We Shall Be Released

Every afternoon that autumn
walking across campus
past the conservatory
I heard the soprano
practicing
her voice rising
making its way up the scale
straining to claim each note
weeks of work
of days
growing shorter
darker
storms slamming the campus
the semester staggering
to an end
everyone exhausted
drained
heading out and going home
the campus nearly deserted
but the soprano
still working the scales
when I passed under the trees
the liquidambars on fire
the clouds like great cities
sailing out to sea
and didn’t I ascend
with her
my own weariness
and sorrows
dropping away
didn’t we rise together
her voice straining
wavering
at the top of its range
almost reaching
almost claiming
that high
free-of-the-body
final note

- Joseph Stroud

CultFit Final

 


West of the : Moon :

With enough courage, you can do without a reputation-

Does it seem as though we are constantly defining who we are by our actions? Why is it difficult telling, or explaining who we really are?

Being distracted, busy and stressed is a choice I often make without a second thought.  No one is forcing me to take on all of these responsibilities and activities in my life. Sometimes it seems that being stressed out and busy is a symbol of status in our society. Raise your hand if you have uttered the following phrase(s): “I’m a _____” or “Look at all of these “things” I do.”

I’m a yoga instructor, pilates teacher, and coach. I’m an avid cyclist,  a quasi racer and competitive. I’m an engineer of some sort  I

Whatever happened to just being? I believe our identities have been so wrapped up in what we do that we have forgotten what it is like to just be.

Daily Meditation:

I need to pause now and – be, me.

CultFit Unplugged


East of the : Sun :

Never to suffer would never to have been blessed-

There’s something deeply ingrained between our ears, that believes if “something” is hard to do, takes us out of our comfort zone or doesn’t come naturally, it’s better to avoid “it” at all costs.

It took me quite a few years to have the proverbial light bulb go on, although I am confident in saying now that virtually everything which creates positive results and change in our lives, will be hard to do. Better yet – Some things will always be hard to get ourselves to do Coconut water and staying up late on a weeknight instantly come to mind?!?

Thinking out loud this morning after completing the grueling Big Ring Ranch Enduro this past Sunday – It’s a strange phenomenon that our lives seem to ebb and flow with a natural current toward what we don’t want, toward what will make our lives miserable. Much like its easier to sit on the couch, being programmed by mindless TV shows, than it is to spend quality time with a loved one, a close friend, or heaven forbid – To enjoy the richness that only comes when we read a book. We simply stop stimulating our mind and spirit, enriching our lives – Going with the flow.

I’m an expert when it comes to hanging out and doing nothing after a long day at work. Packing it in rather than getting up to do something that could be considered productive, such as helping my Son with his homework or going for a bike ride with him. It’s easier to pick up some fast food, turn on the TV and worry about homework in the morning. This is something I need to work on.

My only way to combat this natural ebb and flow is to be determined to swim against the current. I deeply cherish nurturing relationships, whether the person is sitting next to me eating Cheerios, or in some far off land.

Daily Meditation:

I can’t sit back ant wait for my Son to do it, or anyone else for that matter. Yet, sadly  Many people won’t, as they unconsciously go with the flow of – Drifting apart.

*Join us “Dudes” tomorrow evening in Lincoln for the start of Star City CX series*

CultFit Son


Listen to the – Dawn -

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up-

What is the secret formula that can provide us with a long and fulfilling life? Most of the nauseating advice we are bombarded with is formulated around living a “healthy lifestyle” (<- whatever this is), leading to assumptions that center primarily on the physical aspects of this thing called life.

“Eat your cauliflower!” “Drink your coconut water!” “Run, walk, cycle, sex, yoga and drink red wine!” Say the experts, and you wonder why our culture is brimming with anxiety! Gotta do this, and we gotta do that if we want to live a long prosperous life! Gotta browse LivingSocial for the best yoga deals, shop organic and eat gluten-free – even if we don’t have Celiac disease. Most of our effort is done with variable success and the predictable stress is eagerly awaiting us around each corner.

How can we feel better about ourselves, boost our confidence naturally and build true inner peace? :Generosity: The quality of being kind, practicing selflessness and understanding, the willingness to give to those in our lives “things” that have value. Generosity is a spiritual principle that provides us with the key to leading a happy and healthy life.

Generosity is a natural (organic – ha!) confidence builder. Generosity acts as a shield against self-hatred and anxiety. By focusing on what we are giving, rather than what we are receiving, we cultivate and nurture a more outward orientation toward the world, shifting the focus away from our physical selves, onto something deeper, something that has a far greater impact on our daily lives.

Daily Meditation:

Each beautiful morning life presents us with a handful of opportunities to be generous; through embracing generosity (not cauliflower, not coconut water, not even gluten-free bread), we can do ourselves and those around us a world of good.

I am deeply grateful to each of you reading today – Take care and be well.

CultFit Grateful


Misplaced :June:

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?!?

Daily Meditation:

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.

CultFit Peace


Sweater – Weather -

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

Daily Meditation:

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!

CultFit Belong


I’m :A: Song

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-

Daily Meditation:

Here’s to good ole’ Americana, caring friends + family, and Gravel Riding! Take care and have an amazing weekend!