Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Last weekend couldn't have been any better.

I am still reliving its highlights and am stoked about the progression I've made on the bike. Focusing on something 100% really does make a difference and eliminating distractions really helps performance. Setting yourself up for success can take a while - mainly because we are constantly bombarded by daily distractions and big picture hurdles but if you will it - you can do it. And those emotions and positive energy will in turn come back to you.

Take racing as the easiest metaphor. So much of what you do both on and off the bike translates to pushing your body through space and time. If your energy is directed at something else - you risk losing your focus and having sub par performances. You struggle with why things aren't going as well - but have you considered it's because other things in your life aren't as smooth as they could be? Are you having a hard time accepting something at work, in a relationship or finding the balance between work and play? How about taking a moment, thinking about what is taking up some of your energy and figuring out positive ways to make the most out of the situation. When you achieve this harmony it translates into harmony in everything you do, including time spent on the bike.

This very notion came to fruition this past weekend. Since January I've been working on pairing my workout schedule with whole some foods and carbs at the right time. I have been diligent about getting my recovery drinks in immediately after a session and fueling up shortly thereafter. Slowly, but surely the weight has crept off. But more importantly my performance continues to get stronger. As diligent as I have been about getting every last second of VO2 max efforts I can out of my body, I immediately fuel it with home cooked meals.

Earlier in the season I mentioned to Jennie I had my sights on IVRR. I put this race on the schedule because I've done poorly at it in the past and was ready to give it a go. There were doubts in my head from previous experiences - mainly because up until this point I didn't consider myself a climber. So she put the race as "optional" on my calendar. But we still keyed up for it. I climbed lots of hills - digging deep into my reservoirs and building up my weaponry. Then when several teammates signed up - I figured I'd be in great company and really get to test my legs and fitness.

The group hit the hill the first time up - and after the descent, I looked back and noticed we had a solid break of 9 - including 6 HB girls. We had destroyed the field on the first climb! The second hill came - and what I remembered in my head as being the bigger of the two climbs was actually much smaller! I knew right then and there that it was on and game time. I started telling myself, "you can win this. You will win this. You are strong, focused and determined." The miles started cruising by. We attacked those poor girls that were with us relentlessly. Wheeler the incredible solo-break artist had already launched at this point - so we set up for the small field sprint. By a selfless lead out from Kathi and Beth - the win was perfectly timed and only Morgan tried for contention. I wanted to pull over and cry out of excitement. I couldn't believe how awesome that feeling is - partly of winning but mainly out of hitting a major milestone in my cycling ability. Pushing through pain caves, attacking them when they try to tell your body to stop - pushing your body to the limit and celebrating that success. This probably only makes sense if you've experienced it yourself. But for me it's something I strive for every time I'm on the bike. And why not go for it? You've got nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

I love this sport.

Friday, March 26, 2010

On Wednesday of this week, Tela, Mary and I headed to the track for the first time this season. Luckily the weather was perfect - with 67 degrees and sunshine. Never mind the hardcore head wind on the home straight. We were just happy to be out and about and rolling around together.

Our warm up started off a little higher paced than we should have started. 30 laps with slight increases near the 10 to go mark so did not happen. By 14 to go, Mary admitted to struggling and then with 5 to go all hell broke loose. Suddenly we were out of rotation with a half pull thrown into the mix and next thing I know, we detonate our order. We still got a good warm up in - but it just goes to show that pacing is everything and when you're rusty chances are you're going to go out too hard.

We each had separate goals for the day - so after some warm up jumps, which demonstrated I have been on the road bike way too much, I swapped gears into a 98". The mission: 5 x 4 laps flying at 95% VO2 max with 3 minutes of recovery. Read: brutally hard, if not impossible. Yet with a massive head wind and a massive gear - I some how pulled it off. My legs felt like they were going to explode - and my lungs did explode. I visited the tunnel of pain with each effort. Mary and Tela both screamed loudly for me but I couldn't hear them. My goal this season? Lengthen the amount of time I can handle in the pain cave, ignoring all warning signs. And so far it's working.

