I don’t know why I got so excited when I saw a mad max lookin’ pick up truck cruising up the road today. It looked like one of those Ford Bronco’s, but bigger, way bigger, and with the back part chainsawed off. The tires were huge too - but not too huge - not monster truck huge. And I swear the license plate was twist tied on with rusty wire. The back bed of the truck was full of scavenged items: bed frames, table parts, chairs, coils. It was a gnarly looking vehicle.
Now there is nothing really good, per se, about being in Mad Max world. It’s dystopia. At the same time there is something fascinating about large imperfect hunks of scrap metal leaning to one side roaring up a road. I don’t know if it’s just bringing back childhood wonder or if it was just so surreal and out of place - it didn’t logically look like it should be moving at all - that I admired it.
I continued riding up the road scooting in between stopped cars and around slow cars. It’s nice being on bicycle sometimes. I love it pretty much all the time although I admit I was thinking about riding in the cold weather and snow. Something I have been planning to do and has been on my list. Last year I was going to give up my car entirely - but I got too lazy. This year though - I better get plenty of cold weather gear! I’m excited!
When I got home I could hear Sammy lazily plop off the couch pulling one of the cushions to the floor as his hind legs slithered off as he stretched and kneaded the rug with his front paws until they finally dropped and he trotted over. I patted his head and tethered him in his harness and off we went. It was cool outside. Unusually so for summer in the Chicago burbs. Global warming, so I hear.
We walked easily to the park and I was impressed by how he was actually following commands pretty well, not getting too crazy about squirrels and rabbits. I felt it was as if he knew he wasn’t going anywhere anyway. Even if usually he would stubbornly pull the leash anyway. Once so much so that I was holding his harness and his front feet were air walking over the sidewalk - ears perked.
We got to the field and he found his freedom - and some rabbits. I wonder what he would do if he caught up with a rabbit. He doesn’t seem to have a violent bone in his body. Would he kill the thing? Or was it just the chase that interested him? He definitely enjoyed the chase. I didn’t feel bad about tethering him back up since he had gotten his run in. In and out and around the bushes and trees at full speed. The chase was fully on. His eyes had laser focus. Ah, the life of a dog!
reprinted from https://etherealbeings.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/the-way-home/
I have a rock in my stomach! Too much pasta. This coffee just isn’t kicking in.
Ever heard of a lost weekend? I feel like I’ve had a lost week. And I have. It’s been seven days exactly. But my lost week wasn’t like a lost weekend - I mean, I wasn’t getting lost in a bottle or anything. I was working... a lot. And training. Training. Such a funny word to use for having a lot of fun and doing a lot of work on a bike or on foot or on a wall or whatever. Being concise with words and all that - well, until I ruined it with an explanation and all. But this journaling and free form story telling isn’t designed to unfold using economy and efficiency. So .... effectiveness? Was it helpful for me to unpack the word “training”? Was it for you, dear reader? It was for me, although a novelty unpacking with slight and subtle irony.
Perhaps “training” is my bottle these days. It’s something to explore. That and other personal things. Another reason I believe I was ... withholding.
More on that in a minute.
Training - physical training, that is - causes all kinds of brain chemicals to release or form. Also, you can get hooked on the accomplishment - it may not be easy to knock out ten reps or 100 miles, but you can rack ‘em up. It’s physical. You can mark it. It feels good and you can say you did something. The emotional attachment to this all is different also. Not only is it so personal and individual, you work out emotional or intellectual things that often are reactions or presented by outside forces ... aka other people.... the interpersonal relationship didactics worked out in a hundred miles at 21 miles per hour by bicycle. Not much matters after a while. Every breakdown, every trivial nitpick, every difference and argument seems petty after a while. It may still be there - but not for you. Not any more. You burned it up.
But that’s a tangent. It’s not the WHY, it’s just a side benefit. And you keep moving forward. It’s a great way to spend the time regardless. And, besides, why sweat the small stuff anyway? Often arguments actually are petty and need to just move over. Anyone who wastes too much time being angry needs to be out of your life anyway. If you can’t be the one who says, “I love you and I’m sorry” because of ego, you need to go.
