossing for me. I race against the best Masters in the country and refuse to give up race after race until I meet my personal goals. They began with just get into the top 20, then top 10 then top 5 and as God as my witness, I want to have that feeling again of raising hands over my head having overcome the challenges of racing against the best and training through all my drama to make it so.
So that is the personal conundrum, kids. To do all these things, at least in my tiny experience of mine, is to have absolute balance. Harmony. My instinct is killing me, which is to not let go. Not give up. Not yield and keep at it. Not let business drive my family's geography, to ensure we still keep driving towards quality of our lives. I need my time to come to the conclusion so I may have to drag you through more vetting. But Spring's coming and with it clarity.
God, the ride was killer today. I'm lucky.
Stupid me. Oh, stupid me. I thought I was free and clear but Montezuma is smiling from wherever he is these days at me, the dumb-ass traveler. The Mexico vaca was fantastic, but tiny little secret agents embedded themselves in my intestines for the trip across the border and have initiated their assault this AM.
Geyser. That's all I can say. The wife and I woke up with rumbling intestines and a low grade fever this AM. After getting the kids settled with some b-fast and got our coffee brewing, we both at precisely the same moment tore after the bathroom in an Olympic level sprint. Hilarious. My wife won. I needed to keep it together for the trip back up stairs to another bathroom to ensure I didn't have another episode.
I think I'll have to take a day off the bike. I value my chamois too much for them to take this kind of abuse.
And I repeated that phrase more than once over the last few days. Sorry for the lack of updates folks but the fam and I were in May-hee-co on some family R & R. I am sufficiently bloated and anesthetized by way of bad well drinks and Dos Equis served in plastic cups. Mmm.
The brief vaca was a great relief from the pressure cooker and at the epicenter of that relief was watching my boys absolutely free, running like mad men up and down the beach, through the surf without care 1 in the world. It's inspiring to see that. I distinctly remember doing that as a kid. Running up and down the beach on the water's edge, back and forth for hours doing the thrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp with my lips to sound exactly like a 1970's 2-stroke Yamaha until my lips were swollen and red all around. I saw my kids doing the same...occasionally interrupted with a bout of Transformers or Power Rangers combat between themselves, then back to moto's.
So, we're back, somewhat tanned and stoked that we just bucked the system and punched a hole in the chaos to circle our wagons and be with each other as a family, The getting out of the grind was good. It didn't change the core of how I feel about certain things these days on one side of the 3 part teeter totter, but did give me clarity over how I truly feel about it and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As my beautiful wife has told me time ad infinitum: the cage door is open.
Moving on to 'cross things, no Cult Cross for me folks. As 'crossy as I am, I am not going to make it up to Eagle. I am not kidding when I say that my fingertips and toes are JUST back to normal after their 'nip from CO States on 12/7. Crazy and I'll not be inviting that back into my life any time soon so LG's 10-20" of snow on the course while 'fun' sounding send shivers up my spine on ho to work through that frost nip/bite stuff. I am entirely on the down low for now with training and even if just to attend Cult Cross and shoot photos and see my peeps, I personally want to stay close to home for the time being and not go yet one more place...one more trip...one more get up and go which I can't seem to make stop these days. Down low is the tempo these days. Enjoy yourselves though race fans!
What did you do today to elevate your heart rate folks? I mean besides throttle your computer? Whatever you, me, all of us with the taken-for-granted ability to wiggle all of our appendages are doing by staring at our PowerTaps and putting in our miles to keep fit and reach our goals this season pales in comparison to the depth Chris digs day in and day out to get it done. My boy Klebl, the same kid who is responsible for getting me on a mountain bike in 92 and falling back in love with two wheels (Damn you Klebl. Damn you. I could be a happy fat drunk Irishman at this point), won his 8th national cross country ski title amongst throwing down in Europe. Read his blog here and next time you throw your leg over your carbon fiber, smile and get it done. Chris is.
...or they'll never know just exactly how much of a chump this guy really is! I am sitting here FLOORED by what my co-workers assembled for me and I'll never forget it. This week is our company's annual kick off. It's the first one in 10 years I have not attended to help rally the troops. To set the stage for you when you watch the YouTube, in all honestly, I've got me some big ass hair. OK, I admit it. The entire company got their hair on for me in support of this whole crazy adventure I'm on. Beeatches.
My Embarcadero people (and Shana and Greg D, I know you were behind this!!): I love you and thank you. Now seriously realize, I am a hack....HA! But I'll take down a Belgie or two for ya while throwing down hard! They'll never take me alive!
I truly am the luckiest man in the world.
Merry Christmas! What a picturesque day here in The Reepoobleek. It went from 20 degrees in the AM all the way to 50 degrees yesterday. But the mercury corrected itself today to a steady 20 degrees and snowing. It made for a very Bing Crosby-esque day.
On the bike tip, Santa knew that I am STILL with numbness in the very tips of my big toes still after the CX States earlier this month. While getting better, he knew that I needed some legit stuff to combat the cold gremlins, and so the stocking was stuffed with all the kindness one could hope for:
New Swix gloves, woolie socks and tons of these adhesive heat packet things Troy made a recommendation to get.
I used all of this new stuff today on my run and holy crap they work. In fact, it melted the snow off my shoes! It is the real deal and I wish I had them before States! They will be packed for Belgium fo' sure.
So now, we're just chilling in a sort of post present opening haze/hangover. Incredibly fun this AM with the boys being as old as they are now. I wish you and all of yours the absolute best Christmas!
Thanks for reading.
Back in May, I started za plan. On that very first day, I installed a brand new set of bomber Ritchey Fortress training tires. Yesterday, I finally retired those puppies before they explode on a 50mph descent. I held these things in my hand for a bit sitting in my garage, late at night, after Boups swung by with beers in tow.
