the spill

the jock’s horse
the 7 horse
clipped the heels
of the horse
in front of
him

stumbled and
fell
throwing the
jock
over its
head
and onto the
track before
some
oncoming
horses

most of
which
avoided the
jock’s
still
form

except for
the 9
horse
who gave him
one step
in the middle
of his
back

you could
see
the hoof
dig
in

then the
field was
past
and the
ambulance was
on its
way

the jock wore
Kelly green
silks,
black
sleeves.

3 or 4
people were now
gathered around
the
still
jock.
as the ambulance
moved in

the man behind
me
said to his
companion
“let’s go get’
a
beer.”

- Charles Bukowski

CultFit Spill


Crazy They Call :Me:

Shine your soul with the same
egoless humility as the rainbow
and no matter where you go
in this world or the next,
love will find you, attend you, and bless you-

Here’s the real deal folks, when ever I hear that I should do “something”, my resistance ramps up. For example, as a child, when I was told I had to practice my hand writing (Catholic schooling – go figure), Guess what happened? I never wanted to, and I have the scars to prove it! It should come as no surprise, that when I was introduced to how wonderful yoga and mindfulness are  I threw up my defenses and prepared for a fight.

Although, “something” keeps pulling me back to center. I have studied enough texts, read many more books, attended enough workshops (not in Bulgaria though … ), and practiced enough to know that mindfulness and yoga help(s). However, yoga and mindfulness are not the magical cure-all to every challenge we face in life.

I fell prey at the Gravel Worlds one hot breezy day last August to one particular mindfulness practice notion – That by practicing mindfulness you will magically and instantly feel relaxed – Chill. That may happen, although as I learned, the hard way, most likely it will not. By simply smiling and being fully open to the present moment, is truly what matters. I don’t practice meditation to get better at meditation. I practice meditation to wake up to this beautiful world. Think about this for a moment please … Don’t practice to get better, simply be you.

Registering for a 150+ mile gravel ride and participating in a 150+ gravel ride are two different things. I lamented: I think, I’ll take a week off of meditating and practicing yoga leading up to the race, sort of like I used to say I’d taper my training and “carbo load” (<— whatever this is), the week prior to the event. What I found out was, the conditions of my environment did not have to be perfect, that it’s fine to practice informally, and for a blonde haired dude like myself – on a complete whim, even right now. I didn’t have to taper and load to have a good ride, and I certainly don’t have to wait until I have a spare 22 minutes during the day to practice mindfulness and yoga.

Daily Meditation:

What if I’m not doing it right? I don’t feel a lot of warmth and kindness toward myself right now. I’m trying to fabricate and generate all this good will toward myself and, and … Damn it! I’m just not feeling it! Sounds familiar huh?

Artificial, fleeting feelings of self-love by trying to stay positive, race day pep talks Dear readers, after all the abuse and pain I have subjected myself to, I have arrived to the conclusion that – It’s enough to simply have the intention to be kind to your self, simply being in the present moment, no matter what may happen next.

CultFit Perspective


For All we :Know:

Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation-

By obeying our iGadget, our self-imposed deadlines, our rigorous training plans, our insatiable lust for material and carrying the burden of the “stress” involved with each action  What gets missed during our daily lives?

What’s at risk, for me, when performance is my “goal” and “wasted” time my mortal enemy? The very real and tangible consequence of inattention. My single-mindedness points me on target, completing “whatever” task, although my friends, single-mindedness it’s a narrow path to walk on. Single-mindedness speeds by our own insights and imaginings, the many creative ideas we have that never see the warm light of day. Single-mindedness refuses detours or slowdowns to hear someone’s distress or requests – mainly our own bodies screaming for attention.

Daily Meditation:

Being beholden to everything but our true selves, puts our own well-being at risk, and at what cost do we obey the tyranny of time? Performance and wasted time nearly killed me last year during the Gravel Worlds. My inattention to the beautiful and inspiring scenery led me down a dark path, not this year!

Gravel Worlds

Pirate Cycling League

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:Misty:

I’m grateful for what you’ve done—and I’m ungrateful for what you haven’t done. A cup half full of coffee is also half full of sleep-

A little over 8 years ago, I traveled and worked in the Middle East and Southwest Asia for two years. I was miserable, unhappy, and I spent a vast amount of time alone, worrying about what the future had in store for me.

