Posted: September 9, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: anxiety, Autumn, Big Ring Ranch Enduro, blogging, compassion, cycling, exercise, Fall, family, fitness, free range, freshly pressed, friends, happiness, health, hope, kindness, life, love, meditation, Mindfulness, motivation, MTB Racing, musings, natural, nature, nebraska, Omaha, paleo, passion, peace, perspective, pilates, running, trail running, Tranquility, Worry, writing, yoga, Zen
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath-
This morning, I’m anxious about any number of things and more specifically the Big Ring Ranch MTB Enduro this coming Saturday. I have not been able to find peace and tranquility very well, or as much as I would like the past few days. This race was supposed to happen in June, however Mother Nature won in the end. I feel tense and unsettled no fewer than a couple of times throughout the day: Worrying about pedantic things like gearing, my level of fitness and health, and I worry about “why” I was talked into this in the first place … I worry a lot, because I find comfort in worrying.
The first thing I try to do when my worrying mind takes over, is to figure out what is not working right now in this beautiful moment. Sounds easy enough right? For me personally its harder than it sounds. Some mornings there’s a clear answer to be found during a sun salutation, but often it’s jumbled and convoluted – for my mind is not entirely present. I feel like I’m “hanging out” and going through the “motions.” I feel like I’m going to disappoint a bunch of family and friends – You – My Dear Readers. The once solid relationship I had with myself is spiraling out of control.
Other mornings, though, I really don’t know what the problem is. On the surface it appears that everything’s going fairly well, my breath is in tune with my flow and my mind is centered in the moment. Although, buried under the surface: I’m still struggling with worry.
The more I struggle with worry, the more anxious I become. I desperately need to find peace and tranquility, but how? Where do I start?!?
Does what I shared above sound familiar? Some folks go for a walk, others head to the gym and surrender to a warm bath afterwards to find peace and tranquility. However, through being bold and trying, surrendering to the moment … This is when we find peace and tranquility.
Time to head out for a morning walk.
Posted: September 8, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: blogging, compassion, cycling, Cyclocross, exercise, family, free range, freshly pressed, gluten free, gratitude, happiness, health, kindness, love, marathon, meditation, motivation, musings, natural, nature, nebraska, Omaha, paleo, parenting, passion, perspective, pilates, running, trail running, yoga, Zen
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them-
As any working parent knows, sometimes you have to think creatively to juggle work, partaking in outside activities and keeping your child engaged and out of trouble. Or am I trying to stay engaged and out of trouble?!? Anyways … Last Fall during cyclocross season I could not find a sitter on a regular basis, Grandma was busy doing grandma things and letting my 8-year old son stay at home alone is not an option . So I decided to take him along with me.
There he sat on the swings, flanked by a few new friends he instantly befriended. I was proud of him playing nicely pushing the merry-go-round when it was his turn; then hopping aboard to take in the fun. As he settled into playing carefree, I started to warm up and get ready for the race, and before too long I was comfortably in my single speed cyclocross racing groove.
That is, until about ten minutes after the call to the starting line, when my son suddenly blurted out from the top of the slide castle (by top – I mean the very top, like on the rooftop top). It wasn’t a cute, that little boy is adorable shout mind you. It was one of those incredibly eager, excited, this kid must be crazy or whatever shouts you expect a rabid sports fan to let loose during the heat of battle. Every set of eyes within a half mile immediately focused on him, perched gallantly high above, Star Wars t-shirt, Yankees hat and all … My heart immediately went silent on the backside of the course. I didn’t know what he was saying, but as parents we know in an instant when our kids are the center of attention! Making my way back to the start, I could make out that his eyes were glowing wide with delight, he had a huge smile on his innocent face and I could finally make out what he was shouting:
“Go get em’ Dad! Gears are for chumps and soccer moms!“
I could hear the crowd laughing now and starting to join in with my little dude, supporting their rider on this cool October morning in a more boisterous – colorful way. In this magical moment, somewhere between trudging through a sand pit and jumping over obstacles, everyone in attendance understood a 8 year old’s perspective on not taking life too seriously and having fun.
I would personally like to take a moment to thank the following kind and passionate folks for making the below schedule possible for me: Omaha Bicycle Co. and Endless Bike Company – Thank you!!!
