Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Roanoke VA

 We headed up to Roanoke for a couple of days.  The part I enjoy about this trip is that I get to spend a lot of time outside, with nothing to worry about but myself.  I get up when I want, head out the door, and come back when I want.  A bit of a selfish lifestyle for a couple of days, but with the wife and kid occupied,  and I refuse to sit around and do nothing,  I have no choice but to head outside!! 

After fighting 4 hours of post Christmas Day traffic we finally arrived and unloaded.  I made it to the MacAfee Knob trailhead by 4pm and headed up the AT.  Roughly 3.9 miles to the summit.  I assumed a nice long slow distance pace and chipped away at the miles.

It was cold and windy,  the low was supposed to be mid 20's and with the wind chill, I was sure it was close to that already. 

I had originally thought about spending the night on the trail, but didn't feel like laying in the freezing cold alone for 8 or so hrs. 

I passed a handful of people heading back down the trail, one lady telling me I was going the wrong way.....she was wrong.  I was headed north, and up.  Hoping to make the summit by sunset.
 I kept an eye on the sun setting behind me, and adjusted my pace to get to the top.  It was mostly  climbing with a few dips in the trail.  I was not used to going up for 3 miles so this was a good change of terrain. 
 I made it to the top with 10 minutes to spare before the sun set, but was rewarded with a thousand hues of pink.  The wind was howling, so I only got to spend about 5 minutes at the top, and even then was pretty chilled when I turned to head back down. 

I had light for about half of the return trip and then I finally got to try out my Black Diamond Storm.  That headlamp is amazing.  With several different settings, I could customize the light that I needed to see the trail.  I can't wait to use it again!
Back to the van, changed and head into town to rustle up some grub.  8 miles in two hrs.  

Tomorrow, I had plans to head to Carvins Cove to do a run out there.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Okay, wow

It has been a long time.  It was a huge project and 9 years in the waiting, and now that phase is almost complete.  I'll post pics at some point, but for now I'm going to enjoy pulling into the driveway and seeing a finished looking house.  Finished on the outside that is.  Now that that step is complete, it opens the doors to a couple more interior projects. 

I need to find a reliable and affordable electrician who can help me get that fixed up.  I also plan on raising the ceilings to match the addition,  and also building a breakfast bar. 

But for now we gotta let the funds build back up and I need to do some running.  I have a goal that I'll talk about later.  I have a certain time frame to do it in, because I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike. 

Which bike?  That is the question.  The time off has been nice and given me good perspective on what I have accomplished and where I want to go on a bicycle.  I have decided to go back to my roots and start the year off riding single speed.  I plan on making the Siren John Henry my primary whip and hitting the dirt. 

Unless it keeps raining, then I'll keep running.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Intentional Act of Kindness

I've been slammed lately.  Working on a new project that will keep bikes out of the landfill and get them into good hands while helping to fund Trips For Kids WNC.  Working on the roof and finishing the house project, waiting for materials and hoping the rain holds off til after the weekend.

I did finish my Christmas shopping way ahead of time this year,  but now I'm giddy with anticipation because I went all out this year.... but that does not really matter.

Needless to say I'm a bit tuckered.  And when I get in that state of mind, it becomes difficult to keep a good attitude.  But, surrounded with good friends and a rocking wife and kid, it becomes easier to manage the stress.

Then to top it all off, we were visiting a friend last night.  As we were leaving, the friend handed the kid something special.  Who it was or what it was, is not important outside of that interaction.  The result of the simple action is what matters.

If you want to  impact someone for life,  give up something of value,  do something for someone.  No strings attached.  When you do that, for a person,  you are making a statement of their humanity,  that they are alive, have purpose and have importance.

Practice intentional acts of kindness.  Nothing random about it.  Intentional.  Stop what you are doing for 30 seconds, write a check, buy a meal, rake a yard.  Stop buying into the madness of the capitalistic holiday season, and just take a deep breathe.   And listen.  Look around.  People, everywhere, feeling the same,  breathing the same air,  hoping for the same things.

Let's practice love, one small step at a time.  

Monday, December 09, 2013

It is raining.  My head hurts, Ididn't sleep well, and I'm hungry.  I'm not complaining, these things are temporary.  I have food in the other room, my coffee is hot,  my roof is almost dry,  just a little more work to do. 

I've spent the past couple of weeks working hard, I'm thankful for the opportunities that open up and give me the means to take care of my family and home. 

We moved into this place 9 years ago, and I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Most of the rest of the work is interior and aesthetic.  Unfortunately, I didn't document the process from day 1, but its ok,  we have enough pictures to show the progression. 

Sometimes I wonder why I expend the time and energy to make this place better.  I think about how cramped and plain and boxy it was when we moved in.  It was perfect.  What changed that caused me to feel the need to improve?  What exactly is it that feeds that urge to improve in any area?

It feels good.  I get a sense of accomplishment.  Whether in my personal, professional, recreational or home life,  I don't want to become stagnant.  I want to improve, and be around people who are interested in becoming better people. 

Can't wait to see what happens next!!