Afterward I rode home from the park along the north end - bumping into Annette along the way. We chatted about this and that - I was really thankful for the company. It's nice to take your mind off the task at hand vs the 1.5 more hours in the saddle. Oh the life of a bike racer. Glamorous, isn't it?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Headgear sizing:

Small - up to 21 1/2"
Medium - 21 1/2 - 22 1/4"
Large - 22 1/4 - 23"
Xlarge - 23" and up.

" DON'T DO IT FOR MONEY. Do it for the competition. There is no money in it, really, a credit card payment now and then." - Yvonne Reis

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Last Monday wrecked me. Not so much the following day but the day after that, and the day after that and the day after that. My cycling training was seriously compromised and every muscle was in serious shock mode from movements my body hasn't done in nearly a decade. The come back kid felt like the come back wuss. And despite my best intentions to get to another gym to see if I could find the right training environment - it so did not happen.

But what did find out after a couple of restless nights and foot cramps was that I really have set myself up for success in cycling. The coaching is phenomenal, my training partners are incredible, the support network, teammates, nutrition - all of it points in the right direction of having amazing success on two wheels. And while I still feel passionate about boxing and always will, I'm putting my eggs in the basket I've been weaving the past six years.

For now I'm going to keep focusing my energy on revolutions and self inflicted pain caves versus head bashing concussions. I do have a plan to get back in the sport a little more though since I still love it very much... but for now I'm working on those hill repeats with a fresh perspective and renewed spirit because I am so fortunate to pursue a sport I love and have the ability and time to do it.

Funny how life throws in its little distractions from time to time.

My mantra for today: World Cups. WORLD CUPS. WORLD CUPS!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Marymoor Velodrome Auction - Giving Back

You may or may not know this - but I am seriously involved in my sport. About a year into track racing, a friend of mine suggested I apply for a board position on the MVA and I honored to have the opportunity to give back some of my time and energy to something I highly valued. Over the past 5 years, I have dedicated time and energy by volunteering for the MVA and have watched it grow in numerous ways.

Each year, at about this time, the board members pound the pavement, pick up the phone, and start sending emails to solicit donations for our annual auction. We also try to get friends and family to attend the auction. The proceeds are the primarily funds for the programs we hold from April through September. Junior and adult classes, racing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as well as junior development and administration fees are all reliant on the funds we collect this upcoming April 3, 2010.

The MVA is a non-profit and volunteer run organization. We are only as good as the people who put their time and energy into it. We have succeeded so far thanks to the hard work of several individuals but we still need your help.

What you can do: Attend the upcoming MVA auction April 3, 2010 held at the Mercer Island Community Center at 5:30 pm. Please register here.

You can also donate items for the silent or live auction, some of which is tax-deductible. Some items donated include:
- a Blue TR250 Track Bike
- a Giant Jr Animator from Bothell Ski & Bike
- Wine Tasting at Eleven Winery
- Two Night's Stay at Terry Buchanan's Winthrop Cabin
- an Amazing basket of kitchen goodies from Chef'n
- Dave Mann's cookies
- Thunderpass from Woodland Park Zoo
- A $280 Fun Pack Rental Package from REI in Redmond
- Breakfast or Lunch for two at the Maltby Cafe
- Beautiful fused glass artwork by Kristin Simpson
- A gift basket from Babeland, and lots more!

Got something you'd like to contribute? Please let me know!

We have a fantastic caterer on tap that will be serving a Mediterranean Feast that will tickle your taste buds.

And to top it all off World Champion and Olympian Jennie Reed will be this year's guest speaker. The funds collected from this year's auction are earmarked for woman's development with a series of Sunday afternoon clinics led by high level instructors.

