Friday, November 29, 2013

Find a reason

It was brought up the other day....why do you workout? I had to think about it. I have a long list of reasons why...

1. Family
2. Health
3. to be fit
4. to be fast on my bike
5. lots of things more


But as I was driving home last night in a quiet truck I go to thinking about it even more. My why is very important....I want to be a good role model for my children and it trickles down from there. Over the past few years I have had a ton of encouragement towards my goals but I have had little success. The only person I have to blame is myself. I find the excuses. I fail. I get up....I start again. I fail. Maybe my motivation isn't where needs to be....maybe I need to find that one reason that will drive me to be what I am capable of. Maybe I need that drive from an outside force......do you know what that is?

Someone telling me I can't.

Now, I have not had anyone tell me that directly.....I surround myself with people that want me to be better. My friends are awesome. All encouragement. Stop with the negative. 

I got to thinking about it last night....and why people haven't straight up told me I can't.....there are people that don't believe I can. I was cut out. People that used to give me encouragement and listen when I would vent straight up to a few of these people. And now I don't hear anything from them. So should I do it for them?

I say no.....I will never do something to prove someone wrong. I will do it for myself and another side benefit besides being fit will be having the ability to prove them wrong. I have been struggling lately....for the past year. Everyone has their own struggles and I won't compare mine to yours and you shouldn't compare yours to mine. My life is mine. It has different struggles than yours. So here is what I am going to do...

1. Stay positive (hard to do....but keep working on it)
2. Eat better. Cut way back and eat better foods.
3. Exercise more. Always an excuse.....eliminate them.
4. Do it for myself first.
5. Do it now.

Yet again I feel like I am starting over. I WILL DO what I need to do this winter to be ready for the spring. Lets go.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Inner dialogue

I noticed on Sunday that I have different inner dialogues when I am riding depending on the situation. I noticed it switching when I went from following to leading. I also know what it was like when I was suffering....which is different than when I was racing. Here are a few categories and what goes through my mind.

Following: Gotta hold his wheel. If he gets too far ahead and creates a gap it could be hard to catch back up. Shoot, there is a gap. I am ok, keep breathing. I know he is going to crack soon....he hasn't been riding much....crud...neither have I. Its ok, close the gap on this descent. Push hard, lean into the corner, relax....breathe. Closed the gap. Love this section. Used to go the other way. That means there is a steep climb coming. There it is....ugh. crap. There he goes again...wait...he stopped too. Lets skip this section and I hear "which way"....RIGHT.....good, this new bypass is cool and we still get some extra distance. I am feeling pretty good for not riding in a few weeks. Opening...pass him....

Leading: Just took the lead, its time to see what he has left in the tank. I wonder if this pace is too fast. I feel like I need to ride faster because I am leading. Dang, I can see way better with nobody in front of me. I love this area, I can stretch my legs out. Am I going fast enough....did I drop him.....no....should I go faster.....nah.....I am still feeling ok....don't want to push it......where did he go....should I look....nope...I can hear him....right on my wheel....maybe I should push a bit more....but if I do my legs will get fried and he will pass me again.....oops....there he goes anyway....I would rather follow him.


Racing to win: 6 of us today. I know I am a bit faster than him. Don't know him. I know I can crush him. Here we go. GO.....pace...pace....pace.....am I in last? Can't be.....must only be 1 guy behind me though....those guys are going out of sight....gotta keep up.....pace....pace. If I crush this hill I can recover on the flats....but I have to go fast on the flats...its all I got. Go go go. Pace this hill.....I see a guy....holy shit where did those 3 come from....hopefully they slow him down so I can catch him. Next hill....I got you. I got you....keep going. First lap done, not a bad time...right on pace. Must be in 4th. Go, at least one more guy has to be running out of steam. 4 miles to go...haven't caught him yet. Time to let it rip.....with whatever I have left. Keep breathing. Last downhill....go hard....people.....ON YOUR LEFT.....go....was that guy in my class....go go.....last corner....finish line.....


Racing to finish: last lap....do I even want to do it.....it is only 11 miles but holy shit is there a lot of climbing. just keep going....you are already in last. move over let this guy pass. yeah dude, sometimes I am the nail....dick.....even though he is right. blech, this blows. Why the hell am I doing this race? where did everyone go.....good job man....shit...that guy is on his last lap...of 4.....I am only halfway around my second. just cruise. enjoy this strange trail....you never get to ride it unless you are racing....right....i drove 3 hours to do this....hahahahahaha....i am crazy. mountain bikers are a different breed for sure. How many more? 4.....really.....all downhill....yeah I heard that before up at ore to shore....maybe I should do that again....but I have to be in better shape.....suffering like this in a race is no fun. Finally a downhill.....oh...to the finish.....let go.....whoooooo...SHIT!!!!!! Hope these woodchips are levellllllllllllllll.....ok, back on pavement....take a deep breath.....go.....last corner.....where the hell.....what....another mile....you are kidding......this is stupid.....finish line....done....ok then. I won't be back.....or will I....


