Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Happenings

Life takes interesting twists and turns. Six years ago, my world was rocked. Three years ago, I met Benjamin. Two and a half years ago, I moved to Colorado. In 2012, I spent a month in Mallorca, Spain, had our house near the wildfire evacuation zone, and surprised Ben in London for the games. Last year I started tandem racing on the ParaCycling team and this year I'm headed to Mexico for my second world championship aimed to guide Karissa to some rainbow stripes. And in the next few months, we're relocating up to Boulder. Oh and we're getting married!

Needless to say, things have been busy around here. I've been working on my memoir daily with my June due date coming quick. Ben quit working at USA Cycling and now works at Stages Power Meters. Moonli and Makiah are happy and silly.  Things are good, really, really good.

Earlier this week the team headed up to LA for some track training on the velodrome. We've been stationed in the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista and making trips up north to get in some quality training before our big competition next week. I called Gary, Ryan's dad, and let him know our training times and hoped to meet up. I love to keep in touch with him and make an effort to see him and his wife Anita every time I'm in town.

"You sure didn't take the traditional path in life," Anita commented at dinner. Her eyes were wide, portraying what I registered as fear. "I could never not have a steady job or paycheck. Yet, Jen, I got to hand it to you. You make it work."

"I'm not sure how," I admitted. Her fear triggered my own. How am I making this work?

"You're doing it right, girl," Gary championed. He is always supportive. He shakes his head in wonderment at me a lot, but it's nonjudgemental and makes me giggle when I think about how crazy most of the shit is that I do.

I admit, it's tempting to quit everything and get a real job. Climbing a corporate ladder would satisfy my competitive itch. But I know as soon as I do, I would find myself unhappy in a matter of weeks. I need constant movement, constant pressure of improving as a person and an athlete. As nice as a steady paycheck sounds, the idea of regular office hours and the same type of work sounds absolutely boring. Bring on the unknown. Bring on the adventure. I'm all about the journey.

And you know what? When you are open to a journey that takes twists and turns and you accept things for what they are and make the most of them, big and exciting things happen.

Make it work. That's all you have to do. Don't settle for mediocracy. Take life by the horns, choose what you want to do and follow your dreams with reckless abandon.  You never know if it's going to lead to Aguascalientes, Mexico for a ParaCycling Track World Championship.

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