Posts Tagged ‘life list’

Tour de Whatcom

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Yesterday, I completed the 50 mile version of the Tour de Whatcom. The ride itself was a bit less than that, especially since we kinda went the wrong way towards the end of the course, but I did a few laps around the parking lot to make sure I went over the 50 mile mark. Yeah, I’m like that. It’s the farthest I’ve ever gone on a bike; having done 45 miles once in high school.

I have to admit that it wasn’t as miserable as I was expecting, even with twice as much elevation gain as promised. My 40 mile training ride last week was a lot worse, but I think that’s because I really pushed myself last week and made a point to pace myself yesterday (to the point of talking to myself out loud). I was really hoping to get in under the three hour mark, although I’d rather finish slow than not be able to finish.

My Life List goal is to bike 100 miles in a day. Melissa talked me out of signing up for the 105 mile version of this ride, which was probably a good idea given how little I’ve ridden recently. I only did four training rides for this event, ranging from 25 to 40 miles, so I feel like I could do 105 with no major problems given a solid level of training. If nothing else, I could stand more saddle time to avoid the swelling… which is a new experience for me. >_< Maybe I’ll do the 105 next year.

As for the ride, I had a really good time. I would have liked to do it with someone I know, but a ride that size means you’re never really alone. I didn’t form any lifelong friendships, however I did chat with a handful of people here and there. Most of my time was spent contemplating life, enjoying the spectacular views and coaching myself through the 16.8k pedal revolutions is took to complete the ride. It was my first proper open road ride and I liked it SO much more than the urban and suburban stuff I’ve historically done. There’s something freeing about cruising down a country road at 20 mph in a line of bikes. I can see how cycling clubs build friendships.

Did I mention I raised $1,150 for the American Cancer Society too?  Yeehaw! A sincere thank you to everyone who contributed.

A gigantic thank you to Melissa for supporting me before, during and after the ride. We made a weekend of it by booking a plush room with a view. As you may have guessed, a review is pending. I think we’re going to get her a proper bike and do some riding together.

What’s next? I’m back to CrossFit after six weeks of training and rehabbing my back. That and three months of strict Paleo. Eek!

 

The winning bib number

The winning bib number

Large back, tiny bib

Large back, tiny bib

Showing off my money calf at the start

Showing off my money calf at the start

First rest stop

First rest stop

The biggest climb, right after the first rest stop

The biggest climb, right after the first rest stop

Back squatting my Trek at the halfway mark - NO SMILING!

Back squatting my Trek at the halfway mark – NO SMILING!

High school cheerleaders to congratulate me!

High school cheerleaders to congratulate me!

Victorious!

VICTORIOUS!

I told you I won

I told you I won

Meet an Idol: Les Stroud

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

DSC_4868I’m not really one to obsess over celebrities or well-known personalities. I have actors I like and women I think are attractive, but I generally don’t follow famous people or keep up with their comings and goings. Simply put, I just don’t care that much. If you asked me who the people were at the top of my Most Want to Meet List, nearly all of them are sports heroes from my childhood. The one exception to the list is Les Stroud.

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I love the wilderness and have always been fascinated with survivalism. The movement has gotten a bad rap with the exposure of the nutty “prepper” community, however there are people who aren’t crazy that like the idea of being able to fend for yourself. I don’t stock my house with thousands of pound of food, but I’ve always found the idea of being able to survive in the wilderness really cool. I learned as much as I could growing up and even attended a weekend  wilderness survival class when I was a relatively wee lad.

When Survivorman started airing on TV, I was immediately enthralled. Here was a guy who decided to go out into nature and film himself living off the land for a week… while filming it himself. The show was real, unlike many other shows over the years, and the legitimate principles taught weren’t entertainment for entertainment’s sake. I loved the show and Les Stroud quickly became an idol of mine.

