Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Photos are above, as promised. I'm assimilating more and more every day here in Tahoe City, and I'm really starting to enjoy the area. I'm pretty confident that I'll be working my job of choice at Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley, which is awesome. It's going to be a very full season. I'm making strides at the gym, and I'm looking forward to recommitting myself there next week (post-mountain job fair weekend). Our house is all here, and I'm excited to have a "family" feel. On that note - I can't wait to spend time with my parents and brother this New Year's in Japan. I'm counting my blessings.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The whirlwind of the last few days has subsided a bit, and I've been awarded some time to write. It's almost uncomfortable to just be sitting here writing in a coffeehouse after all of the work I've been doing this past week checking boxes. Almost.... an espresso and granola are tough to make "uncomfortable".
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Writing this from my friend Shane's couch in San Francisco, I feel fortunate to have friends like him (and his lovely girlfriend, Danielle) in my life. Consistent vagabonding has many pros and cons, and even more truisms. One of the most pervasive truisms inherent to my lifestyle is this: you are incredibly dependent upon the hospitality and generosity of friends and family, and you must be willing to accept that it won't be there at all times. Today I'm in the comfort of my friends' home - tomorrow I may not have a roof over my head. Beyond that follows a week of uncertainty before I move into my winter home in Tahoe City. I don't have an aversion to this situation, but I do admit that it takes a bit of will and a lot of willingness to accept the situation should it come to it (i.e. I have to be comfortable with camping in near-freezing temperatures in order to be comfortable with that possibility). Fortunately, I have the equipment to handle that possibility, along with the mindset to be comfortable with it. Who knows - maybe I'll be warm and comfortable in a new friend's home tomorrow night; maybe I'll be warm and comfortable (optimism) in my sleeping bag and tent.
The paramount point to take from all of this is that I am comfortable with my situation. It's an interesting one, I'll concede that - but I look forward to a little excitement and a little solitude. I have more food and survival comforts/necessities than some billion plus people in this world live with on a daily basis.
Tomorrow I head to Berkeley to meet my friend Katie for a morning coffee, then I'm off to Tahoe to meet with my future employer. Therein lies my motivation for heading up to my new home a week before I have one there - I'm anxious to get back to work. I'm anxious to insert some structure in my life. I'm anxious to apply some discipline. If I'm serious about maintaining a lifestyle that involves long-term travel, I need to be serious about getting to work when it's time to get to work. I know that if I spend the amount of time necessary to build my brand as a trainer in Tahoe City, I can be successful there this winter. I know that I can outwork everyone there, and I know what I can bring to the table. If I have to camp for a week to get my foot in the door and prove that I'm driven and capable, then that's what I'll do. Steve Martin has been quoted as saying, "To be the best at something, you must do so at the exclusion of everything else in your life." Words for thought.
Extrapolating on that sentiment, I am starting to get the very sincere urge to apply myself to something great. Something grand in scale. And no, I don't mean the Ironman this upcoming June (although that is indeed great and grand in scale, it's not what I'm referring to). Next July I intend on pursuing something big. In no specific order, my intrigue is focused on:
- international travel
- career building in the fitness industry/developing my brand
- recommitting myself to the music industry
I can't place my motivation yet, but it's there. I thoroughly enjoy the concept of aimlessly floating from resort winter to resort winter, but I want to keep it fresh and exciting. I want to attach value to it. And, right now, I feel that that dictates a different application of my time. Perhaps next winter I'm in a winter resort again, but I feel like I'm going to make it different. I may end up in (gasp!) a warm weather climate somewhere in the southern hemisphere. I have a lot of ambition in my heart, but I don't know where I want to apply it just yet. Some introspection is required. I need to invest in myself - and although the financial risk isn't as great as many other opportunities in this world, I need to be sure of how to go about it. I need to invest in myself knowing that I'm committed. My time and energy are worth more than my dollars and cents, and I don't intend on wasting either.
Pray for snow - I am.
Monday, October 18, 2010
::Touting my own literary prowess::
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I know it's been 4 days since my last update, but that's what happens when you're biking through a state park - no internet connection means no blog. Fortunately, the ride through Big Sur was worth the delay (for us, at least).
The last few days have been wonderful - to attempt to catalogue every emotion with words isn't within my realm of ability as writer. However, I'm a bit of an overachiever, and I'll try.
All my life, I feel as though I've been very blessed. Blessed to have a full, loving family. Blessed to know great friends. Blessed to have met a great many inspirational people. I express this without religious overtone - merely a sentiment toward the positive experiences that are the cornerstones of my lust for life. In the last few weeks, I feel as though all of the things that make my life so fulfilling have been magnified tenfold. I am thrilled to know that my family is excelling in their lives, and enjoying the new experiences before them. I am comforted to be exploring a new part of the world (for me) with some of my dearest friends. And I have met so many inspirational people.
