Philosophy, self improvement and other goings-on
provides shade to others
while standing alone
births the forest,
devoted but unseen
Every insult and injury
lodges heavy in their fibers
Yet they reach toward heaven
striving while others are thriving
and they silently yearn for love
Here come the axes
wielded by familiar hands
Cutting them down and
chopping them to pieces
for their final contribution
to warm others
then crumble to ash
Those same hands lay them, side by side, in a fireplace.
When the match comes they erupt in flames
Entangled and writhing
An inferno of stored misery
until they break apart, collapse inward,
cease being oak and aspen –
an ashen heap.
Yet within them glows an ember,
fanned by a heavenly breeze,
until they become pure radiance
Warm and golden and pulsing
Their hearts, beating together
– end –
Two rivers are born
high in the mountains
Fed by rain, snowmelt and springs
watered by the sun-warmed sea
Each begins as a trickle
and builds to a stream.
Every tributary roiling it
Every riffle shaking it
Every boulder smashing it
Each tribulation adds to its power
The steeper the drops
The narrower the slots
The mightier each river grows
Each on its own path,
being pulled, unaware,
toward the other
Until their canyons merge
And they meet
And mix and build
with each other
into each other
and create an even greater flow
made of them both
Broader and deeper
and even more powerful,
they carve through the mountains of their birth
across the plains of their rebirth
They meander together
Nourishing each other
Nourishing the landscape
Savoring their journey
back to the sea
– end –
(Feb. 7 2022 additional stanza because Life)
Their course reaches a split
and they go separate ways
Grateful for their journey
each containing the other
They flow onward, forever enriched
The other day I rode with a different group of riders on a trail I’ve never ridden. It was dry and loose, rutted, and littered with gnar. Which, of course, is Rad. Being the guy that was unfamiliar with the trail (and probably attempting to fight above my weight class) I was the slowest rider. I also crashed the most. I definitely pushed my limit on a few sections and the lizard in my head was not happy. I felt myself riding off the back and could not always correct in time to save it. My brain was fried on those sections.
This was the first time I reverted back to lizard auto pilot in a very long time. I’ve been in the same situation before but without smoking my brain stem and eating dirt. Now I’m questioning what the heck went wrong. Does this ever happen to high level riders? Not that I’m anywhere near high level status but it just made me curious whether or not this affects all riders or just average joes. Of course, any recommendations you have for preventing this from happening again are more than welcome.
Mountain biking give us plenty of opportunities to face fears. Perhaps the most stark form of mountain biking is dirt jumping. The jump face looms ahead, all tall and steep and imposing. You’re either going for it or you’re not.
Lately I’ve been SO STOKED on riding! I’m riding almost every day and getting really fit. As stoked as I am, I must admit I’ve descending slowly and carefully relative to my potential.
Why am I riding below my potential?
On NPR yesterday a veteran musician said he long ago transcended the mechanics of his music, and now he focuses on expressing himself. He can play the same song at a wedding and a funeral, same notes, and share completely different emotions.
That got me thinking: What emotion do I want to express when I ride? Can I express an emotion when I ride?
I turned on Strava for today’s trail ride because 1) marketing, 2) practicing the release of outcomes, 3) to smash the downhill KOM. I owned it at one point, years ago, and now I’m in the top 1 percent. Read more
Why do you ride?
That’s a powerful and seldom asked question. To lose weight, to prove something, to be with friends, to have fun?
Fun is one of the better answers. Let’s dig into that.
I’m starting to understand that our current experiences are stacked on our previous experiences, and that the real stuff happens below consciousness. On one end, maybe you deeply believe that life is pain and, as a result, you suffer more than you should. On another end, maybe you’ve put a lot of work into developing a skill, and you’re enjoying the process of becoming great at it.
I work both ends of that spectrum. Today I enjoyed the fruits of the latter.
Some wisdom from our friend Dr. Jason Richardson, who happens to be a BMX legend and world champion.
Just a note to say thanks!
I became a dad this year, so getting on actual trails hasn’t been a priority. But I’ve been working my way through Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, and I recently checked out the video that the guys from TrainerRoad put together about their clinic with you.
After ~2 months without any trail time, I finally had a couple hours this weekend to get out. I headed down a local favorite descent with zero intention of trying for speed. Instead, just thought about floating over the bumpy stuff, braking in the “heavy spots”, and leaning the bike over in the turns.
Result: I felt far more in control, had way more fun floating and dancing over the shape of the trail, and ended up just 2 seconds behind my PR.
Once I make time to dial in the muscle memory, I’ll be far faster than I was, and have more fun.