What are you waiting for? Register today!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I woke up in the middle of the night with one thing on my mind... wwwwwwwaaaaaaattter.

As I stretched in bed my muscles ached in protest. My abs, biceps, shoulders, calves and even my feet feel like they are severely dehydrated and threatened to cramp at any moment. The clock read 3 am. I feel back asleep, this time dreaming of big dogs chasing cats in a overly-banked velodrome.

5:30 am - stretched and still felt the cramp feeling. At this point I'm fully admitting that Monday night workout put me in a hole. A good hole though - a hole I needed to go in.

And as I said before - I'm continuing with my daily training on the bike. But let's be honest. Yesterday was rough. The day wore on and those 5 sets of early morning 3 minute in Lactic Threshold with 2 minutes of VO2 max with Jennie there to hold me 100% accountable were some of the highest quality intervals I've done yet.

"Up, up, up! You gotta earn that spot on the world cup team. It's not going to come easy for anyone."

I ripped my own legs off and got sucked into the dark tunnel of narrow focus that only comes when you hit that VO2 level. You shut out what's around you, focusing on the task at hand and try to continue ignoring your brain that's telling you to STOP! This hurts! This time I'm armed with visions of being at the end of a round, getting the final punches in before the bell, keeping the hands up and punches flying when all you want to do is collapse in a heap.

If you straight up compare the two sports - cycling and boxing - they are both a test of your ability to perform under pain. How your body and brain deal with a lack of oxygen and lactic acid. Yet the biggest difference? In boxing you're getting blows to the head and in that regard cycling is much easier.

Later in the day I meet up with Jennie at the gym. I've been on the same weight routine since late January and she wanted to check in to see how my form is and what kind of adaptations she can do to my next round of punishment. I enjoy the gym, don't get me wrong. I like doing Olympic lifts and squats, overhead hangs and single leg dead lifts. Even Bulgarian squats. I can't believe I just admitted that. For the most part I find out I've been doing them right. But I also discover slight subtle differences in form that make heaving up 80 pounds above my head in one swoop much, much easier. Technique is everything.

What normally takes me an hour, we complete in two. Jennie does the workout with me and by the core exercises at the end we're both moaning like a couple of old ladies complaining about arthritis. It's comical and I notice a couple of people in the stretching room trying not to laugh at us but still sneaking a smirk.

I spend the rest of the night sorting through the office and pictures and cd after cd filled with photos from friends and family. I am so thankful to have a digital memory of Ryan - a series of climbing photos taken by Cam shows each move of a boulder problem in Leavenworth. Ryan's focus and dedication to sport is admirable and it makes me miss him even more. He's where I get my inspiration and ability to push myself athletically. Hard work, dedication, focus and passion - everyone should surround themselves with people they admire and look up to. If I want to do this boxing thing then I need to find a real life hero.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I miss my monkey.

In so many ways.

He brought the best out of me.

First leap

Google maps said it would only take 15 minutes max to get to Cappy's gym on Capital Hill. I gave myself 45 minutes to get there. Because I arrived so early, I sat and nervously waited it out in the car, reading through my Chinook book. (So Seattle, I know.) Jennie called - and said "is that what I give you rest days for? So you can box?" We chuckled about it, both knowing that this is something I want to do. And she supports looking into it - but still has every right to give me a little crap.

At 7:20 I get out of the car and head over. Cappy instantly recognizes me though he can't place where. Then the long story comes out... used to box 10 years ago, (clobbered your girls), am interested in getting back into it (to clobber more girls) - came to check out what your gym has to offer. In the meantime the participants in the boxing conditioning workout are punching heavy bags, jumping rope, slapping focus mitts - with beads of sweat hitting the floor in regular intervals.

He tells me where the changing room is and I proceed to wrap my hands. I'm a little out of practice and as the night wears on and I'm constantly fumbling with them. The changing room/bathroom/weigh in area with a big huge laundry sink room has pictures of various fighters in frames and the occasional autograph.