Travelling around Afghanistan and parts of western Pakistan had a profound effect on me. I befriended a local man on the Pakistan border named Ajiphan, we were close in age and shared many similarities in life. I feel in love with his country. However, Ajiphans life was a daily struggle of survival for him and his family – Will there be enough food and water to make it through the day, shelter at night and fuel to warm themselves during the harsh winter months.

When I returned home to Nebraska, I felt as though I had a completely new perspective on life. I felt incredibly lucky to live in a part of the world where life is easy, where even the poorest folks seemed wealthy when viewed from my perspective. After witnessing many beautiful people struggling with the basics of life, I felt incredibly lucky to be healthy, a roof over our heads and not having to worry about what will be for dinner. Looking back now I remember saying to myself when I arrived home, “‘My days of complaining about trivial things in life are over …

Of course it didn’t last. My appreciative frame of mind lingered for a few weeks, then slowly I began to take my situation for granted, and returned to the same state of unhappiness and dissatisfaction as before. Instead of “waking up” to the reality of the our phenomenal world and of  life’s situations? Bitching and moaning (for me) was easier.

Daily Meditation:

My Son and I watched Big Trouble in Little China over the weekend, a favorite movie of mine and Ajiphans. We watched this movie no fewer than a dozen times on my computer, which was powered by a generator. Sitting in a warm shelter, snacking on naan-e afghani, while enjoying a cup of black tea. I genuinely miss his companionship, and everything he taught me about this “thing” called life. Be well my friend, I miss you.

CultFit See


Summer’s Elegy

Day after day, day after still day,
The summer has begun to pass away.
Starlings at twilight fly clustered and call,
And branches bend, and leaves begin to fall.
The meadow and the orchard grass are mown,
And the meadowlark’s house is cut down.

The little lantern bugs have doused their fires,
The swallows sit in rows along the wires.
Berry and grape appear among the flowers
Tangled against the wall in secret bowers,
And cricket now begins to hum the hours
Remaining to the passion’s slow procession
Down from the high place and the golden session
Wherein the sun was sacrificed for us.
A failing light, no longer numinous,
Now frames the long and solemn afternoons
Where butterflies regret their closed cocoons.
We reach the place unripe, and made to know
As with a sudden knowledge that we go
Away forever, all hope of return
Cut off, hearing the crackle of the burn-
ing blade behind us, and the terminal sound
Of apples dropping on the dry ground.

Howard Nemerov

CultFit Elegy

 


-I’m- Perfect

You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful-

All of us, you read that correctly All of us need to do better. To provide a little context, delicately pulling back the velvety curtain to reveal the inner workings of today’s post: I recently shared two conversations, with two dramatically different people. One person went to Bulgaria to practice yoga (for whatever reason) and the other just finished cycling across Iowa, yet they both shared the same message when they arrived safely back home:

The overpowering pressure to fit in with the “crowd“, undermined their true spirit and what they had hope to achieve – Loosely paraphrased.

Think for a moment how many people you have heard announce, particularity around New Year,  “Yoga class is what I need, if I want to fit into a size 6 for our upcoming summer holiday!” or “If I had a lighter bike like some of the other riders, I believe I would had a better time out on the road.”

When I introduce the practice self-acceptance. Why is it seen as an insult to the other person? Why is celebrating life by banishing our self-loathing frowned upon?

Daily Meditation:

This morning I passionately ask to stop trying to fit ourselves into the world, and in-turn, making sure the world begins to fit us.

CultFit Home

 


Sound the Alarm

Very occasionally, if you pay really close attention, life doesn’t suck-

Can’t separate yourself from preparing for the big event (Gravel Worlds) two weekends from now? Constantly checking social media for updates, even in the middle of the night? Are you suffering from a strange compulsion to browse Strava profiles, fitness blogs for hours at a time comparing your training program to the other competitors? Feel awkward if you’re not blogging training updates, texting pics of your dirty yoga mat and bike, live tweeting work out session(s), and creating a Vine as you down a recovery shake?

Like helpless passengers aboard a ship violently broken from its moorings We are adrift in a storm of angst, riding the waves of useless competing/bullshit/whatever, and I do the very same. More so than I like.

Finding a balance between useful “information” input and informational quiet that I can live with, is hard. Which is why we need a lifeboat to gently guide us back to safe harbor.

Daily Meditation:

When I remember to climb back into my lifeboat, a lifeboat where I can do anything. A sturdy vessel where I can day-dream, and talk to myself about gear ratios (aloud) while pedaling down a back country road. My lifeboat is easy to climb aboard, and it shelters me from the oncoming storm When I stop to remember that is.