819209_10151220483371744_277582910_oAs one of the few celebrities I follow on Twitter and Facebook, I was stoked to see the Chase Jarvis show was giving away tickets to 20 lucky fans. If I’m honest, I’d never heard of Chase but I was all about seeing Les in person. It wasn’t until I e-mailed my entry that I realized the original tweet had been posted an hour beforehand. Given the tickets were going to the first 20 submissions, I gave up hope that I might actually win anything. Imagine my surprise when I got a response 15 minutes later asking if I was in Seattle or willing to travel there. I obviously answered I lived there and then waited 45 agonizing minutes waiting for a response. I suspect they were getting a lot of submissions for people who didn’t live in Seattle because the response contained details for admission to the show. I was beyond stoked.

I won’t bore you with the details of the show as you aren’t likely to find it nearly as amazing as I did. I’ll just say I was as giddy as a 12 year old girl meeting Justin Beiber and it’s an experience I won’t likely forget. Not only did I get a picture with him, I also got him to sign my harmonica. A harmonica I decided I wanted because he always played one on Survivorman. >_< Oh, oh! He said my harmonica was great and he had the same one except his is signed by Muddy Waters (whose brand of blues I particularly enjoy). How awesome is that?

As if the experience and mementos weren’t enough, I also get to cross the first 2013 item off my Life List.  “Meet an idol or childhood hero” can now join the ranks of “Attend a survival skills school”; hopefully to be (eventually) joined by “Attempt a wilderness survival scenario.” What else does 2013 have in store??

Full video of the show, including many shots of how thin my hair getting, can be seen below. My favorite part starts at the 1:22:30 mark.

Life As a Loner

Monday, October 1st, 2012

I don’t write a lot these days. I think about it often, I just don’t. There are a few reasons and none of them are particularly interesting. Lets just say I spend a lot of time working, most of the rest of my time meeting new people and the remainder attempting to get into a routine or just plain relaxing. I feel like I’ve said this a lot and maybe I don’t have to keep saying it, but it’s the truth.

I think a lot of my previous hobbies were born out of boredom with my job and living in the suburbs. I still like doing those things, but I get more fulfillment being challenged in my job than I thought possible. Actually, I’m being challenged in my job more than I thought possible. I’m not going to say part of me doesn’t like (yay double negative!) that I’m doing less writing and taking less pictures because it’s not true. I’d like to eventually get back into the swing of things; it’s just right now everything else is so new and interesting.

So what’s new? Oh, just a couple things worth mentioning.

  • My Mom was treated for uveal cancer. I could go into a long winded recap of what’s going on and her prognosis but frankly, I’m tired of telling that story. We are all trying to continue living our lives while being thankful for the good news along the way. Life could be easier, but it could be a helluva lot worse.
  • The goods news is I got to see Melissa while spending five days with my Mom in Philly two weeks ago. It was a bittersweet reunion and again, we’re choosing to look at the bright side of things. The great news is we’re spending four days in Boulder for our anniversary! I can’t believe we’ve been married nine years.
  • My new lifestyle is interesting. It’s definitely been a learning experience; one I didn’t know I needed.
  • I’ve been doing Crossfit at a gym ’round these parts. Well, I was before the whole thing with my Mom. I’m headed back next week and think I really need it. I haven’t told anyone other than my family and I’m not all Facebooky about it because I’m doing it for myself and only myself. I want to be healthy and that’s it. You probably won’t hear me talking about it in the future unless I really have something worth talking about.
  • I love Seattle and not just because it’s only rained twice in 2.5 months. I am reminded every single weekend why this city is so great and I really can’t begin to describe why. Suffice to say, it really feels like home… a home I/we would love to show you sometime.
  • I added two things to my Life List (Oktoberfest and Jayhawk helicopter) and removed one (Safari in Africa). These changes represent my ever-changing interests in life. I haven’t crossed nearly as many off in the last year, but I’ll chalk that one up to most of them being travel related and costing a lot of money. Not that I’m doing the free ones like learning to play harmonica…

I guess that’s it for now. See you in another month?