I’ll never forget the racer I met in Girona - He was so lean and tall. He was preparing for Giro or something. He rode long and smooth. But what impressed me most was that he barely spoke really. He was just all blissed out all the time. He had a few things he saved his passion for and the rest didn’t matter, but he was blissful to all. Especially the ones he was closest to.
These are some of the things I am coming to understand.
Who even subscribes to this blog? Haha - I mean - I’m just laughing at myself. Ah well. Sometimes it’s cathartic. Mostly - it’s an exercise. A different discipline. I like that. Simple...
Soooooo what a day! I totally did something - many things - I didn’t want to do today. Many of those things turned out to be awesome. One thing did not.
So I will begin with the awesome thing. That’s short and sweet. For days my friend has been bugging me about going rock climbing on this day particularly. I don’t know why. I know he invited some other girl to go climbing and that he and this other girl had been talking offline for what seems to be months - I have no idea. Anyway - I didn’t really want to make plans knowing I had that big ride yesterday. Well - I wanted to make *LAZY* plans - so yes, I wanted to make plans, but not plans that would require me to exert a lot of energy. I really just wanted to see how I would feel. But ... he was persistent. Comes with his nature. He wanted to join me for morning yoga so I slept over and we got up and made it to yoga. I also had to get myself acclimated to yoga on boards - so after yoga we practiced and goofed off a bit. I think it was useful because a few students and also onlooker became curious so they asked and also jumped in.
A good sampling. After a bit we scooted off.
I felt good - so I was happy to go climbing. We picked up my stuff after getting a smoothie from the cafe and got his climbing gear and off we went making it down around 12:45. The girl was waiting for us already. I had met her the same day I met him but we had not communicated since then. It was awkward? No - haha - it wasn’t awkward. Not ‘til now, that is. (insert evil smilie face here)
She had never been climbing before - or never really been climbing before - i don’t know which - but always wanted to do it. One of those.... So I was excited for her. I could remember when I first started climbing ... being an old cow, for me, that was about 24 years ago. I loved it. I was 18 or 19 and just flew up the walls. Heck, even when my daughter was of age enough to kick my ass and I was in my 30’s I would race up the walls. She would take one side and I the other - it was like skipping stairs - literally up a 30 foot wall in 20 seconds. Totally addicting. I had a blast.
So I hoped it would be just as much fun for her.
Two hours and two red bulls later plus a long bike ride out to the location - I was done. My hands were spent and I had had one of the better climbing days I had had in a long time. I was pretty happy with my day - I figured it had been since I had gotten back into it a bit more this year. And that was a goal for me for this summer: climb more.
Besides the month of June when I was totally distracted by some hill climbing riding thing, I did just that. Climb more and climb outdoors - those were two giant goals I had in mind. This day it seemed to come together. The red bulls helped too. The first one more so than the second. By then I was just hungry, fingers sore, skin scraped and the like. All which fell on unsympathetic ears. So - we carry on.
So today I rode 106+ some miles by bicycle. It was fun. Lots of sprints, break aways and - the clincher - great cyclists to ride with. That’s what makes it. I love the competition and spirit of it all. I love the spirit of the people I rode with. I mean, the whole event is great, but the spirit of the social aspect is really fun for me. I woke up around 4:45 in the morning, got my coffee together, got my water bottles together, showered quickly, wrapped up the spare tube just in case and headed out the door.
I met my friend, Danny, at the Trader Joe’s - we planned to ride out to meet the group together. It was his first group ride - first century with a group too. That’s one way to break that in. Just jump on it. We warmed up via Gardner to 75th and down Book to Frontier Park where about ten other riders were waiting around. These guys all usually rode what’s known as “the blur ride” - meaning they ride a 20+ mph pace. Tuesdays and Thursdays it’s about 22.5 miles, weekends it’s usually 50. They usually seem to go about 22-24 mph average which means if you don’t include stops they are traveling at about 25-28 mph on the straights.
Weekends and for long rides - like say, a century - it’s usually a “no drop ride” relatively speaking.
