Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It could have been a really hard weekend this past weekend. I could have stayed home, saved those bold encounters and reminders for a different time. I could have waited till another time to have a steady reminder that being in San Jose was the last time I talked to Ryan on the phone, the very last time I heard his voice and hear him say I love you. The tear filled drive home and then the beginning of my nightmare - but I went anyway. I had to. And I am so thankful to have been surrounded by my teammates and friends - excited about racing and having a great time, quick to make each other laugh.

Sure I had my moments. Like oddly finding out Michael Jackson died. I swear we were in the same location at about the same time when Ryan went out climbing - about 2 hours outside of San Jose. Is life really that random?

Then hearing from Ryan's dad for the first time in months. Hearing in his voice how hard Father's day was. I felt like sobbing out loud while warming up on my rollers before the points race.

But then being surrounded by friends from around the country. Some of whom said something, some didn't. Thank you to those who did.

Then things started getting a little easier. I raced my bike and good things happened. I felt alive. I displayed 100% of my ability. I laughed, I got paid for my podium efforts. And I smiled, a lot. I was surrounded by people who love track racing as much as I do - and it revived my passion for this sport. So much in fact, I'm seriously considering going to elite nationals.

I was reminded again of an important life lesson. Life is too short not to be doing what you love, living your passion and dreams, whatever those may be. If you don't - then one day you'll wake up and think nothing of Michael Jackson dying. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh yeah, boyyyyyeeeeeee!!!!!

Going back to Cali Wednesday. Road trip in my 1990 Vanagon with teammates Tela and Kendi. Adventures abound!

$1,000 to the points race winner. Incentive? You bet!

Friday, June 19, 2009

My bro, the manscaping Pro!

Check it out - just got this email from my brother...

"As some of you may remember, a couple of years ago we had an 80's costume New Years party in Seattle where I went as Richard Simmons.

Well Jamie entered a picture of me from that party in a KDUK 104.7 "Manscaping" contest for Fathers Day. . . And I won.

What a way to exchange a funny photo for a session of laser hair removal.

Hopefully they won't be upset when they realize the chest hair in the picture was the bangs from my wig glued to my chest.

Thank you Jamie!


Check out the other finalists here.

Good Kharma

My yard was out of control. Weeds were growing to new heights and neglect ruined any notion of making a difference. Between traveling, riding and living, my yard has definitely seen better days. I first tried hiring my neighbor to help me out when my silly attempt at running a weed whacker left my yard looking like a tornado touched down in a random pattern. Then there's always the struggle of mowing my severely slopped front yard. The ivy has taken over the sidewalk and my back yard is a dust bowl/dandelion meadow/overgrown joke! A recent BBQ had my cycling team laughing and poking fun at it. But in all reality - running a 1,500 square foot house solo is a lot of work!

As I tried focusing more on my mental well being by leaving town and traveling to the Rogue River, Hawaii, Chicago and the North Cascades - it would be shadowed by the growing problem of having to tackle the yard eventually. With a little nudge by my mom - we decided to find someone to help me with it. And thankfully, my coworker Jasmine was listening in and made a mention that her dad does landscaping and she could talk to him.

A crew of four people showed up at my house yesterday and spent three hours trimming hedges, weed whacking, weeding, cleaning and doing a massive cleanup that would have taken me FOREVER. It inspired me to address some other neglected areas in my life - like organizing my cycling clothes and cleaning out the green house. They finished around 6 - and I was ready to find out how much the damage was. Regardless of cost, it was absolutely worth it. The huge burden was lifted off my shoulders and now I can plant my tomato plants, water my garden, etc. And that's when Jasmine told me, we're done! And I replied, what do I owe you? Nothing. WHAT? Nothing? No way - I have to do something. You guys worked your asses off and I must give you something in return. Nope.

Wow. I was stunned and shocked, to say the least. I couldn't believe someone would go so far out of their way to help me. I'm still stunned. And shocked.

It also made me realize how important it is to give to others selflessly. Not because you expect anything in return, but because it's the right thing to do.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tragic news

Last night I went to a film at the Mountaineers. Prior to the show starting, they paid tribute to three missing climbers in China, with two confirmed dead. They were attempting a route on Mt. Edgar and were swept away in an avalanche. As they panned through a series of pictures, I noticed my friend Nellie in one of them. Turns out she's dating Micah, one of the three whose body still hasn't been found.

