Monday, November 30, 2015

T-giving Weekend

The wife and kid headed to visit with family and I stayed behind to help with the rescheduled AVLCX race at REEB Ranch. 

Without having people running around the house, distracting me and getting in the way, I decided it was a good time to patch and paint the kitchen.  We painted it 11yrs ago when we moved in, and it has had some wear and tear.  I also decided to stain the kitchen cabinets to add to the freshness. 

What should have taken a day or two, turned into 3 days of work.  The staining was tedious, but bearable.  The painting alone would have been fine.  But, I decided to get creative and picked out a color that was way too bright.  I finished it and went to bed hoping that it would make more sense in the morning.  Up at 7am and off to HD to get the proper color and start over.  I was able to get one coat on before heading out to the races and then got the final coat on later that night when I got home. 
 Race day went well and AVLCX pulled off another stellar season of local homegrown grassroots racing.  Its cool to see people driving from hours away to participate in these races.
 Sunday finally rolled around.  With my project gone bad turned good complete, I had all day to play.  My legs aren't quite ready to go all day yet but I needed to get at least 3 hrs in.  

I parked at Rice Pinnacle and headed out towards Bent Creek gap.  Pavement- Lake Trail- and eventually Explorer Loop to Bent Creek Gap rd.  Up and over the ridge, Specner Gap- Spencer Creek- Never Ending Rd- Fletcher Crk- Lower Trace (out and back)- Wash Creek Rd- back over the ridge- Sidehill, Campground Connector- Hardtimes- back to RP. 

27 miles and I felt like I could keep going.  Common sense and the rain told me to pack it up for the day.  Its good to see my endurance coming back and the consistent riding paying off.   I'll be starting my more focused training soon,  looking forward to getting some "snap" back into my legs!
Shout out to the assorted friends I saw along the way.  Its cool to know that on any given weekend, I will most likely cross paths with a friend or two, out in the middle of nowhere!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

This Life

The most successful people I know are passionate about something,  helping others.   When you devote your life to helping others, regardless of how much return you get,  life tends to make a lot more sense.  

There are still a lot of things that don't make sense; hate, greed, war, etc.   But when a person invests time, energy and money into making the world a better place,  a sense of self worth is born. 

I was talking to a friend and we were discussing depression.  I mentioned that I deal with depression.  I have for a long time.  I remember back to the uber conservative Christian college that I graduated from.  They told me it was demons oppressing me.  I spent so many nights on my knees, "fighting"  asking God to fight the demons,  asking for forgiveness for whatever I did.  It didn't work.  Some would blame God for not helping me.  I blame the teachers for not helping me. 

15 yrs later, I have worked through all of the symptoms and have figured out the root of the issue.  Lack of nurturing and poor roll modeling are contributors. 

I don't have all of the answers, but I believe that I serve a power that is greater than me.  I have been given the options to look at myself, change and become  a better person.  The wife says that I have been successful. 

But guess what?  I still get depressed.  Knowing the triggers, I am now more aware of when and why.  The neighbor yelling at me and blaming me for everything brought back a flood of memories.  Being able to identify that, helps me work through the feelings and emotions and get my head on straight again.  One thing I have noticed though is that my depression is similar to a cold.  One day I'm sluggish and tired.  The next I'm down. And then, it takes a couple of days to feel back to normal.   Sunshine and fresh air definitely help, but in reality,  it just takes time. 

Why am I sharing such personal info?  Because I know a lot of you are going through something similar.  You don't even have to tell me, I can see it in your eye,  hear it in your voice. 

Life is tough and we have to stick together.  Draft off of each other. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Crazy Stuff

It is great to be back on the bike.  I feel like a new person with new motivation.  I feel like I have finally figured out who I am.   The key to contentedness is mixing who we want to be, with our circumstances and accept who we have become. 

Things at home are great.  We have all settled into a rhythm and help each other out on a regular basis.  Communication is great too.  