Last year I rode Tuesdays and Thursdays because they were the only days I could get out to ride really on weekdays. Some days I was happy to hang on for 10 of the 22.5 miles. It did make me a better rider to push myself. And I learned the route and the way home so I had no worries. I was always blown away at how they made the speed and the attacks look so easy. The thing about riding, or being athletic, there are always those who you will be better than, and there are always those you will be humbled by. Either way I find you can’t take it personally. We all work at our own pace and it is all a learning experience.
I remember riding up some serious hills in Girona and the coach just glided next to me, hand on my back gently pushing me up a hill steady and smooth. He spun. I struggled. He smiled. I sneered. He spoke. I listened.
Of course... there are many many similar examples like this I could give - where my body was just failing and their body seemed to just do it. Just like it was nothing. How? How did they do it? They were so thin and weak looking. They were ... So. Strong.
All of June I accidentally conditioned.
I mean, I have been riding for a while now and with a variety of different types of riders. I’m lucky that way. If I’m lucky I find myself with people who kick my ass and I learn and grow.
It’s happened often enough.
Friday. Looking forward to the century tomorrow. I had so much fun last year riding with the NBC Blur riders. Bed early tonight. I suppose normal people are thinking about beer and fireworks and things like that. I guess this is my way of being social ... and getting that huge endorphin rush I so crave all at once.
I’ve been thinking of why I haven’t been writing. I could easily say it is because I have been so busy, which is true. I have been thinking about so many things to write about. I was thinking about how what some of what I have been reading in other people’s blogs reflect this idea of intimidation of somehow writing something that will be embarrassing or how difficult it is for them to put themselves and their thoughts out into the world for this thing called judgement. Then I started to think about exposure and vulnerability and how there are actually so many different types of exposure and vulnerabilities. Maybe to be judged, yeah, this is a thing. Some people are still afraid of communal or societal judgement or are just shy for whatever reason.
But what about privacy? What and why is privacy?
Interesting isn’t it?
And all of us have this need on different levels for different reasons.
Some people just don’t want to be bothered. Some are hiding things. Some are strategic. Some are protective. Some people are private ... for private reasons.
I struggled with all the things I wasn’t going to write about. Choosing privacy.
I am not usually a private person. And I had taught myself not to be shy a long long time ago. I used to be horribly shy. Side effect of being an only child of my upbringing, I suppose. Not being shy was definitely a learned effort. But it doesn’t mean I lost the natural tendency to be introverted, nor does it mean I have any less desire to have privacy.
So I wondered why. Why now all of a sudden do I have this overwhelming desire for privacy.
I’d tell you, but then I would have to kill you ... and I’m just not in the mood today for killing. Will have to wait for tomorrow’s ride I guess.. for the killing, I mean.
In the meanwhile, I have climbing. I tend to choose the oddest ways of being social. Even when climbing, I will have a tendency to go off and just play with some routes or exercises on my own. It’s not to be antisocial. It’s really just to make myself better so when I am off doing things with others who share a passion, I can keep up. Nothing worse, for example, when a group is riding and someone falls behind and feels bad for holding up a group - or when you’re out in the mountains and someone breaks a leg because they had a panic attack. Yea - It’s happened. Helicoptered out.
Just realizing how many stories I have to tell. And how I just distracted you from what I didn’t want to tell you.
Fading fast though... over n out.
If I were to redefine how to love for myself, I would include ways to respect and be kind to the ones I love. I do and have made sacrifices - so not to harbor resentment. Sacrifices for my kids - No problem. Other grown ups.... maybe sometimes a glimmer of a problem. Probably why I have weighed the outcomes and always chose experience and let the other person deal with the resentment no matter how minor or major it may be. Have you ever noticed how friends will take it differently that, say, people who are more than friends?
Lately I have wanted and tried very hard to just not go outside that boundary as it causes so many problems.
So, say, you tell a friend, “Hey I can’t go to blah blah blah with you because there’s this race I really want to go to.”
They just accept it and usually respond with, “Cool - no problem! Luck, man - Let me know how it goes!” And they’re maybe even happy for you.