My thoughts are prayers are with her and all of the friends and family affected...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Not recommended...

I'm still wincing as I write this.

And I sure hope someone caught what I just did on video.

Typical day. Wake up, feed the dog, put the kettle on, make some coffee, throw together something for lunch. Hit the shower, then roll my pant legs up and get on my neglected yet still rolling rain bike to pedal the 1.5 miles into work.

I know, rough.

I get to cruise down a nice hill, and the thought has crossed my mind more than once - what if my foot comes off or my toes get raked on since I'm wearing flip flops on shimano pedals? There was the one time I cruised down the same hill, on my race bike all kitted up and headed out to do hill repeats when my computer flew off my bike and then got run over by a car before my eyes. Luckily nothing happened there today.

And yes, I wear my helmet. Every single time.

So you can imagine my surprise when I rolled up to the Fremont/34th street interchange, stopped at a red light then start to move forward as the light changed, go to throw two swift strokes into it and BAM! My right foot gets snagged, flip flop goes flying, crotch comes down HARD on the top tube. So hard in fact, I think I just did some permanent damage. I hobble in reverse to grab my slipper, while cars are annoyed I'm in their way and my junk is throbbing so hard it's blinding my vision.

I collect my slipper, put it in first and can't sit down the remaining 1/2 mile to my office. What lesson did I learn? Wearing flip flops on shimano pedals is not very pro.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Hard Time

I've been having a hard time concentrating. I try to stay focused at work and my thoughts just keep returning to Ryan. Every corner I turn, every place I travel, every new experience I try, my thoughts keep returning.

He would have turned 32 last Friday. And oh how that ache hurts.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

In attempt to Super Glue the fittings of my track chain ring bolts on my bike to prevent them from spinning, I super glued my fingers together. It reminds me back in the day with Lee Press on Nails and getting a bunch of glue all over my hands.

Super Glued fingers are hot.

The good news though - I just got my Cane Creek training wheels dialed in and will attempt their maiden voyage tomorrow on the track. So what if my front wheel is BRIGHT yellow and rear wheel bright BLUE? Gomer!

It was 85 here in Seattle today. 85!!!

Monday, June 01, 2009


A big month, the month of June. Molly's birthday is tomorrow and Ryan's is on Friday. It will also mark 9 months since he passed.

In case you haven't noticed, summer has arrived in Seattle. We've had 2 weeks of straight sunshine and today it reached 80 degrees. It's supposed to just keep rising all week. This is the reason I put up with the wet winters we deal with.

I've been managing to keep myself pretty busy lately. I kayaked the Rogue River in Oregon with my friends Sharon and Steve and their friends mid-May. Three amazing days on the water with fantastic weather and high, fast water. The accommodations on the water were perfect - and the scenery unreal. This type of trip should be on everyone's bucket list.

Then a day home for gathering my bikini and sunscreen and off I went to O'ahu. On the North Shore to be exact, where my mom rented a seriously phat crib on Sunset Beach. Every night the crashing surf would lullaby me to sleep, a mere 100 feet from my window. Days were filled with nice runs, surfing, hiking, chilling and eating. What should have been a completely relaxing time turned into a stress case and blue feeling - and although I don't want it to be the case, being around my family often reminds me how much I miss Ryan. The walls are down, the true feelings come out and by the end of the trip I wasn't able to sleep much. I had a repeat nightmare dream of the night I first found out he was gone. It came crashing in louder than the surf outside. I suppose I was overdue for a break down. I still can't get used to them though.

A few days at home in the sun, riding my bike and getting back into doing the things I love cured my blues. I went to the track a couple of times and pedaled my way back into a little happiness.

But now I fear I've been at home a little too much. I can't run from the memories that fill the house when I spend a lot of time here. It's a little too quiet in the house, something I'll probably always have a hard time getting used to. The mountains are starting to call my name - and a visit to Mazama will soon be in order.
Know what's crazy? In this month's Rock and Ice, Ryan's Passages piece went in - only 7 pages from an article written by my step-sisters husband about rooting for a free soloist to stick the moves on a 5.10 route in Yosemite. Wild. What are the odds?

And also contained in this issue is beta on Calaveras Dome - a spot Ryan picked for us to visit on our honeymoon. I've kept my eye out for info on the area since then - nearly 8 years ago and this is the first time I've seen it mentioned.