I put on my white bandana to keep my annoying bangs out of my face and start jumping rope. I quickly learn my footwork is slow and clumsy and my hand eye coordination is not what it used to be. But my cardio pays no mention and I find my steady pace starts to outlast some of the participants. Cappy bases the initial warm up off of the bell which beeps every 3 minutes, rest for 1 minute and then back on. We do a medicine ball work - holding the ball overhead while shimmying across the length of the room, then with it out in front and then back to overhead. At this point I start to notice who's fit and who's not. I may not have the prettiest footwork but I my engine is larger than most.

On the mats we go - working on our core. First we bounce the medicine ball off our abs with your legs raised. I get into a rhythm, breathing out of my mouth in short bursts and notice everyone else is quiet - taking those hits in eerie silence. Then we put the ball between our knees and start crunching for three minutes. And eventually we put the ball between our feet and do leg raises for an additional three minutes. My abs are screaming - but I notice not many people are completing the effort. They give up when it starts getting hard. My abs are screaming at me but I know that the pain is a good thing and this will get me stronger. Then last but not least, we sit up, with our legs raised above the ground about 5 inches and move the ball from side to side. I went until failure and then went again.

Next on tap - circuit drills. You do each station for 3 minutes before proceeding to the next. Cappy pairs me up with Leah - a tough looking girl with nice Everlast high tops and tattoos. I'm not really intimidated. We start with triceps - dipping down from a bench. My weakling t-rex arms allow me to only complete about 5 before they start flailing about. I laugh at how silly I must look. Next we go into the ring and one person throws a medicine ball at the other person as they deflect it with a large focus mitt. Not sure what the purpose of that drill is - but hefting a 12 lb. ball around for 3 minutes definitely gains strength. We continue onto the speed bags, which is where my partner excels. She starts slow, and I think, "I'm doing good!" but then as she speeds up and has that bag rocking I feel like a complete uncoordinated doofus. Unfortunately we didn't have speed bags when I was training back in the day - so my skill level is way down.

But when it's time to hit the heavy bag - my instinct comes back. And I'm rocking and rolling with an 80 pound bag like it did me wrong. It felt good to throw punches in rapid succession. And my pink gloves enjoyed being put back to work after the 9 year hiatus they've had in my old bag. We do two rounds with the heavy bags - and I start really getting into a rhythm. Bobbing and weaving around, working on my fancy feet, beating the crap out of that bag. I barely notice if anyone is watching. This is what I came here to do. To feel this intensity.

And last but not least in the circuit - we have to hang from a bar and do hamstring curls. I fire off a ton, with no problem except my hands keep slipping down as well as my hand wraps. My partner completes about 5 before she has to take a break to stretch them out.

At this point I'm good and sweaty. My face is red and I'm getting back into the groove. An hour has flown by and we gear up to start sparring. I reach into my duffel bag and pull out my mouth guard, sparing gloves and pelvis protector. It's a funny contraption - the pelvis protector and looks like I put underwear on over my shorts. But it protects you from any pelvis damage and clearly defines what is below the belt.

No one else puts one on.

Cappy tells me - we only use those in competition. Why? I ask. Because that's just how we do things here. Do you mind if I wear it? (I try not to sound sarcastic.) No - by all means. I'm sure some of those people thought, what's up with this girl? I think the same of them. Why not protect yourself?

Unfortunately I don't have any head gear. It rotted in my bag from too much sweat and after 10 years decided to just throw it away. I have to borrow one from the wall - and find one that doesn't really fit and every time it gets knocked around my hair starts falling in my face. That and it has blood all over it. Gross.

We start sparing - and I'm thrown in the mix with "Queen" - a multi-national champion who has her eyes on higher level. She's in a much lighter weight class and about 6 inches shorter than I am. She had been giving me the eye all night - and now it was time to face why I chewed off every single fingernail I had in the car about an hour ago.

