26 09 2012

Fall is always a time of transition for me. More so than Spring, I feel as if it’s a time of growth and new beginnings. I always seem to be more enthusiastic about starting new projects or exploring. You can probably chalk that up to the nostalgia I have every September for back-to-school…


Between now and last year at this same time, change has been plentiful for me. That being said, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

I decided after my last birthday that I was going to make many significant changes to my life — a few so drastic that some may have questioned my sanity. What that birthday made me realize was how quickly time passes. To me, 15 years had gone by in a shot, and I couldn’t bear to think about how disappointed I’d be if I let another 15 go by without being completely satisfied with the outcome. I can’t say I’ve developed a fuck-all attitude, but it’s pretty close. When it comes down to it, your life really is all about you.

(I promise I’ll stop being deep in a few sentences. Bear with me.)

The road has been pretty bumpy — some spots more like a rock garden that threatens to suck your front tire in at any second — but I’ve come out on the other side having grown from it.

Among the big changes was the decision to scale back the business I’ve owned full-time for seven years. Fifteen years of graphic design and art directing had lost their luster. (So had pitching, proposal-writing and chasing down grown adults to pay their bills.) In a random search, I found a job I thought was perfect. So I applied, interviewed and was offered a spot as a field service rep at an outdoor sales agency… Then I turned it down.

A current client of mine decided they also wanted to hire me, and my gut told me that was the way to go. I could maintain my free time since I wouldn’t be on the road for weeks at a time, I would still be working in the outdoor industry, and I could still continue to take on special projects through my branding firm. Sometimes all you need is a slight shift rather than a drastic change. Or just a longer transition period. But more on that another time.


This blog is also in transition. The reason my posts have been lagging is because I feel like any story I’d share would likely sound like a rewritten account of the last one. Which is why I’m going to start posting more often about things outside the realm of getting injured. (You’ll still be able to laugh at my mishaps though, because while I do my best not to get hurt, we all know that it is inevitable.)

I even get injured getting out of Jeeps.


I have come to realize — and accept — that I don’t love technical mountain biking. What with all of the roots and rocks and boulders and log piles, I’m barely able to actually ride my bike. I think I’ve given it a good shot. Four years later, I’m at the been-there-done-that stage with conquering that challenge. The root of the problem is my geography. Living in one of the meccas of East Coast technical riding, where is a girl to go for a simple cardio ride through the woods??

Thank god snowboarding season is around the corner.


29 09 2011

When I started this blog I chose the name Bacon Betty as a way to make fun of my less-than-graceful nature on my mountain bike and snowboard. It’s true that I’ve collected a lot of bacon in my pursuit of adrenaline rushes…

The same knee, taking repeated abuse.

Now that I’m a little more seasoned, I’m not coming home as bloody (bruised, yes) as I once did. What remains, though, are scars.


My husband has a pretty serious one on the right side of his head. Like, 3 1/2″-long-with-a-chunk-of-skull-missing kind of serious. It came from a rock throwing battle when he was six, and he was on the losing end of a piece of cinderblock. To this day, he still can’t figure out how the other kid had such good aim from 50 yards away. He made his way home with a t-shirt pressed to his head and rang the doorbell instead of going in and dripping on the carpet. A conscientious trait that was evident in him, even as a kid.


Like the three I have on my brow bones. All collected before I was seven years old, they each have their own Bacon Betty story. #1 came from a tumble into a cast iron pot at a farmer’s market – blood everywhere and my parents being their non-freakout selves, assured the owners that I’d be fine. #2 is courtesy of a face plant down some steel-edged stairs. When my mom sat me on her lap and asked my dad if we should go get stitches, his reply was, “Nah. She’ll probably cover it up with eyeshadow when she’s older.” #3 was the only one that actually received medical attention, and happened in it’s own comical way. Who would guess you could fall off the toilet while reaching for some paper? My only advice: Beware of ceramic t.p. holders. I took those stitches without any anesthesia, by the way.

Those, surprisingly, are the extent of my facial scars. Since then, I’ve gathered countless others over my knees, ankles and hands, thanks to mountain biking and rock climbing.

It’s pretty unladylike when you’re rocking a sundress and your knees are peppered with deep red scars from repeatedly skinning the same spots. Couple those with the chain ring marks and line of bruises I often have up my calves, and you can imagine the questions I get. The looks on my girlfriends’ faces span from pity to disgust. My guy friends simply say, “Try to stay ON the bike.”

When I’m getting dressed or shaving my legs and notice a scar is still bright and commanding attention, I remember how I came by it. Reliving for a moment that time I charged ahead, only to lose grip on a sandy spot, smack my head on the ground and bust my knee on a rock, regaining composure as the other chicks rounded the bend behind me… Flying down a fire road, chasing my husband and my foot coming unclipped, pedal eating the inside of my ankle, and cracking up at my near disaster of launching into a dry creek bed…


(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

They symbolize scary and sad things to most people, but to me symbolize strength and character and adventure. When I think of my eyebrow scars now, they represent the philosophy my dad instilled in me regarding injury (and a great philosophy for life in general, actually) – shake it off. If it’s not broken, it’s nothing to worry about.

Carry on having fun.