Life is a complicated thing, and meeting people who have found their place in it is inspiring to me. Great or small - all of these people have found their spot. They are comfortable with their role in their work, their community, and their family. They're comfortable with their income, with where they choose to live, and who they choose to live with. These comforts cannot be overstated; they cannot be bought. And those truisms are what make them great (and elusive). I am filled with an unabated resolve to seek out these comforts in my life, and to find my place.
We left San Francisco optimistic - we had spent time with our good friends in town, and escaped with little damage done. The roads we would take to the south would take us to new friends, new sights, and the latter half of our tour.
We rode through the south of San Francisco in the morning - city riding at it's finest. Our route spilled us out into the countryside (if one can call it that), and we followed scenic rolling highways all the way to Santa Cruz. There, we stayed with some friends that we made at the Hardly Strictly festival in San Francisco. Molly and the rest of the housemates are all UCSC Banana Slugs, which is awesome. It was one of my goals this trip to meet a real life Banana Slug, and I met several. To clarify: the school's mascot is actually a banana slug. Awesome.
We left Santa Cruz refreshed, and headed toward Carmel with a passion. We rode hard, had our efforts were rewarded with the best farmer's market I've ever seen. They had a RIDICULOUS assortment of fresh fruit, including fresh avocados for 7 for $1. 7 for $1. Seriously. And they were so ripe that you could cut them with a plastic spork (we did). We loaded up on avocados, grapes, bananas, mangos, raisins, and strawberries - enough to last us a whole 2 days. From there we rode happily to Carmel, with a brief stop in Monterey. We had a great time in Monterey, and saw a lot of encouraging, bike friendly roads. Additionally, the view of the sunset from Sunset Avenue in Monterey, CA was everything it was cracked up to be.
Our stay in Carmel was highlighted by a number of things, but the first was the company. We met up with my friend Charlie (who, funnily enough, I had never actually met), who introduced us to our host while we were in town, Peterson. Both showed us a great time while we were visiting, and Peterson hosted us in his gorgeous home. When I say gorgeous, I mean it. His taste for eclectic furnishings and access to some of the best in the world (he's an importer by profession) made the house a real one-of-a-kind experience. Much of it was modeled after a Buddhist monastery, complete with an outdoor flame-fueled sauna and bath, prayer wheels, and all sorts of fantastic original art. We enjoyed his company immensely, and I thank him very sincerely for his hospitality.
We left Carmel with full bellies (Peterson knows his was around a kitchen), calm minds, and rested legs, which was a good thing. Ahead lay Big Sur, one of the most challenging (albeit beautiful) sections of riding on our trip. We tackled the first 40 miles or so after a scenic tour around Monterey and Carmel, including all of 17 Mile Drive and the Pebble Beach complex. Seeing that place with my own eyes was a real treat - I hope to come back and play the course sooner than later. Halfway through our day, it was the general consensus that an espresso was in order, so we stopped at the River Inn, which was recommended by our friends in Carmel. There we sat and enjoyed our espresso with our feet submerged in the river - they put lawn chairs out in the 4 inch deep river, which was quite the experience. To say it was serene is an understatement.
We knocked out the next 30 miles of our day without much difficulty, although the rolling climbs definitely took their toll. We reached Lucia around 5, which left me enough time to test my legs with a local rider's challenge. AJ, one of our new friends from Carmel, suggested that I try this climb if I really liked hills (I do, weirdly enough). He said it was a real test, and I agree. Nacimiento-Ferguson Road rises 7.2 miles up from Highway 1 at fluctuating grades from 6 to 15 (!) with a total of over 2,900 feet of elevation gain. Relentless. He said a sub 50 minute time was his best, and I was determined to see what I could do. After 70 miles and a good 3,000 feet of climbing already under my legs on that day, though, I wasn't sure of what I had in me. Regardless, I had Eric smack me in the face, and I was off. I attacked that thing from the start, then reasserted myself about 5 miles in and challenged the summit with everything I had. 42:09. Viva la victory. That night we camped just off of that deliciously evil road, and enjoyed some of the best starwatching in the world. Big Sur is a truly special place.
We rose early to a gorgeous view of the Pacific, and assaulted the rest of Big Sur with little trouble. We even enjoyed some flat roads (our first in what seems like weeks) on our way into Morro Bay, and are now resting at our friend Ben's here in town. Ahead lies the push to Los Angeles, and what can unavoidably be described as the twilight of our trip. We plan on soaking it all up, and enjoying every second of it. As a barista at a seaside cafe pointed out today, "With an oceanfront view all day, how can you not?"
Monday, October 4, 2010
If you've grown tired of hearing different versions of the "So today I rode my bike for hours and enjoyed views of the Pacific" story, this blog entry is for you.