I survive. Though I land about 1 punch to her 10. She's fast and furious. She laughs at how my head gear moves around and I in turn laugh at myself. I'm thrown into a round robin, meaning I switch sparing partners every 30 seconds for three minutes. We progress from only throwing jabs, to jab, straight, hooks - to only straights (jabs and cross) to all. When I partner back up with Leah I land a couple on her chin to which she responds, aim for my forehead. She's used to regular so when I switch it up to South paw I land more blows then she knows what to do with. It frustrates her and I start landing more. That fighter in me is still there and I'm amazed at how quickly it came back out. I want more time with Queen - but know I risk breaking my nose if I do. I did hear it crunch a little - but cartilage does that.

The end of the night came quickly. I shadow box as a cool down and the movements come back to me. I feel good. Really good. And I've completely soaked my clothes with sweat. Afterward I stick around to chat with Cappy and see what he thinks. "You're rusty, that's to be expected. What do you want to do?" Compete. I answer, without hesitation. Yet I'm not convinced if this gym is where I want to train full time. As a "A" team member the workouts are 4 times a week, with 3 "road work" sessions. A couple of the ladies were encouraging and said they'd love to see me back in the gym.... yet I'm not sure if that was the right fit.

Timing is everything. I got an email this morning from another gym out of Tukwila that offered a free week to check it out. I might as well give that one a try.

This morning's 8 am hill interval session with Jennie came bright and early. Thank goodness I slept like a baby last night - dreaming of picking blueberries and eating them until I couldn't anymore. And we did the efforts before the reality of my sore abs and arms could hit me... but now that I sit in my office a couple of hours later, I'm having a hard time keeping them up to my keyboard.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yeah, time for bed. I'm pooped. I've been sitting here all night trying to come up with some sort of blog post about the busy weekend but now that it's bedtime - I'm going to bed! More to come tomorrow...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A mini distraction

This morning after fussing for a good part of an hour on my rear cassette, I decided to break out the old USA Boxing bag out of my gear closet and take a look at what's inside. Opening it up revealed a strong musty smell of leather and sweat. In the very bottom I found my old mouth pieces and they amazingly still fit - even after 10 years. I put my old hand wraps in the wash along with my turtle shell sports bra and an old tank top jersey. And there, in the bottom of the bag were some old "Excellence" ribbons and paperwork from the 2001 World Championships.

I got asked today - so do you really have what it takes? Has anyone ever identified that natural born champion in you? And my response - was yes. But it doesn't matter what they think. It's what I put my mind to that matters. You are the master of your own destiny.

That and a champion is made a day at a time.

I still have 6 x 3 min VO2 intervals on the plate today with 3.5 hours on the bike. I'm not losing my focus on my daily training. But it does give me a little more want and desire to make each effort as hard as possible. To push to new levels. To feel my heart rate beating in my chest, legs screaming from lactic acid - ignoring my brain that's telling me to stop, that it hurts. Pushing beyond that pain threshold is the name of the game - and often is where the gains are made.

And who knows - maybe I'll head down to Tacoma today and get punched in the head. Ha!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just doing a little review...

5. Blocking - We do not do this. I repeat: we do not do this. Blocking is cheap, weak, and we don‟t condone it. Let people race and expect that they‟ll let you race. You can certainly sit on a chase, but don‟t actively get into an echelon to disrupt a chase. When a rider drops back from a pull, let them back in. If someone wants in the line to pull, let them in. Clogging up the road or corners just isn‟t racing. It is instead plain bad form. Do not even let the fact that other teams employ it justify its use to you; two wrongs don‟t make a right.
From the man himself:

We have several female boxers training in our gym, with the hopes that they would try for the 2012 Olympic Games. The only weight that will be contested for the females are 108lbs. - 132lbs. - 165lbs. To acomidate the female weight classes the mens weights were cut from 11 to 10 weight classes. We work out Monday thru Thursday at 5:30 PM - the cost is $60 plus $15 for a background check. This year the district tournament has already been held but female boxers can enter straight into the nationals if they pay their own way as far as airfare, room and board.