Same situation with a boyfriend or girlfriend type and everything gets shot to hell and it becomes this personal thing. And probably for good reason. I mean, we end up spending so much of our free time with the significant other, a cancellation last minute can leave someone hanging. What’s worse is I notice what I do is I wait around for that person - like if they say, ‘oh wait for me I want food too’ and then take forever while I wait I can get a little frustrated. I suppose I’d wait around for anyone, but I would probably just leave if, say, was just a friend who was lollygaggin’. So, see, I do it too. Fall into the trap of dependence.
Shouldn’t we though?
I remember seeing a funny meme that said something like, “Hey! Want to be codependent?” or “Wow - I’d really like to be codependent with you”. Great pick up lines. Pick up lines of the 90’s and 2000’s for sure with all the psycho babble that flies around.
On a serious note, having people to trust and being trustworthy for people so that you can depend upon them and they can depend upon you IS amazing. I am actually a pretty reliable person. I will do what I say.... and ignore the question if I can’t.
Just kidding - I’ll respond... most of the time. Recently I was accused of omitting ... funny thing to be accused of really. Do we accuse this of our friends? Usually just for those who we care about most for one reason or another. Interesting dynamic, isn’t it? I try to stand back and look at things objectively - but it can be difficult if it’s one sided.
So I have just written almost 1600 words on the subject and have not really even answered my own questions or defined anything clearly.... I guess it is no wonder so many chase happiness and only some find it. Especially if love has anything to do with it.
I think I will redefine loving as just something as simple as a smile and being happy for everyone and as giving as I can be especially to the ones I know depend on me most - depend on me as a mom, as a friend or as more than a friend. And all those are relative. There is a mutual respect aspect to these of course as I must care for and have self love if I want to have anything left to give of myself; and there is forgiveness.
So, finding a way to create a life that supports love ... But how can one properly argue with a boy friend or girl friend or husband, wife, sister, brother or child if you have to do it in an environment that supports love and doesn’t push it away?
I’ve found that some people just really don’t need to fight.
Strange concept, I know. A person who has no need for power struggles? Unreal.
What if - just what if that person actually just has different ways of winning? Maybe even redefining the idea of what it is to win.
I personally have redefined the definition of what it is to win several times over my short lifetime. Currently it revolves around having children that grow and learn and are in a fairly safe environment with managed risk. That’s a good place to use the word “manage”: preceding the word “risk”. Especially with regard to our loved ones like our children. Teaching managed risk is important - I have never believed in protecting the kids and putting them in a bubble - how can they grow and learn to challenge themselves or overcome obstacles?
Back to the win.
Once upon a time I opened a studio. My kids were pretty little at the time. I opened the studio to be able to have something that didn’t exist locally and also to have a place where I could work and have more time for my family. The studio took up so much time I found myself in higher and higher demand outside family life. Was I winning?
Once upon a time I got a degree as an accountant and found a great job as a governmental auditor. I made more money than my husband, but my boss was an ass and his twins loved to destructively run around the office and when they found me at my desk they would throw my files and say, “go fetch!” and run off. Was I winning?
Here’s the crazy part - I may not have been winning, but I wasn’t losing either. The experiences those days gave me are invaluable. All the experiences are. Collector of experiences? Winning there a tad for sure. Some folks are more extreme - but we do the best with what we have.
How does that relate to creating a lifestyle that is conducive to love and not pushing it away?
Well, I guess it depends on how you define loving.
I think I would be the first person to admit that I can be inpatient. With our limited daylight, I don’t like to waste time. I mean I do - but as I want it. I don’t think I’m alone here. However, the point being, what would I give up or be willing to give up or alter in order to accommodate love? I have been in my past really bad at not pursuing a passion... meaning an interest such as painting or reading or traveling. I have in the past not listened to people I have been “involved” with - or married to - in order to truck along on my merry way.
Here’s the killer - It isn’t so much me pursuing a passion that gets in the way, it’s the feeling of disrespect the other person feels when I blatantly do what I want. It’s not often - maybe once every five years, but it’s that significant to them.
Collector of experiences 1: Relationship 0.