Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Guilt Ridden Life

 I'm planning a road trip this spring.  The goal is to pack in as much windsurfing as I can get.  Why?   I love windsurfing.  I grew up as a missionary kid and got into the sport on the island of Bonaire: Windsurfer's Paradise.   Since then, the island has produced many world champions and is one of the world's go to training grounds for world class windsurfers.    I taught myself and was hooked.

But now,  as I prepared to head to the East Coast, I'm riddled with guilt for leaving my family behind and spending time and money on myself.  Why?
 Another passion of mine is cycling.  I love to get out and explore new places, that's what gets me excited.  I love the community, the vast array of folks who ride bikes for assorted reasons.  I love to ride with people, and I love to ride along.    As I head out for a ride, I feel guilty.  Guilty that I am out having fun, while I could be doing other "more productive" things. 
Why so guilty?  I'm not sure.  I was raised in a strict "Christian" home.  Rules, chores and consequences.  I had to earn my freedom,  I had to work for my play time,  and more often than not, my free time was interrupted because I had not completed said chores adequately and had to go back and do it again, "and do it right this time".

I attended a "Christian" college that had so many rules and regulations that I was always second guessing myself,  wondering if I had followed all of the rules and knowing that I would get busted and reprimanded for the slightest infraction.   Needless to say, I didn't really fit in and several times was the first to get the blame when another broke the rules: like the time someone drove through the guard shack gate, shattering it to bits and kept driving.... it wasn't me, I promise.

If I am living the life of freedom,  then why all the guilt? 

Its that feeling of never being good enough,  always having to try harder, to be better, to be a little more perfect, to sin less.  Its like the cartoon of the carrot being held in front of the horse,  the poor horse works his tail off, but never gets to the carrot. 

Why all the guilt?  Maybe I hold myself to to high of a standard,  the standard that I was taught all of my life?  Maybe I need to step back, take a deep breathe and just be.  Be in the moment, love my neighbor, and be.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Rough Winter

Got my first single speed mtn bike ride of the year in this week.  It felt great,  I'm weak as all get out, but it was nice to be rolling through the woods again. 

This winter has been rough on me.  I'm normally training for the Pisgah Stage Race, which is also rough, but this year, with no set goals in mind (other than to be the best dad and husband I can be) I did not feel the motivation to ride through the winter.  It was actually nice not to have that pressure. 

The upside is that I have been getting out and exploring on foot.  Doing some trail running, that sometimes looks more like hobbling.
 Those days that are blustery and cold, and snowy are perfect for trail running.  It is so much easier to stay warm. 

And then there are the other days, when I go out a little farther and explore something new.  Feeling the sun gradually warm the earth as I run the Mountains to Sea trail along the spine of Shortoff Mtn! 

I love riding my bike, but running is so simple!

I'm hoping to keep some running fitness through this spring and summer, and looking forward to riding in shorts!

Thursday, March 21, 2019


The upside of being a missionary kid and traveling all over the world, is that I got to see a lot of cool stuff and live in different cultures and become a part of different cultures. Moving, settling and blending in became a way of life that is still ingrained in my being. 

I find it difficult to simply visit a place without feeling the urge to make a connection and contribute positively. We are making plans for our Ocracoke Island vacation for the 4th year in a row now. We have met and gotten to know some locals, and they seem to enjoy when we visit. The locals even let me help schlep fish at the fish market. I'm content spending my vacation time like that. 

The downside of traveling all over the world as a kid is the anxiety that new places and new faces stir up. 

 We all know that when  a person plans anything, it rarely works out like that.  Sometimes minor obstacles pop up, sometimes major.  Something always happens.  Well, add up 18 years of world travels and now I expect something to happen, I cringe, just waiting for it to happen.  And sometimes, I cancel travel plans because of that.  

I feel guilty for not getting my kid out and about more, traveling more, to see the things I have seen.  His situation is different than mine was.  We simply don't have the funds to be galavanting across the globe.  Or the time.  We are adulting now and doing a fine job of it.  

I'm attempting to cultivate that traveling bone in the boy, but I think it will happen differently than it did with me.   And I am coming to grips with that idea.  

I think back to when I was 14 yrs old.  Aside from the world travels, I have been able to give the kid lots of opportunities that I didn't have by that age.  That  helps ease the guilt.   

On top of everything else, I want to take the family back to my heartland, Bonaire, the island in the Netherlands Antilles that I spent my 10th- 16th years of life on.   That's gonna be a big chunk of change.  If I had to choose to go anywhere right now, that would be it.  

For now though, we will continue taking our annual summer trip to Ocracoke Island,  visiting, getting to know the locals and blending in as well as a Dingbatter can....