Suffering: This sucks. If I have to ride one more freaking hill...ugh....its right there. I can hardly breathe. Why am I out here? Ugh....breathe......slow your breathing. I need to tell these guys I am bailing out. It was dumb to think I could make a lap out here.....I was feeling fine...but man I cannot breathe. Ugh. I like this section....but crud there is a long climb.....slow down man....you will never make it unless you get your heart rate and breathing under control. Ok....just spin. These hills are awful....need to lose some weight. It would help with climbing and breathing. Another hill. I don't remember that one. Are my tires flat? Was that a stick in my wheel? Wow, is it sandy. Must be dragging an anchor....nope...just my ass. 1 mile to go. Glad the guys talked me into continuing....but it still sucked. getting closer. these hills would be faster if I could breathe. There is the road....finally. 


I love riding my bike.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

For myself

I was caught off guard about a month ago when a friend said "so you just ditch your family and go ride your bike? I mean, it seems like you are gone for a long time"  

The cord was certainly struck. So much so that I asked Chelle if she felt like I was neglecting my kids in search of better health. She reassured me that I am usually only gone for an hour and that taking time for my health is important....but the question remained stuck in my head.

First off....I don't ditch my family. Over this summer I was riding a 18 mile loop on the road and I would leave right from my house. Total time gone was around an hour. I would vary the course but in general my rides were never over 75 minutes. I didn't want to be gone that long due to our schedule and that was enough saddle time a few days a week. Also, I would take my son and even my 9 year old out for rides. I would cut the loop shorter and drop them off and then head out for some more mileage.

Second, I spend a lot of time with my kids. With 4 kids it is not uncommon to be separated a lot. Two girls in dance, one in drivers ed, one is soccer and volleyball, doctors appointments, physical therapy and whatever else is needed. Add in cooking dinner, helping with homework, trying to keep up with laundry and some sense of the house being clean....and our days are full.

Third, who the fuck are you to question if I am ditching my kids or family? You really don't know anything about our family life...as you have 2 kids under the age of 5 and are not running all over the place like we are. But, I will not compare my life to yours.....we work out or schedule the same way you work out yours. We make the time and do what we need to do. I don't really appreciate you putting the thought in my head that I am doing something wrong...because I am doing something for myself. If my heart stopped while eating a bag of chips while sitting on the couch because I weighed 400 pounds and I died....how would that be helpful to my family? I work my ass off to support my kids. My wife works her ass off to build her business and help support our family. Our schedule works. Sure, we are busy as hell...but if I don't take a chunk of time here and there to focus on my mental well being I will end up a bigger mess than I already am.

When I do something for myself that is exactly the reason I do it....for myself. If a plane is crashing the instructions are to put your mask on first....then help. Why? Well, if you can't breathe and pass out you are no good to anybody. Put your mask on first, you never know how many people you can help....especially ones that cannot help themselves. But, in doing what I do....in being who I am...I do all this for myself first....knowing that the outcome will be more beneficial to my wife and kids. Walking around pissed off at the world doesn't help anyone. It makes me more miserable and everyone around me more miserable.

Lastly, I don't need any single person's approval. I don't do this for you. I could care less what you do. It is your life, make your own decisions. I live my life and make my own decisions. If I wanted your approval I would ask for it. You don't pay my bills. You don't pay my wages. You are just a judgmental prick that is trying to make yourself feel better by trying to take away from what I do. In case you missed it....my kids followed me around the entire time. The comments I heard were "your kids adore you" and "your kids give you no space" which I a sure could be twisted into "if you spent more time with them maybe they wouldn't follow you around so much".  Think what you want. I would walk through fire for my kids. I have given up more than many people could even imagine so my kids could take trips to Europe and stand on top of Mayan Ruins. Again, I won't compare our family life with that of another....because it is pointless. My life is mine.....yours is yours. Try to live it.




Life without chaos is death......

Monday, November 4, 2013

Not an Iceman

This past weekend was the Iceman Cometh mountain bike race in Northern Lower Michigan. I was not up there....but most of my friends and team were there...representing the colors. I stayed home and headed out to ride on Sunday.

Jeff and I headed to Fort Custer for some mileage. He had not ridden in about 5 weeks and I was right at 2 weeks since I rode at Yankee Springs. We were just happy to be out and riding. The colors right now are so awesome. The oranges and yellows mixed with the greens and browns make the trail look like a different place. The wet leaves on the trail make the trail ride like a different place. Because of the lack of trail time in the last few weeks it took me a while to settle in. After about a mile or so I was feeling pretty good and was comfortable with the conditions.

With temps right around 50 degrees I was in a heavy base layer and thin tights. I am glad too, because I was comfortable the entire ride. The sound of the tires on the leaves was a cross between crunchy and silent. Love riding this time of year! Just have to get out more and do it! The time change means no more riding during the week. That pesky job keeps getting in the way. I just land the winning lottery numbers and quit my job so I can ride all day.

Overall it was an excellent ride. There were quite a few people out riding but we never got passed and never passed anyone. We just cruised around the red loop and took the right hander to the Green loop. I would lead for a bit and then Jeff would lead for a bit. After we finished the Green we headed back out to the Green and then turned off and headed back into the Crazy Beaver loop on the red. Overall about 15 miles of dirt in the fall colors in early November.

On a side note, I won a CycleTek trainer in a drawing from their facebook site. I have it set up and will probably be putting the bike on it this week. I am pretty excited about it....one it was free...and two it gives me another trainer so that Izzy and Zack can spin with me this winter. I will post more on this trainer once I try it out.