Friday, February 27, 2009

New life...

And a big congrats to Jake and Trina - proud parents of Molly Claire Venard!


Woke up in the middle of the night due to a strange ass dream. It went something like this:

I was boarding a commercial plane in route to Hawaii. It was one of those mammoth planes with 5 seats in the middle, and three on either side. Unlike normal planes, this one had an observation deck you could hang out on top, with a viewing deck. The plane took off and I was accompanied by some large woman. I think she was somebody's mom and I remember being slightly annoyed she was there. At first it was fun. The plane was circling the city, then it dove down under some low hanging telephone wires. I thought we were going swimming for sure but then the pilot took a sharp left turn, then a right and started climbing. Up and up it went - and the next thing I knew, I was hanging onto the tail end of the plane, with the fat lady barely hanging onto me. I panicked until I saw Ryan near an oxygen box at the front of the plane telling me to reach up and grab him and he would pull me to safety. I shook the fat lady off of me and flew through the air after being relieved of a heavy burden and grabbed Ryan. As soon as I was there, I put the oxygen mask on and the viewing deck compartment was encapsulated. At that point, I realized Ryan was gone. I called the flight attendant in the cabin and told her that I was above them and to please let my mom know I was safe but there were two other people who were goners - Ryan and the fat lady. She said, make yourself comfortable, there's nothing we can do until we land. The next thing I know, my mom is laying next to me, hold me tightly and telling me everything will be alright. Then I woke up.

I think the fat lady was my baggage that I carry around with me on a daily basis. They're things that annoy us because they're around - but often it takes some life altering occurrence to shake yourself free of it. Seeing Ryan and having him help me to safety did just that - suddenly it was survival mode and I said good bye to my baggage as she disappeared into the Pacific Ocean.

With Ryan's brief appearance in my dream - it's similar to how he shows up now. He's always with me and helps guide me to safety, yet once I'm safe, the reality of him not being around physically sets in. I feel fortunate for every brief encounter I have of him - even if its in my dreams.

My mom showing up later in my dream shows how much of an amazing support network I have and that no matter what, she'll be there to pick up the pieces.

Last night was a night for dreams too - I also dreamed Liz was eating a stick of butter. It was partially melted on her face, and she happily licked it off. I woke up laughing.

And then I also dreamed of climbing with Ryan but realizing that although we had ropes, we didn't have the right combination of them to rappel off the route. He went first gophering his head up from the rock, and then disappeared into an abyss.

What a trip.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Psyching myself up....

The ability is within you. It was there all along. You just masked it one day with excuses and then relied on someone else to find it. Little did you know it was always there, waiting for your rediscovery.

So get out there in this rain and 41 degree weather and ride your bike you sissy. You know you want to. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sometimes you have to hit bottom before you can start the journey back up. From all tall tale signs, I hit that bottom on Sunday night/Monday morning and now I'm on the rebound. Grief. Who needs it? But at the same time - it provides such a life altering, fulfilling and baffling journey. One I wouldn't wish on anyone but not in a million years I'd take away.

Oh - and I found my mojo. It was hiding with my spare keys I lost. :)

How to cheer yourself up in one evening...

All you need is:

-Excellent, tasty, home cooked Indian food. Accompanied by your friends sides and lavish additions (garlic nan, quinoa salad, green salad, green beans, salmon, multi grain rice, etc!)

-Twelve of your amazing, fast, fun teammates who are getting to know one another more and more off the bike - laughing together, eating together, planning how to take over the world together.

Thanks for coming over last night ladies. It's going to be an incredible season!

Monday, February 23, 2009

This is the closest I've ever come to depression. And it's depressing. I sit, letting minutes, hours, days pass by without really making what feels like forward progress. I know time has passed by the length of my hair, the deeper my crow feet wrinkles sink, the gray in my hair. Yet my mind feels like it's stuck in a loop. Replaying memories of time past - what feels like the best moments of my life - and I get sad thinking that new memories won't ever be shared with you again. At least not with you right next to me, ready to display your quick wit and clever commentary. Those early years are buried in some time capsule, waiting to be uncovered or catapulted into space.

I haven't been able to muster up enough energy to write lately. I think of stories to include - adventures to remember, and when I sit down to write them, they disappear into thin air. Poof.

Has any body seen my mojo? It's missing and I want it back!
Battered and beaten down by the storm - my emotions have taken a heavy toll. Day to day I often forget the trauma I so recently experienced until it wells up inside of me and bubbles out. I fumble around during the day, unsure of what's wrong with me, why I lack the drive I used to have, why I can't find happiness in concentrating my efforts into training, why things are duller than they were before. And it isn't until I have a good cry, letting myself back into healing, that I realize this is grief.

