Very occasionally, if you pay really close attention, life doesn’t suck-
Can’t separate yourself from preparing for the big event (Gravel Worlds) two weekends from now? Constantly checking social media for updates, even in the middle of the night? Are you suffering from a strange compulsion to browse Strava profiles, fitness blogs for hours at a time comparing your training program to the other competitors? Feel awkward if you’re not blogging training updates, texting pics of your dirty yoga mat and bike, live tweeting work out session(s), and creating a Vine as you down a recovery shake?
Like helpless passengers aboard a ship violently broken from its moorings … We are adrift in a storm of angst, riding the waves of useless competing/bullshit/whatever, and I do the very same. More so than I like.
Finding a balance between useful “information” input and informational quiet that I can live with, is hard. Which is why we need a lifeboat to gently guide us back to safe harbor.
When I remember to climb back into my lifeboat, a lifeboat where I can do anything. A sturdy vessel where I can day-dream, and talk to myself about gear ratios (aloud) while pedaling down a back country road. My lifeboat is easy to climb aboard, and it shelters me from the oncoming storm … When I stop to remember that is.
There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature–
One vibrant morning in Omaha last summer. I joined a friend for bike ride and a “refueling” stop midway. We decided to try a little café in Countryside Village that is well-known for diverse, healthy fare and devilishly good treats. Both of us were trying to get our diets in order for the upcoming cyclocross season, so splitting a sandwich fit in perfectly with our plan(s).
Moments after sitting down by the front window, a friendly waiter arrived to take our order. We asked for a club sandwich (which could feed four people) and two waters, one with a wedge of lemon. As our waiter was starting to walk away to place our order into the bustling kitchen, my friend threw in a side of homemade kettle chips. Needless to say – “things” just got real!
“Dude… You, of all people, know that I am not very good at saying “no.” Do you smell how delicious they are?Look at the young couple enjoying their order! Fresh kettle chips are simply irresistible I tell you! It’s torture! The humanity – Gah!!!!”
“I’ll have a few and toss the rest away …”
Finally I chime in …
“How about “no” kettle chips? Let’s say “no” to the order of chips now, so we don’t have to say “no” over and over when they arrive from the kitchen – begging to be savored and devoured!”
My friend finally relented and we kindly asked our waiter to cancel the order. Twenty miles down the road, my friend said he felt pretty good that he didn’t get the tasty, perfectly fried kettle chips. Who needs duck fat fried slices of potato heaven, when you can share good company and an awesome sandwich instead!?!
This is when my Strava obsessed and quasi – superstitious friend discovered the strength and power of saying “No.” Did saying no to the kettle chips add watts and power to our hill training program? Who knows, and who cares. Although we did go back after finishing our century …
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present-
Clumsily in these trying times, we move forward … Love – Hope – Faith
** I have been wanting to share the following story with you for some time now. A whimsical story filled with love, a dude and unbridled hatred of following pedantic training plans. **
“Dude, the Leadville Trail Marathon is just around the corner in June. Are you ready training wise, mentally prepared?”
The conversation that followed only lasted at tops – Two minutes. This dude is the type of person that runs for pureness, to smile and what he told me was his love of being immersed in nature. The type of runner who takes his shoes off and runs 13 miles for the “pure enjoyment of being outside“. Training plans, schedules, blah … Are a hindrance to him. Three miles on Monday. Six on Thursday, taper off before you cycle and load nutritionally or whatever that means.
I paused, listened deeply to the passion resonating in his voice and thought:
The very characteristics that define “this dude” who can handle the adversity of just showing up to a marathon without any training what so ever are the very same characteristics that will define who we are as individuals: Happy, healthy and smiling through life.
Stop and take notice, that’s what I did. A simple conversation with a close friend turned my attention to what I (we) have faith in, who you love, what you love, and your dreams for the future.
The important lesson this morning (personally speaking from the story above), take the time to acknowledge with gratitude all the good things you have in your life. Trivial, bloated training plans not being one of them!
The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways-
To setup the following video, which is amazing from a geek standpoint. Lolo Jones is a beast and an ELITE one at that! She is also an inspiration to our humble, down to earth Corn Belt heart…