Friday, July 16, 2010

Life Gets In The Way Of Blogging

I'd like to start a petition for an extra 60 minutes to be added to the day for blogging, so I can keep this thing up to date. For that matter, I'd like to petition 3 additional hours for sleep, and 17 additional minutes for eating ice cream. When I get the official draft finished, I'll post it here and we can start a movement. Civil rights caught on, and back in the 50s and 60s almost nobody of power was behind it. Everyone likes sleep and ice cream, so I like my odds.

My sincere apologies for not writing much in the last few weeks, but it was unavoidable. My days have been slam-packed with 12 hour workdays, near-continuous training, writing music, and attempts at a social life. I am now vividly aware of what is like to always be tired and hungry, which all serious endurance athletes are. It's an interesting feeling. I can always eat more, and I can always knock out for a full 8 hours of sleep at a second's notice. It's a fascinating situation to be living in.

To be honest with you, I am writing this now because I just spent time with a very skilled and active writer, and I realized that I've been a slacker about my own work. It's one of life's great pleasures to rediscover inspiration in all that you do, and to note just how someone's excellence in a completely unrelated field (not this case, but still) can motivate and inspire you to excel in your own. I feel fortunate to have met a creative mind, and I am reinvigorated about staying creative in my own work.

I've been cycling near-consistently over the last few weeks, and I've started to admire the art that it is. Perhaps watching more ProTour riding as of late and riding with more/new people has contributed to that, but I'm increasingly aware of the style that goes into riding a bike. And I'm not referring to those ultra-hip mustache bars you threw on your Velocity-rolling fixie. Every rider I've ridden with seriously, and every pro rider out there has a distinct style. Be it the way they pedal on hills or the way they conduct themselves off the bike, it's out there. I've even adopted some favorite riders:

1. Fabian Cancellara
2. Jens Voight
3. Ted King

Fabian is the coolest name out, and if I happen to ever spawn a child of my own I'm crossing fingers that it's a boy named Fabian. Jens Voight is everything that I love about cycling. He's a professional, he's an idiot, and he lives for climbing and pain. Ted King is a master of style off the bike, and a noteworthy writer himself.

I'm becoming increasingly (alarmingly) aware of a lot of things as of late, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Working for Gold's has provided me a tremendous amount of insight into the world of fitness, and I'm starting to be a bit compulsive about my fitness/nutrition. I left a work meeting the other day because I "needed" to eat some calories in a specific carbohydrate/protein ratio at that point in the day because I had plans to work out and ride a bit in a few hours and I needed to capitalize on my metabolic window and ensure that I had the necessary fuel to give it 100%. Is that obsessive? Probably. Weird? Yes. My reality? Also yes.

I'm also becoming more aware of differences in myself and others, and I may even go so far as to use the word "hyper-aware" here. I notice things so fully and so consistently now that it's almost tangible. I never considered myself all that "different", just more reckless perhaps. Or perhaps more inclined to buck trends for the sake of it. But I've realized that I have some fundamental differences in my perspective in relation to the majority of the people I know, and some of them are worth noting:

- I am absolutely, unequivocally devoted to the idea that "the juice is the squeeze". I don't understand why the majority of the world is working so hard at jobs they can't stand to earn money to put toward nothing in particular at all. I don't have much, but I have aspirations to see/do/live things, and if my lifestyle facilitates those things, I'm content. I don't need to "come out ahead" financially or egotistically, I just want to have that experience. Isn't working toward an experience worth that?
- I have a very unique physiology. I sleep less than a lot of my friends, exercise more than almost all of my friends, and have entirely non-sensical resistances to pain, cold, and complacency. I can explain away some of this to genetics, but the rest is a mystery to me. I still don't think I'm stronger or more motivated than most people, but I feel like I have a predisposition to will myself to be. Maybe I'm running from something; I don't know.
- I am a musician. I can't escape it. It's in my blood. For all of the other interests that I pursue, music is still at the heart of them all. I am constantly living my life in melodies, and I still absolutely love the artistic community that musicians compose.

I've got a lot of work to do on the front, but things are shaping up. Our wristbands are in (check out under our Swag page), and you can email me to get yours today. They're $1, and all proceeds go to support the inaugural tour this fall (Border2Border - Canada to Mexico). I've got some sponsor solicitation work and some more detailed route-planning to do, and we're a long way from Sept. 12, but things are coming together.

I have the biggest rides of my life coming up in the form of STP (Seattle to Portland - tomorrow) and RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Ranier in One Day). Rest assured, there will be photos and some writing about each. The ridiculousness of both of these rides is starting to sink in, and I'm about as excited for these as I've ever been for anything.

I look forward to seeing some old friends this week, making some new ones, and eating a lot of food at Sweet Tomatoes in Portland with one of my oldest and dearest friends in the world after a 200+ mile bike ride.

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