Transitions

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…

I LOVE CHANGE.

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.

DUDE, WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THIS BLOG? OR BACON?

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.)

20120926-102025.jpg
I even get injured getting out of Jeeps.

ONE LAST CHANGE.

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.





Bacon Betty Rides Again

30 05 2011

I feel like I’ve written that title before…

Maybe I have, but that’s how it feels every spring when I get the Genesister back out after a lonely winter in the garage. We’ve had so much rain and flooding this year that it’s taken me way too long to start my season.

I set out this morning with Natty Light and our pal Tabitha to kick off the summer with some singletrack, rock gardens and tons of mud.

For the first time ever, it felt so natural to be clipping in to my pedals and heading off into the woods. You see, I’m usually a little nervous and cautious on my first ride of the year, thinking silly thoughts I don’t need to mention here. I think today was different because I was leading the ride and feeling responsible for two less experienced riders who are unfamiliar with our trails.

I’m crediting this feeling with an experience I just had in Florida that changed my outlook on leadership.

When it comes to mountain biking and snowboarding, my husband is usually the one who leads, taking chances on new tricks and encouraging me to do the same. I watch and follow him because it makes me feel secure to see someone else do something that I can’t visualize or that makes me uncomfortable.

But, when it comes to any water sports, I’m the part of our duo that takes charge. Chris is generally, shall we say, not at home, on the water. It physically pains me that he doesn’t like the beach or boating as much as I do because salt water and a little bay muck course through my veins. So while we were visiting my Dad on the Gulf side of Florida the other week, you know I wanted to get Chris out on the water.

I couldn’t wait to take him on a paddle out to Shell Key and the private beach there, knowing that he would enjoy the adventure of it.

I said I was very comfortable being on the water… What I’m not familiar with is getting TO the water with all of the gear. The way I grew up didn’t require anything more than walking out the back door with your paddle or cooler and shoving off the dock. So when my dad entrusted ME (and Chris’ muscle) to get two kayaks securely on top of his SUV, drive across a very long suspension bridge to our drop-in spot 30 minutes away, get them off the truck without damaging anything, and do it all in reverse, I was very anxious. But having lunch in this spot was enough to assuage my fears in setting off:

20110530-111056.jpg

I very nearly wussed out of getting to that spot, partly because I could tell Chris was a bit wigged over the fact that I’d never been responsible for the technical details. A few things dawned on me as we were about to load up the last bits of gear for the day. 1) I couldn’t show that I was a bit weirded out because then Chris wouldn’t have confidence in me (or himself). 2) I recognized that I had to push past feeling uncomfortable if I wanted to get the most out of my day and grow my inner strength. And 3) the reason I believed everything would turn out great (read: no smashed kayaks laying on the highway or busted truck windows) was because my dad had complete faith in sending me on my novice way.

The moral of my story is this: when you believe that those around you trust in your ability to be successful, anxiousness falls away and you ARE successful.

Thinking of my ride today, I remember something my friend Chris M. says – “It’s not a successful mountain biking day unless you draw blood.” Check.

20110530-112655.jpg





Get Inspired

12 11 2010

So loved this video, and wanted to share it. It is so inspiring and calming to me.

Send it sistah ! from s├ębastien montaz-rosset on Vimeo.





Trail Lessons for Real Life

9 08 2009

I honestly don’t know how I have time to think up outlines for my posts while I should be paying attention to not killing myself pedaling and maneuvering my bike, but here’s today’s genius:

DON’T GET COCKY
Start easy. Don’t leave for a road trip in a hurry…do your research before starting a new project at work…count all of your hardware before putting that Ikea bookshelf together. Give yourself time to warm up and the rest of the ride will be more manageable.

THERE WILL BE BABY HEADS
Say you’re bombing down a hill dodging rocks and a stump rips your foot from your pedal, smashing your ankle into your bike frame and sending you to a flailing stop…just sayin’. Surprises happen. Things come up. Rolling with the unexpected is a learned behavior, but one that will benefit you personally and professionally.

SOMETIMES IT’S NOT YOUR DAY
Mom used to tell you that, right? It’s the truth. Some days you’re on it, some days you can’t get it together. Don’t dwell. Get over it and do the best you can right now. Tomorrow’s a new day.

LINE YOUR SHIT UP
Plan ahead. As with mountain biking, so with life. Don’t over plan, but know when it’s necessary to do a little thinking ahead. Choose your line for a smoother ride.

ENJOY THE PAUSES
Those mountaintop rests are good for the soul (and the quads). You can’t do yard work all weekend every weekend, or toil away at your desk for 12 hours a day for weeks at a time. Taking breaks, even short ones, rejuvenates you. Without rest you can’t be ready for the next challenge.