Saturday, August 25, 2012

Money, Stress, Work, Money, Work, Stress...

It's all a big ball of worry for me at the moment.  With so many things in my life going on and so many wants needing to be addressed, it's difficult at times not to be stressed out.  Every part of it, though, is something that I do want and I do believe can be accomplished.  There's nothing that I see right now in my life as a burden, only as things that need to be addressed and things that need to be handled.  With any endeavor comes inevitable hardship, but it is in that hardship where we find the worth of our goals.

The weeks since I returned home have been busy.  I don't think I've sat down for more than ten minutes at a time (not including the five or so hours a night I've been able to sleep).  Anne came in a week after I arrived back in the States, and since, we've spent almost every waking hour doing something.  We've pursued the things we love, cycling, running (for her), and having fun, but it all takes its toll after a while.  You can't always be busy and you can't always be up on your feet.  Rest, just as in athletics, needs to have a place in your everyday life.

On the cycling side of things we've been riding the hell out of our bikes.  Well, more she has than I, but I've managed to get in some good rides too.  Seeing someone progress their skills on a mountain bike is something that gives me a great deal of pleasure.  No matter how much influence I've had on their learning, seeing them ride and get better hits a soft spot in my soul.  It brings me back to the time when I first started, with the wonder and excitement I got out of riding a bike on an uneven, unpaved, and rocky surface.  Feeling my tires eek out from underneath me ever so gently, listening to the crackle of organic matter beneath my tires, and narrowly slipping through tight trees on windy single track gave me such a buzz when I first began it's hard to describe.  I imagine Anne feels the same. There's something addictive about it.

I still, of course, get my kicks from those things, only now it's on to bigger obstacles and more technical challenges.  The same rocks and roots that gave me trouble when I began are now molehills.  Not that they're easy, but they've become routine.  The greatest part about mountain biking is that you can always push yourself that much further.  Cleared a rock garden that you couldn't?  Go and try that 4 foot drop that scared the piss out of you.  The 4 foot drop too easy?  Go and do a whip over that table top over there. Even for the best of riders, there's a nearly endless amount of envelope to push, you just have to be creative and willing to take the leap.  Whether you're a cross country rider or a hucking free rider, you'll find something somewhere that will continue to challenge you and continue to inspire you about riding your bike.

So today is another day of busy.  I've got errands to run, bikes to fix and build, and work to do.  Anne and I have got a trip scheduled tomorrow with a good friend of mine to ride, so of course we're looking forward to that.  One of my favorite things, again, about riding my bike, is the time that it allows you to spend with those people around you that matter.  Unlike riding on the road, being on a mountain bike in the woods can be an either truly solitude experience, or one shared with friends.  The best part, though, is that there are no other distractions to get in the way.  No cars are going to buzz you, and no traffic lights are going to force you to stop.  I'd mention that there are no potholes to look out for, but then, as mountain bikers, I'd assume we'd more than welcome the potholes (it's just those sissy roadies that hate them!).  In honesty though, there are few times in this crazy life when we can just tune out life, concentrate on what we're doing at the moment, and let things rip.  It would be a crime not to take advantage of the great times that we do have.

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