Tom L. Mustin

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I'm happy to report that the first races of the season went very, very well. So well in fact that I'm more excited than ever about the hard work, training, and nutritional focus I've been taking is paying off huge dividends. It is so nice to know that you're on the right track and headed for success.

So what to do about this whole boxing thing?

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time looking into what I could find on the web. Basically I would have to go from a bottom heavy cyclist (though I can still do 20 push ups no problem and maybe 3 pull ups) - to a lean mean fighting machine. I would have to bulk up on my upper body and gain about 10 pounds in shoulder, back and neck muscles. I would start working on agility and footwork like a mad woman. I could hone this in a year's time - and gain back probably 90% of the capacity I used to have. The next year would be refinement and peaking to world class level.

In the meantime I would have to get high caliber fights. We're talking taking the ring with Russian Olga's and woman who's pictures are intimidating. I'd have to be in peak form and ready to throw down this September for the World Championships hosted in Barbados. Which means that I'd also have to win Nationals in August in the US. But there are only 3,000 registered female boxers in the US. And maybe a dozen or so that are seriously competitive in my weight class.

It would also mean hitting the gym in Tacoma and putting some serious hours in. Finding good sparing partners, working on hand/eye speed, getting the shit kicked out of me and then picking myself up, dusting myself off and staring right back into the eye of the tiger to do it again. I'd be conditioned to bells, 2 minute rounds, risk bloody and broken noses, knock outs and low blows. My head would be filled with the slap of the heavy bag, the rhythm of speed bags, the loud exhalations, the tap of jump ropes, and the occasional heavy thump of someone getting knocked down in the ring.

And what would I be sacrificing? Six years of dedication to the bike. And now with my performance levels rocketing to new levels? Gee, the answer seems obvious to me. But it's still worth entertaining the notion and checking it out.

I'm waiting for a call back from Tom Mustin out of Tacoma. He was the head boxing coach for the 2000 Olympic games for Team USA. Serious.

Monday, March 08, 2010

One Way....

This morning was a "ride and smell the roses" recovery kind of day. And on my return from Seward park, what did I spy? A sign near the Museum of Natural History in Montlake that was worth flipping a u turn and taking a photo of.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Whoa, seriously?!?

Remember how I said something really big was going to happen soon? That I could feel the energy building?

Well my intuition was spot on.

This weekend a dear friend Anju came and visited me in the morning hours before heading down to Mason Lake. We were boxing buddies back in the day. She and her husband Bill owned 10th Ave Gym on Capital Hill and I put many hours of blood, sweat and tears into their gym. She now has three beautiful girls - the youngest of which I got to hold in my arms.

When they had to close up shop and move to Austin for work nearly 8 years ago, I decided that boxing had probably run its course. I had been competing for the past 4 years and since I thought boxing would never be included in the Olympics, decided that maybe it was time to lay down my gloves. They sit in the basement, collecting dust.

Boxing was an amazing experience. Not only was I in the shape of my life - but I was able to participate in the first woman's world championship held in Scranton, PA in 2001. Talk about an amazing experience - and to be part of history? Unreal.

Thankfully I found reprieve for my competitive spirit in cycling within the next year. It filled my need to compete and for kicking my own butt. It was challenging but I immediately knew I could do well in it. (Thanks to finding amazing coaching and mentors along the way!)

And when R. Miller asked me to show him a few moves in his home on the light weight heavy bag he put up - I rattled off combos into the bag without missing a beat. Oh boxing, my first true competitive love. Muscle memory is scary, really.