Big Ring Ranch Endure Sept. 13th
The Wicked Wilson 100 Sept. 14th
Flatwater Twilight CX Sept. 24th
Omaha CX Weekend Oct. 11th
Omaha Jackrabbit Oct. 18th
Star City CX Series (Wednesday Nights)
*Winnipeg CX/Canada National Championships 2014 Oct. 24-26* Personal Highlight of the Fall Calendar *
Spooky Cross Nov. 1st-2nd
Gravelicious Gravel Grinder Nov. 1st
South Dakota Cyclocross State Championships Nov. 8th
Jingle Cross Nov. 14th
Nebraska State CX Championships Nov. 23rd
Iowa State Cyclocross Championship Dec. 6th
Posted: August 22, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: blogging, Body Image, compassion, cycling, family, fitness, freshly pressed, friends, gluten free, happiness, health, hipster, hope, image, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, motivation, musings, Omaha, passion, perspective, pilates, psycology, running, whole foods, WOD, writing, yoga
To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself-
Throughout our lives, our daily experiences feed into the deep, old sense of shame that grips us. We assign this ongoing feeling of shame to parts of our bodies that we see in a negative light. Ranging from feeling awkward in front co-workers and friends, feeling our of place running on the treadmill, to race day failures or even minor training oversight(s) can be attributed to simply not looking “right” … Only serving to feed from our inner trough of self-hatred.
Have you ever blamed a poor performance, or failed to show up to an event because you were ashamed to be seen? Soul sapping thoughts that you are too “out of shape“, I don’t belong or deserve to be here with all these “fit” folks? When we lose confidence in ourselves, we instantly surrender to failure, instead of pursuing what our hearts passionately want to do. Why is this so?
My battered and beaten body is hands down, the biggest target of my ever so critical inner voice. No matter where I stand in life, it continually provides feedback of my many imperfections and keeps me from fully relaxing in my own skin …
Each morning when we wake, we are afforded the beautiful opportunity to hide or reveal our true selves. When the harsh “voice” is telling us to keep our sweaters on or to stay home on race day … Be brave, be bold my friends – for you truly belong in the here and now.
Have a blessed weekend and please take care!
Posted: August 15, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Americana, family, friends, Gravel Riding, Gravel Worlds, life, Lincoln, nebraska, Omaha, weekend
When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun-
Here’s to good ole’ Americana, caring friends + family, and Gravel Riding! Take care and have an amazing weekend!
Posted: August 11, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Afghanistan, blogging, compassion, family, fitness, free range, freshly pressed, gluten free, gratitude, Gravel Worlds, happiness, health, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, motivation, musings, natural, nature, Omaha, paleo, passion, perspective, pilates, running, simplicity, trail running, Travel, walking, writing
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.
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.
Posted: August 4, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: blogging, Comapssion, compassion, cycling, exercise, family, fitness, free range, freshly pressed, friends, gluten free, gratitude, Gravel Worlds, happiness, health, hipster, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, motivation, musings, natural, nature, nebraska, Omaha, passion, recovery, Training, writing, yoga
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.
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.
Posted: July 29, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: advice, blogging, compassion, courage, crossfit, cycling, exercise, family, fitness, free range, freshly pressed, gluten free, gratitude, happiness, health, hipster, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, motivation, musings, natural, nature, Omaha, paleo, passion, perspective, pilates, recovery, running, walking, whole foods, WOD, writing, yoga
A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for-
At the risk of mentioning something new, doing “things” a little bit different for a change … I have sensed for some time that many of my kind and passionate readers (just like you) need a pinch of courage to get them to finally go after their hearts desire, whatever that may be. Maybe its shedding the thought of looking silly in yoga class, or out-of-place at the gym. I personally know it takes a lot of courage to say no to running and choosing a nice relaxing walk instead. I could go on and on with examples, instead here is a tidy little list of ideas to be courageous today.
Make a mistake during yoga class today, like on purpose.
Follow your hearts desire while ordering a coffee.
Say, “I don’t know” instead of “I’ll look it up … “
Genuinely ask for help from someone, instead of asking Siri.
Share your vulnerable moments, openly.
Trust your inner intuition, the crazier the better.
Let the past be just that – The past.
Say “yes” to the things you want and “no” to those things you don’t.
Ask someone how they are this morning, and really listen to their answer, instead of formulating your own.
Let go of your need to control everything, all of the time.
Let go of being busy this afternoon.
Say kind things to yourself, whilst staring into a mirror.
Be open to changing course, even at the very last moment.
How have I been courageous this beautiful morning?
I set some new personal boundaries, listened to and trusted my instincts, decided to say no to riding to work – instead choosing to practice yoga instead. I penned a self-serving advice post, which many of you know I loathe … Be well today and please take care!