I was able to get out for a long ride this weekend.  Look for more in the future.  We talked about it as a family.  About how it challenges me and makes me happy.  We agreed to make time for it. 

 3.5 hour ride and I was feeling awesome.  Tired but awesome.   I decided to tackle  a project that has been in the works for years.  The neighbor's driveway blocks the water flow in my yard and threatens to flood my crawlspace.  He agreed to let me install a drain to help alleviate the problem.  The problem is, the is another neighbor who uses the drive way to access the property that he is living on.  He is not the owner of said property and only has right of way to use the drive way.  Therefore he has no say in who digs in the driveway. 

Well,  he got riled up about what I was doing to improve the area and called the Buncombe County Sherrif's Dept and told them I was destroying property.   Nice.  CPL Ice showed up and I told him what was going on.  The neighbor, James, got more riled up and argumentative when the officer told him I had a right to do what I was doing.  2 more officers showed up and I got the project wrapped up.  From what I understand, the deputies were concerned for my safety and stuck around while I finished up and went home...... 

Then James' girlfriend, Elaine (these folks are like 70 yr old) walked up to me and hissed, " You're an ass".   I just kept my mouth shut. 

I think the drain looks pretty good.  I turned on the hose to test it out and it seems to shed the water well too.  But now, since I did the work,  its not gonna rain for 3 months!  

 I can't figure out why people are such jerks.  I'm just minding my own business, trying to make the world a better place and people freak out. 

After a lot of pondering,  I thought that maybe these stupid interactions happen simply so I can show the kid the proper way of handling the situations.  If he can learn how to confront with tact and stand up for what is right in a peaceful manner,  then bring it on.  Then it will be worth it. 

 Back to winter riding.  Thanks to a lot of help from my friends, I'm pretty well outfitted to ride in the cold.  It was windy and near freezing, but I was comfortable and enjoyed the ride! 
 Thanksgiving week, coming right up!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


 We had a teacher work day, so I took the kid fishing.  We have been trying to fish more recently, without much luck.  I'm definitely enjoying the time with the kid, but come on,   let us catch some fish.  I spend a lot of the time wondering if I should cast on the other side of the boat, like Jesus told his disciples to do.  Ah, the ingrained thoughts.  

We got a couple of nibbles but nothing hooked.  Suddenly, the kid thought he had a snag but it was a fish.  Then his reel fell apart.  I told him to pull on the line but it felt like there was nothing there. 

I put his reel back together and started to reel the line in.  The fish was still there.  I handed the reel to the kid so he could finish the job.

Then we came home, cleaned and filleted it and fried it up.   Deliciousness!

I'm proud of the kid,  all I caught was a cold. 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

The Funk Root

 So,  it seems the funk has gone, but a bit of the stench remains. 

Two weeks ago, I went for a ride with Kevin Hessler.  The guy is cool.  After the ride, I realized how much I enjoy riding, challenging myself, hanging out with other people.  I realized that deep down inside, I really do miss the racing scene.  But not just the scene, the community that is the core of the scene. 

I had backed off and just done a couple of local races, ORAMM, Pisgah Stage Race, attempt at P111k.  But,  not having set goals, I wandered around, training when I felt like it,  giving a half effort.  It didn't work for me.  Low to no success is not what I was after. 

I realized last week that I should try adding a couple more races to my schedule next year and get some consistent training in.   I never want to feel as badly as I felt for that long again.  

The thing is, I love helping other people.   But I have realized that I have to balance that with me time.   I overdo it on the former and don't pay attention to the latter.  I do this a lot.  Sometimes I even feel guilty for going out for rides.  In my head, I tell myself that that time could be spent doing something productive for someone else.   I have to train my brain to understand that if I don't take time for myself, that I won't be healthy enough to help people around me. 

Now I gotta look at finances and schedule, to see which races I can get to!

Lookin' forward to 2016!