Here it is 10 years later and this morning, of all morning's Anju makes a brief mention that boxing is in the 2012 Olympics. WHAT! HOLD THE PHONE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some quick calculations were run - you have to be under 35. Check. It's only amateur - no problem, never went pro. You have two years. Whoa. Seriously? Am I actually considering getting back into it? Something that made my family squirm? Something that made complete strangers give Ryan a dirty eye whenever they saw my black eyes? Something that felt so good to my being and core that I absolutely LOVED it?

Tomorrow I'm looking into what's available in the local area for training. Why not? It's worth exploring at least. My mom is probably going to shit herself. I'm shitting myself.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

For those left wondering if I did in fact puke down in LA, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it didn't happen. Try as I did to get to that point - even with the consumption of a homemade chocolate chip cookie right before a full max effort (thanks Liz!) - I didn't do it. But I did come close. And in talking yesterday with Izette and another Liz about my quest for turning myself inside out, it got me really thinking.

How often do you push yourself? Have you ever reached the point in some athletic or mental endeavor that you had an out of body experience? Suddenly you found yourself detached from your physical presence and in essence, floating above it and observing it with an open mind?

This is something I strive for. Something I dig deep for every time I have a hard effort on the bike. To be able to push beyond those boundaries in search of feeling disconnected from the societal pressures that weigh you down, the burdens of every day life, the nagging chores, screaming babies, and hunger pangs. I am truly blessed to be able to tap into this energy and can do it regularly. It is so fulfilling to be able to follow your passion and pursue it with such balance and determination.

If you were able to feel that nirvana - if only for a brief period, but truly felt it - what's keeping you from following it? Did you feel it as a kid when you were in art class? Did you feel it when you read a book? Were you in the mountains? On a beach? Sitting in front a computer? Where ever that place may be - that feeling you experienced, why not continue the quest to feel that way all the time?

Why are we locked down to be satisfied with mediocrity?

I'm not. I'm ready. I strive for adventure, to travel unknown paths. It brings me peace knowing that if it were to all end today I have lived each amazing day in the present. Some may call it luck - but I call it destiny.

Speaking of out of body experience - Fat Freddy's Drop the coolest dub reggae band on the planet is playing in Seattle soon....

Do you ever have the feeling that something larger than life is calling your name? It's beckoning you to be more than just a number, more than a consumer, more than a bike racer?

Something's brewing, I can feel its energy.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ryan had a cousin named Dixon. Dixon had muscular dystrophy that ate away his muscles and reduced him to a fraction of the man he should have been. Doctors said Dixon would maybe live to 16. But through sheer will power and a positive attitude he lived till 26.

Ryan loved Dixon and despite his struggles sent letters back and forth to California.
I came across some old photos tonight. Ones of Ryan's uncle Paul, his family and Dixon in them. And there's Ryan. Prouder than anyone of his cousin. You can just tell how much he loved him. I bet they're hanging out right now.
These dudes are crazy. But it sure is pretty there!

Monday, March 01, 2010


My house is in utter chaos. There is stuff every where. I'm seeing things that I haven't touched in quite some time and it's making my eyes itch.

There are new blips on the horizon. Signs of change. Signs of growth, soon to be triumph and the ups and downs. But for the first time in a long time I feel like I'm getting my grove back.

It's taken some time to get used to my own messes. To be comfortable with the uncomfortable. But as my own dirty dishes stack up in the sink, I'm starting to get into a routine. The power is coming back.

The walls of this house remain, as they always have. But the ghosts that have lived in the basement, tucked away for a rainy day, are being stirred up and summoned to move on. I'm getting a housemate and he's going to live in Ryan's old office.

Down the pictures have come. The dust kitties scattering in protest, trying to hide from my persistent vacuum. The piles are being dealt with. The stacks of computer programing books are being taken off the book shelves - ready to go to a new owner. My own books, the ones that survived the basement flood several years ago are being moved back upstairs - into the second bedroom that is being converted into the new office.

I was ready for this change and welcome it.