You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know-
I went through a rough patch this past Sunday competing in the Cornhusker State Games Gravel Grinder event. Something really challenging happened that pushed a whole bunch of my buttons at once, pushing my mind and emotions into overdrive, turning what should have been a nine-hour 111.9 mile ride into nearly a twelve-hour 140+ mile ride (single speed).
I’m certain that many of you are familiar with the term “crisis reveals character” or something similar?
Whenever I get really upset about something, my emotions start to simmer and I secretly worry about my unsavory character boiling over, my dark side so to speak. Is this upset, bitchy person really me? Most of the time I like to think “things” easily slide off my back. That I’m a composed, chill sort of dude. Although when I become upset by a really difficult, or unfair situation, I sometimes contemplate or say things that I would never normally allow myself to think or say out loud.
Thankfully I don’t get so far gone that I rant in inappropriate situations, or to the wrong innocent person. However, I still say and think unsavory things that I wish I hadn’t thought or said.
“Forget it - Dude.” This crisis reveals character concept is complete and utter rubbish! When I am really upset? I’m not at my best, and I spent 30 miles (ish), cycling in horrid conditions this past Sunday, figuring this out.
Somewhere between Burr, NE and 134th and Pella Rd (Google this if you are bored) I gave the gift Grace to myself. From the start to mile 80, I was mess, a train wreck oozing with bitching and moaning. Its amazing what a little grace, cold water, kind and compassionate company can do to restore your true self.
If you claim to be a real friend then be real in your soul. If you claim to be fake then be an enemy instead-
I was in my early 30′s when we first met. This particular marathon was in a beautiful and exotic part of war-torn Baghdad, Iraq. I did not like it from the start and it only got worse from there …
I nuzzled my way onto the starting line cocky, arrogant, and self-centered. I couldn’t stand the thought of having to run through the pack, outlasting the early sprinters and generally weaving through the pedestrians. Much to my dismay, I faded back 10 miles into this scorching hot race. This was just another marathon, but I was the same person.
And there I was at the next big race in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The same person I was a year earlier followed me to this race as well …
It finally dawned on me, blonde hair and all, that it was I, who needed to change or else I would be my own worst enemy for the rest of my life. As I began to walk the path of meaningful change in my life, I came to realize my poor marathon performances were a metaphor for the way my life works. I can cast blame and run away from poor performances, although they will keep returning until I finally face them, and owe up to them.
Over the past three years of blogging. I tried at times, and failed more often than I like, to share with you, thinking out-loud, why these particular traits of me bother me so much.
Once I set out to change myself all those years ago, I started to notice that the “old” me doesn’t come around as much anymore. When these feelings do arise out of nowhere? I tap deeper into my inner compassion and gratitude … Noticing that in some ways, I have been trying to help myself all along, I was just to cocky, arrogant, and self-centered to notice.
Just imagine yourself seated on a shadowy terrace,
And beside you is a girl who stirs you more strangely than an
It is a summer evening at its most superb,
And the moonlight reminds you that To Love is an active verb.
And your hand clasps hers, which rests there without shrinking,
And after a silence fraught with romance you ask her what she is
And she starts and returns from the moon-washed distances to the
And says, Oh I was wondering how many bamboo shoots a day it
takes to feed a baby Giant Panda.
Or you stand with her on a hilltop and gaze on a winter sunset,
And everything is as starkly beautiful as a page from Sigrid Undset,
And your arm goes round her waist and you make an avowal
which for masterfully marshaled emotional content might have
been a page of Ouida’s or Thackeray’s,
And after a silence fraught with romance she says, I forgot to or-
der the limes for the Daiquiris.
Or in a twilight drawing room you have just asked the most mo-
mentous of questions,
And after a silence fraught with romance she says, I think this
little table would look better where that little table is, but
then where would that little table go, have you any sugges-
And that’s the way they go around hitting below our belts;
It isn’t that nothing is sacred to them, it’s just that at the Sacred
Moment they are always thinking of something else.
I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living-
As I strive to live each day, focused on changing myself and the world we live in for the better, I started to notice I ask more questions than actually getting anything meaningful accomplished.
Many moons ago when I first started writing this humble blog-o-thing, I came up with a litmus test before doing “anything” – Ask questions out loud to myself, situations change when I take a moment to write my most vulnerable thoughts and questions down and get a healthy, deep inner dialogue going. Yes! Talk out loud to yourself in public, trust me its OK, and here’s why: Asking questions matters in our lives. I’m a shining example that a deeper level of questioning can help to transform yourself.
*Listed below, in no particular order are a few questions I kick around, out-loud mind you, during the course of a day*
Can I do one thing today to make a small, noticeable difference?
What am I waiting for?
Am I as open to new possibilities as I think I am?
What can I do differently today, to begin making the changes I want to make in my life?
What do I want to spend the rest of the day doing?
How do I create more harmony and bliss in my life?
What do I look forward to doing every day?
What’s the tiniest change I can make that will create the largest difference in my life, change that might create a ripple effect touching those around me?
What am I creating that will outlive me?
Is it time to start something new? Like right now?
When I’m not asking myself questions, I become stuck in the same old habits, the same old tired and worn out routines. Sometimes Dear Reader – All it takes is asking a question out loud before entering your 10am yoga class. A piece of paper from a kitchen drawer to scribble a note, a blank screen on your gadget to see your amazing reflection … The simple act of speaking (or writing) a question, makes it tangible, dense and real.
Last June after dealing with another string of self-inflicted injuries from racing and competing beyond what my body could take. A friend offered up a ride to take my mind off things … This upcoming Saturday evening is the annual GONG Ride here in our fair city – Omaha, Nebraska! Hands down the best social ride in Omaha all year – Please join us and keep in mind, the first round of drinks is on me!