Monday, November 30, 2009

the fat cyclist... my hero

A few months ago I came across a blog called "The Fat Cyclist." Little did I know what I was getting into when I first delved into his archives of past posts. Not only is he one of the funniest guys I have ever read, he is also a huge supporter of the LiveStrong Foundation and has raised thousands of dollars to find a cure for cancer. There is a personal reason for his passion; his own wife suffered from breast cancer and just recently lost her life in the battle.

I've never met or talked to Fatty (as he likes to call himself) but I can tell you from reading his blog that he is someone I admire and respect. He is pretty honest on that blog of his; there were times when I was dissolved in tears, especially when I read his blog about her death:

Susan died tonight (August 5) at 7:25pm. It was a hard, long day, and Susan fought right to the end, for much longer than anyone would have thought she could...

I’ll have more to say soon, but consider this. Susan inspired me to expand the focus of my blog from nothing but bike-related jokes to a serious and pitched fight against cancer...

Susan’s part in the battle is over, but she didn’t lose. She led the charge. She showed the rest of us how to fight: with determination, focus, creativity, and outrageous endurance.
Entire post

His blog has made me consider my own contribution to the fight for cancer. I haven't had anyone close to me die from the disease so it was never much of a pressing thought. Not anymore. His story has inspired me to get involved. I don't know how, but I want to put myself out there and do more. A good goal to have.

Oh, and he is funny, oh so funny. Make sure and read his Top Posts section, especially his open letters (the one to Lance Armstrong is my fav). Seriously, you won't regret it.

The Fat Cyclist Blog

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


9 climbers, 1 base camp cook, 3000 pounds of gear, 80 days, an ascent of Mt. Huntington in Alaska ... this is a fascinating trip report from way back in 1980. Absolutely stunning photos that gives you an idea of the beauty of Alaska (give them some time to download, but oh so worth it!) And the last pic of the cabin in Talkeetna? I was there just a couple of months ago - looks exactly the same.

I really have no desire to do a huge mountaineering trip like this. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate these types of reports. Actually, it's more than appreciate, it's a jaw dropping awe of their accomplishments. I may never go to the extreme that they did, but I do know what it's like to work your way through the snow and feel completely overwhelmed by the immenseness and raw beauty of the world around me. And doing that at night, during a full moon, is the most amazing experience I've ever had. It's a different and magical land at night.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

a moment of clarity...

It's cold and snowy outside, the perfect day for quiet reflection. I decided to venture out with a book and my laptop in hand and spend time in my fav coffee shop. I got my requisite cup of hot chocolate, sat down at a nice cozy table with a window view, and set about to read my book in peace and quiet. However, things never seem to work out the way we plan, do they?

Two young women we're sitting at the table next to me, talking about relationships. It's the usual angst of 20 year old's, the whole "why doesn't he like me?", "We're so perfect for each other, why doesn't he see it?" etc, etc. I was smiling to myself, thinking about the many conversations I have had about that very topic when one of the young women said "My big fear is that no one will ever love me, that I'm too broken and undeserving to ever truly be loved for me." It took me by surprise - not only did I understand what she was saying, I've said the very same thing. To see this young woman echo my own fears and insecurities was startling - I had seen her at the counter getting a cup of coffee and my first thought had been how beautiful and charming she was, she must have a perfect life. I thought I knew what was in her heart by just looking at her - how wrong I was.

It makes me wonder how I'm viewed by others - do they think I have no insecurities or problems? I've been told many times that I am lovely and intelligent and engaging, but do I really believe it? At times. The truth be told most of the time I have a running dialog in my mind that says the exact opposite - you will never be good enough or pretty enough or smart enough. It's easier to believe the negative.

I have been struggling with this inner voice and it's affect on me. A very wise person once told me that if I wanted to deal with my past, I would have to learn how to sit in the pain of that past, not ignore it. I've reaped the benefits of that philosophy before and plan to, once again, use pain as a way to learn and grow. I'm not looking forward to it, but I know I will be better in the long run.

You just never know what can happen at a coffee shop, do you?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

sleep is for wimps...