Hurry up spring. I need your cleansing green colors, your blue skies and warm sun kisses. Now more than ever.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vegas, yeah baby!

Headed to the land of a billion slot machines, debauchery and sin - to do my best and avoid it as much as possible. Shouldn't be hard considering we're staying outside of the strip and spending the weekend at Red Rocks National Park climbing Solar Slab and various multi-pitch routes. I haven't climbed outside since last July with Ryan. Should be amazing.

Pics and stories are sure to follow....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Marymoor GP vs Elite Road Nats

So USA Cycling announced that elite road nats are going to be held in Bend, OR over the same weekend as the Marymoor Grand Prix. The organizer, David Mann, sent me an email asking what I thought if they ran the event the same weekend and whether or not it would cause a big attendance issue for the women. I can see where the conflict is - but am not sure if it would greatly affect the participation. Road nats has one title for one lady, no money - just glory. Marymoor GP has multiple chances to win with tons of cash prizes... would it be smart to hold the GP later in the summer?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Your absence weighs heavy on my heart today. This is my first rest day in a few weeks and not being pressured by the constant workouts to get in before daylight disappears makes the house seem a little more empty.

I can't help but feel like I'm still going to wake up from this nightmare. Strange, when I felt like I had made such forward progress - yet emotionally slammed at the drop of a hat. It still aches. My heart still cries for you.

Here I sit at your computer in the downstairs basement. Where you spent countless hours coding for Pacific Ridge and listening to your tunes. I've been having lots of memories flood my consciousness lately - from our European trip to watching the way you walk. Is it strange I called your phone today just to hear your voice?

Oh Bubba, I miss you so much.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Man Friday was a tough day!

But it's over. And now I lay in a heap on my couch, shattered from a good 5 hour ride with my teammates. It hurts so good.

Apples and peanut butter has never tasted so good. YUM.

Friday, February 06, 2009

This is the picture that visited me last night when I was going to bed.

Is this going to be forever?

Last night

As I lay in bed, tears started welling up and sobs leaked out. I pictured Ryan, sitting at a crag, soaking up the sun and smiling at me. He was just enjoying the moment - living his passion and I realized just how much I miss him. And how I hadn't realized how much I missed him until right then.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hearing the sudden and tragic loss of another person taken before we were ready to let him go brings back the memories of what a nightmare death can be. The shock can be so devastating and unreal - and looking back now, it still doesn't make any sense to me. That first month is unfathomable.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Black family and all of his friends.


And in the same token - nearly the same time, a 21 year old rider at the Tour of Qatar died in his sleep. Will Fischkorn describes the mood there.

Smarty Pants

There's smart and there's not so smart. Smart things can include getting daily exercise, eating right, getting a dose of Vitamin D, etc. Not so smart can include sitting, overeating, crawling into a cave to never seeing the light of day and running stairs.

Yes, running stairs.

Sharon and I decided to start our stair running back up again on Tuesday. I remember sitting in the car, after my morning weight routine, thinking to myself how much better breakfast sounded than getting my heart pounding, again. Before I had a chance to chicken, she showed up and up and up and up we went. At the time it seemed manageable. No serious injury. No falls. 20 minutes later we were done.

Little did I know that evening, as my muscles started to tighten, my calves would feel like someone Charley-horsed them into balls of hard dough. Luckily I had the sense to only do 6 sets of the calve burners, not the optional 8.

What day is it - Thursday? Yep, they still scream at me. I'll keep my little mouth shut, thank you very much, to the coach I'm about to see.

Do yourself a favor - be smart today.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Signs of Spring

The skaters are back.

They roll back and forth along the canal, clanking their boards onto the concrete bench in attempt to ali it. Every year they show back up - wearing their tight, black stone washed jeans, grunge plaid button shirts and Nike skate shoes.

The guy out there right now has been flailing around quite a bit - a sign of early spring. Come March he should be ali'ing with the best of 'em.

Reminds me that I need to bust out Marcy's long board and flail around myself....

Ohhhhh OUCH! Dude just took a digger to his nuts - maybe I better rethink that!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Good things are happening in my life and my drama filled blog may soon be replaced with cycling muses.

That's a good thing, right?

A return to normalcy -yet, altered in an unforgettable, unfathomable way. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, yet accepting what's going on in my life as real, beautiful and inspiring. I'd tell you more but its going in the book....