: Higher & Higher :

You are — your life, and nothing else-

A little over two years ago I stopped planting myself on the couch and turning the TV on for no good reason. Very seldom do I pay attention to the pathetic, dreadful “news”. I am picky with whom I choose to spend time with. Something happened in my life that I fail to put a finger on, and even now its hard to put into words to share with you. I realized there was a deep-rooted issue with my soul, my true-self. It was as if my soul, was raw, torn, ripped wide open. As if my true-self needed a “special” kind of time. We often think of time as a linear aspect of our lives … 0400 in the morning – Time to rise and eat breakfast , 0900 – Second breakfast, 1200 – Workout over lunch … As the cadence of time marches on, we fall prey to time – Time truly dictates our life.

Bringing balance to body, mind, and spirit has never been more important to me. With this intention, I packed my bags last Tuesday and set off for a long weekend of cyclocross racing in Winnipeg – A beautiful city nestled near the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Winnipeg is an idyllic oasis on the eastern edge of the Canadian Prairies, the spirit of Winnipeg perfectly aligns with its inspiring surroundings. A city, simply being

This exhilarating excursion nine hours north of Omaha, NE included boundless adventure at every turn. Between the company of close friend(s), practicing at Public Yoga, an endless amount of delicious food, the support of a large, cheerful crowd, laid back fellow competitors and the great outdoors; only served to deepen my connection to simply being. My weekend transformed into an eye-opening experience that both heartened and challenged me.

Do you recall when you last fell prey to marching in step with time? Maybe it’s when you stopped looking at your iThingy every fifteen seconds, or better yet, when you fully surrender to a state of flow during your morning yoga practice or whilst training for your next big event? A moment in which you stop counting breaths and checking Strava for a little bit as you exercised your creative muscle(s) – that “thing” between your ears.

This is when time stops pedantically chugging along,  and being begins. May you take a moment to bathe in the beauty of simply being this morning.

Daily Meditation:

This beautiful “thing” called life presents to us the opportunity to slow down and savor the concept of being. Even when counting the miles away driving from Omaha to Winnipeg (642 … ).

CultFit Fall


Polka Dots and Moonbeams

If I saw you hitchhiking, I’d smile and return your thumb’s up, just for you doing such a great job of being a positive roadside influence-

Each of us has the keen ability to notice when “things” in life are starting to get in the way, that is of course – If we pay close enough attention to them.

Personally, it was thinking I had to excel at everything. Life, work, play, pilates, yoga, cycling and making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – everything. When I felt as though I had come up short, or when I felt as though the sandwich I had just made was underwhelming and missed my expectations, it’s incredibly frustrating and discouraging to say the least. Its taken quite some time, although, I’m peaceful knowing there are going to be areas in my life which I do not have the upper hand.

Daily Meditation:

There’s something intrinsically freeing knowing, and owning any potential pitfalls that come our way   And once we notice this? “Things” cease to be a surprise anymore, and more like relief.

CultFit Self


In – Tention

It is more Important to be of pure intention than of perfect action-

I spend a fair amount of time ruminating why I’m struggling with my “performance” when others, clearly are not. I tend to think my poor “performance” is karmic retribution (whatever this is) for some bad deed in the past, and this bad deed is the sole reason why I stink, suck – Why I am continuously sore and injured – Why I had a bad race, or whatever we say after stinking up the joint! When I look outward for answers, I view karma through a stained prism, as a spiritual judicial system, where I am forced to suffer based on some bad deed I can’t even remember that happened 24 years ago Or maybe it was ten minutes Pardon me as I look it up on my phone.

As loosely defined by yours truly: Karma is about the nature of our intentions, our intention(s) in this beautiful, inspiring moment. To explore a tad deeper, think of our actions as having two distinct attributes. Let’s use riding a bike as an example: Pure Behavior and our Intention behind said behavior.  What matters to forming our true-self  is not the “pure behavior” that makes up our action but our intention in engaging in that action. It pays to remember, as the Buddha said: Intention is Karma.

Consider for a moment taking your bike out for a spin early one brisk, Fall morning. Our “pure behavior” equals throwing a leg over the top tube and smiling, not necessarily in that order. However, the intention behind this action could be to simply surrender to the moment, being compassionate and generous to those we encounter during our travels – or – It could be to show ill-will toward others on the trail, cruelty to your body for training too hard, or being greedy Chasing down another podium finish.

Daily Meditation:

Some Dude (Buddha) once said many moons ago, “Intending, one does karma My intention Dear Reader(s) Is to return to my true self: To show more compassion, to be generous and most importantly (to me): To be kind.

CultFit Me

 


The Last Swim of Summer

ought to be swum
without knowing it,
afternoon lost to
re-finding the rock
you can stand on
way out past the
raft, the flat one
that lines up four-
square with the door
of the boathouse.

Freestyle and back-
stroke and hours on
the dock nattering
on while the low sun
keeps setting fin-
gers and toes getting
number and number …
how could we know
we were swimming the
last swim of summer?

- Jonathan Galassi

CultFit Direction


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


The Problem of Describing Trees

For a Dear Friend

The aspen glitters in the wind
And that delights us.

The leaf flutters, turning,
Because that motion in the heat of August
Protects its cells from drying out. Likewise the leaf
Of the cottonwood.

The gene pool threw up a wobbly stem
And the tree danced. No.
The tree capitalized.
No. There are limits to saying,
In language, what the tree did.

It is good sometimes for poetry to disenchant us.

Dance with me, dancer. Oh, I will.

Mountains, sky,
The aspen doing something in the wind.

- Robert Haas

CultFit Apsen Heart


: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