I'm back from California. Well, at least partially. I think I left some of my brain cells back there and have felt in a fog since returning. Part of it is due to lack of sleep - I slept about 6 hours during the 4 day race. And while I loved every minute of the race, I am finding it hard to recoup quickly from the sleep deprivation. I have fallen asleep in our staff meeting, at my desk, while on the phone, and at a restaurant. I'm not the best of company, to say the least. You would think I was the one who ran the race, not support crew.

I may be a bit sleep deprived, but in some ways that has been a good thing. My brain is clearer and life seems much simpler. With this clarity has been a bit of a revelation. Am I ready to say what that is right now? No, not really. I need more time to think through it. I'm nervous and excited at the possibilities and hopeful for the first time in a long time.

And the race? Such a great experience! The team went from 4 to 2 racers when Wendy and Melissa dropped due to illness. So it was Kent and Tim as a team and me as support. This race was much more challenging for me than the last race in Moab - there was much more driving and driving on roads that were not made for a truck and trailer. We figured I drove over 500 miles during the 4 days of the race and I felt every little mile.

Tim and Kent had to race unranked since it was just the two of them. Despite that, they did a phenomenal job! They cleared 37 of the 40 checkpoints, which would have put them in 2nd place. I admit, I loved working with them. I've seen other teams crash under the pressure of no sleep and extreme physical exertion and treat their crew poorly, but these two were always kind and gracious, if not a little out of it at times :-) We all had those moments where the brain just wouldn't function the way we wanted.

The week ended with a quick jaunt into San Francisco and then it was back to Denver. I have a feeling it's going to take me a while to get back to normal. Despite that, I would do it again in a heart beat!

The final word on aha moment...

I found out last week I was not one of the top 10 for the Mutual of Omaha Aha Moment. I was a little disappointed but have to admit I was more thrilled that I won the Flip Video Camera for being in the top 25.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I got a phone call from the marketing agency that is working with Mutual of Omaha. I was quite surprised to find out that they still wanted to use my moment! I then got a confirmation email from them:

Per our conversation this afternoon, while your aha moment wasn’t among the top vote-getters in last month’s online survey, Mutual of Omaha thinks your story is so incredible that they would love to feature it in their 2010 nationwide TV ad campaign!

We’ll be in touch with additional details shortly, but in the meantime, thank you again for sharing your moment with us! The launch of the aha moment campaign in 2009 truly has been an amazing experience and it’s because of people like you.

So, you will now be able to see yours truly on television beginning in January. I should know the schedule soon and will post it as soon as I get it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

too much stuff...

I've spent the past 4 hours trying to stuff all my belongings into a gym bag and backpack. It was at the end of those 4 hours that I realized I hadn't packed any shoes. Does this give you any idea of how scatter brained I am right now? Too much to do, so little time.

If you didn't read my last post, I'll update you on why I'm packing. I am heading to California to provide support for a team in the 4 day Gold Rush Adventure Race. The race starts Thursday morning near Yosemite and ends Sunday afternoon. If you would like to track how my team is doing (their name is Almost Semi Pro), go to beginning Thursday and you'll see each teams progress live. It should be a great week!

See you all next week!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

sensoring myself...

I wrote a blog post last night (which would of been October 31). As you might have noticed, I don't have a post from October 31. Why? I deleted it. It was a good post... no, a great post. But this morning I reread it and realized that it was sharing more of my thoughts and insecurities than I was willing to reveal, at least at this time.

I've been in a reflective mood for a few weeks now and last night was a night that had me on reflection overload. I get like that at times; my mind works so fast that I can't keep up with it. And lately there has been a lot to keep my mind occupied. At some point I will most likely say more, but I'm just not ready at this time. That's for another day.

In other news... I'm heading out to California on Tuesday for the Gold Rush Adventure Race. I'll be providing support for the same team I provided support in Moab last year. I'm not sure why I'm excited about spending 4 days driving around the wilderness with little to no sleep, cold temps, rain and possibly snow, but I am! I get to share it with wonderful friends and when that happens, it can be nothing but good. I'm sure I'll have a post or two, plus lots of pictures, to share.