This led me to thinking...
Anything can happen. You can not stop what is coming....and what is coming, good or bad, is absolutely equivalent to what you set in motion in the universe, years, months, days....even seconds before.
Balance and forethought.
I'm a little worn out. Not unlike that Fortress' tread. I've ranted enough over the last moths about this. It is what it is. But, I'm happy to say I'm getting signals back from the universe that things will be OK. The conversations last night with old friends were life changing. Words were spoken, words were heard...but the words were carefully listened to.
Note the difference.
Today, for instance, was the first time in many many many months that I woke up with a smile. It was totally noticeable to me. I sprang out of bed. This is in opposition to most mornings when I feel a ghost fever, my eyes crack open and the first blurry sights they see are of my night stand and a BlackBerry's red light spastically blinking...remind me that Groundhog's Day is about to replay itself.
None of this has to do with bikes. Everything I speak of however, will have an effect in biking, how I father, how I love, the type of friend I can be, the level of depth I need to be at as a professional. Obviously not in any particular order. A universal and holistic wrapper that has re-cased my brain from the eroding cancer to absolute hope. God that feels good.
Tired of me yet? I am not apologizing. Dig deep into your own condition. Your own situation. Your own motivation.
I am doing what I can to correct and find it. I think I opened my eyes to something that is not blinking red.
November 28th, my faithful M & C readers, this blog celebrates its one year anniversary. Man, what the _ _ _ _ happened to the year!? Where has it gone?!?! I was checking in on Radio Freddy's a few days ago and noticed his beautiful site's one year anniversary which reminded me to look back in the annals for that very first post. Holy crappola! November 28th 2006!
What M & C is, is nothing more that an electronic scratchpad I wanted to start as a personal journal. That's what blogs are, right? So I made it into sort of a day to day thing documenting my experiences on quasi daily basis of what being a husband, daddy, worker and bike racer is about from the balance perspective....with the intent that come hell or high water, I would get my ass to Belgium...going to church so to speak...to experience what 'cross really is.....or maybe I know what it is and want to know from where it came. Whatever the case, more often than not, it was a place to digitally scream to something. Unfortunately you are all the victims of my rants and absolute psychoticness.
But, crazy psycho episodic rants aside, EVERY single good thing in my life from the time I was 5 years old derived from bikes, cross included and hopefully this Belgium goal a continuing extension of it. Literally, everything is linked together through bikes for the last 30+ years in this sort of beautiful unfolding tale that I am also enamored with when I reflect on it:
- Learn how to ride a bike at Ted Stoica's 4th birthday party, 1975
- Get my own bike in kindergarten that year and begin my obsession.
- Create a bike gang of 5-8 year olds. We are the Thunderbirds.
- Start dirt jumping with the T-birds Evil Kneivel style in elementary school
- Learn to race BMX (decently) and ride ramps (badly) in middle school in the early 80's and gt my first racing license (an NBL license if you remember that!). Eddie Fiola is my hero.
- Learn dad gets job transfer summer before I start high school in mid 80's. Parents bribe me with a Shogun racing 10 speed because this guy Greg Lemond is doing things over there in Europe and "10 speed bike racing" is getting cool.
- The Shogun gathers dust while I revert back to my GT Pro Performer and start riding around the streets of NJ and BMX again becomes a proxy for meeting new peeps
- Race more, jump more meet absolutely CORE people.
- Go to college in the late 80's and learn about this thing called 'mountain biking'. I learn its a big BMX bike.
- Drink incredible amounts of Piels and Gennesee Light and get fat.
- Get inspired by Chris by senior year to go and ride ride ride
- Graduate and flounder and move to Cape Cod, get my own MTB and ride every day. No shirt, no helmet, Hi-Tech hiking boots. I get tan and get back to some fitness.
- Finally get embarrassed enough that I need to get a job, move back from the Cape and find one in NYC. I slave all week and blow out the weekends up and down the East Coast racing MTB's
- Grow the obsession. Start buying magazines with pretty pictures of radsters in CA riding insane MTB's reading them cover to cover on the subway to and from work and.
- Start using this thing called the internet in the mid 90's and find this bike guy in CA called "Rock Lobster" and get info on his bikes.
- Get obsessed with Rock Lobster and Bontrager bikes and decide California is the place I ought to be so I loaded up the truck and I move to Beverly...er ah...SF
- Move to SF, buy a Rock Lobster (actually many...) and find Mecca in Marin and Santa Cruz and meet a group of people who are literally family now...with no less than THREE marriages spawned by our group meeting an connecting
- Then meet my beautiful (now) wife. We ride into the proverbial sunset....
- Race more, work more, grow more and learn of something called 'cross in 96.
- Meet the most amazing bike freaks and they become brothers and sisters.
- Cross more. Including wearing a dress while doing so.
- Procreate and yield two little Irishmen.
- Decide that Boulder might be a better place to raise them thar kids (that being the guise for a better 'cross scene) and we made a decision in a weekend and move.
- Meet the most amazing bike freaks and they too become brothers and sisters...
So Belgium. Now do you see? It's like No. 25 on this growing list of things that have so expanded and enriched my life and those around me. It also was a goal to help me laser focus on something during this year...a year I KNEW would be turbulent and it materialized that way. Remember that scene in Star Wars (the original one....not the computer animated shit), when Luke is in the X Wing and needs to drop that bomb in that tunnel to blow up the Death Star and the commander over his head set is shouting "Stay on target...stay on target...". Well, that's what Belgium has been. Belgium (or the promise of getting my act together to go was that little control tower voice helping me to push day by day...for bad or for worse. Creating new channels in the universe and exposing me to what I hope will be the truth about our sport.
I will be sure to blog it.
Thanks for reading. Thank you my beautiful wife for this experience.