Ramblings, musings and generally boring stuff. Mostly about bikes...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The effect of people you don't even know

I don't have to know you personally to be positively impacted by your life.

You never know how far your spirit reaches, until it is lost.

My first thought is how much hurt the pain of you loss will be on those we have in common.

My second thought is how great the loss will be, without the possibility of more people getting to know you, including me.

Still, I can honor the life you left and the indellible impact you made on those I care dearly about. It is my hope that they will continue to honor the spirit that burned so brightly within you.

Goodbye Carla. Goodbye Far Too soon.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


In my carelessness, and/or tiredness last night I stumbled into a radio on the floor next to my bed.

After rolling around, writhing in pain for several minutes, I assessed the situation.

While it felt like my nail had been ripped clean off, it was actually still firmly attached.

While it felt like searing hot pain, the little toe was still attached firmly to my foot.

I wiggled it around and was able to do so without going through the ceiling.

"It might be broken" I both thought and said aloud. Phil replied, "do I need to take you to the ER?"

I quickly explained that there is little they could do for me, even if it were broken, except make me wait, "buddy wrap" it and send me home.

So I did the next best thing.

I went to bed.

Throughout the night I woke due to the pain from it touching the sheet.

Not a good sign.

I woke at 5am, thinking about my having to ride at Frostbike in a few hours.

I willed myself back to sleep and resolved to at least try to 1) walk 2) put on a cycling shoe 3) attach said shoe to my pedal 4) ride.

By 7:30 am, I was able to do #s 1 and 2.

My sad little toe was decidedly swollen and a little discolored.

I hobbled around and decided it would be a more wise idea to just do the Frostbike Ride, and NOT attempt to ride to and from Cafe Ventana.

I called Suzanne to give her the heads up in time for her to make the other Pre-Frostbike ride with Kate and crew.

I then set about getting ready....

Uggs were roomy enough to allow me to walk and keep my tootsies warm.

I headed over to Cafe Ventana.

At this point, the pain is constant but not as acute. (or Cute for that matter)

I was able to walk, with a little limp. And about 45 minutes later, I clipped in and off we went.

I skipped the toe warmers. Out of fear that they would be just enough pressure to send me over the edge.

I soon realized, err rationalized, that the frozen toes from the 20 something temps might have the same effect that icing my swelling little piglet would get... reduction in Inflammation!

With Suzanne's company, along with 30 some other Frostbikers, I completed 11.5 miles with a maybe broken toe!

Afterward, during social and eating time, my littlest piggie thawed. It didn't hurt that bad.

Until I forgot to be careful of it and gave a little hop off the step while leaving Ventana.

Yow! Yep, still angry

So, I've never broken a bone before... (knock on wood) and I'm not entirely sure this little guy is broken.

Still hurts and is an ugly shade of red/purple on the side and underneath, but I can still walk.

And more importantly, I CAN STILL RIDE!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Knowing my place?

The other day I was at the gym running on a treadmill. The gym was busy but not yet crowded. I was about 10 minutes into my 45 minute run when one of the many teenage girls there got on the contraption to my left (not sure what this machine is called but it's kind of like an elliptical that simulates running more... I digress.....)
She instantly began to yell across me to the treadmill two down from me, where her friend had been perched since prior to my arrival. "Oh, you were supposed to be on this treadmill (pointing to the one I am on)." She continues, loudly, for the next 15-20 minutes to whine about her friend being too far away from her, how difficult her workout is, how especially difficult is is without her friend right next to her. and on and on....
Despite my own Ipod making valiant efforts to block this noise, I hear her very clearly. The entire time.

During this time, I had opportunity to think about this situation. Initially, I was very very annoyed. Ok, even a little angry. But as she continued, with no apparent awareness of anyone else being in the room, being impacted by her comments, behaviors, I began to think about my own behavior... or rather what behavior I might react with. I thought through the many things I could have said, or done which would have made me seem just as young as this girl. Pretty quickly, I came to the conclusion that it is not my place to say or do anything.

Over the next few days, I've thought about this more. It is rarely my place to say something to "correct" some action another has done. I think too often people falsely assume that it's their role. Anger, hurt feelings, drama, and a whole host of other non-reinforcing behaviors usually ensue. Rarely does the offending behavior change.

My friend recently loaned me a book called "How full is your bucket." The basic premise of this book is to shape all interactions with others in attempts to "fill" their buckets. You do this with positive interactions (strengths based positive psychology approach), especially those that play to the strengths, desires, and talents of the recipient. Conversely, negative interaction dips into the person's bucket. One of the challenges issued in this book is to work to continually be a bucket filler rather than a bucket dipper.

The above situation was one were I could easily have been a bucket dipper. But I know that is not my place. What I failed to realize in that moment was that I also neglected to be a bucket filler. I could have easily moved to the treadmill to the right and allowed the girl's friend to move closer. Instead I did nothing.

At one time, I was accused of being a bucket dipper. While I am sure I have focused on the negative or said something less than kind, I do not believe myself to be a chronic bucket dipper. Rather, I am more a chronic bystander. I react the same way I did at the gym, ignoring the behavior, hoping it or she, in this case, will eventually go away.

I am issuing myself a challenge. This will become my place. Instead of continuing to be a bystander, saying or doing nothing, I will actively work to increase positive interactions with those I come in contact with.

By the way, that color looks really lovely on you!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Soo cold

Preparing to ride Frostbike 2011. photo credit: Tom Fleming

FrostBike 2011 started yesterday. I rode today with temps around 20 degrees but a beautiful Sunshine. We had over 30 people join us and then 6 of us rode more afterward. It's amazing that I felt comfortable for most of the ride and could even feel how warm the sun was on my face at one point. It was a beautiful ride. We had some coffee and a little food at Cafe Ventana and then headed back out for more riding (about another hour). I stayed comfortable the whole time. Not too cold, not too sweaty.

Now, I am at home in my snuggly fleece PJ's and I can't get warm. I've even been sitting on the "cat warmers" (heating vents) and it's not sinking into my bones.
I am, as Dessa put it today, "Cold on the inside."


But I want it now!

I know I'm obsessive and black and white about things. When I get my mind set, I want to take off in that direction, often zooming along until I come to a screeching halt. I don't realize along the way that things are amiss. I fail to see the warning signs. Some of them are subtle. Some are glaringly blatant.
I do consider myself to be pretty self aware in general. I recognize my faults, character flaws and I am very introspective. But change is a whole different story. Patience is something I really like, but don't really have. When faced with a path, I do a little churning in the brain, some verbal processing with Phil or a friend and then BOOM, I want to take action NOW.
I am whole hearted with most of what I do. I am passionate, dedicated, but these are often to my detriment. I get caught up in unhealthy situations too easily. I fail to see those cautions signs, As the road gets more curvy, I continue with the same determination from when I started, rather than reducing my intensity to safely navigate the tricky terrain.
I wish that I could be a better judge of character. I like to think that I see the strengths of a person greater than their flaws, but the truth is, my vision is cloudy.
I want soo much for things to be different. I am aware of these challenges, flaws, but I haven't yet found the solution. I am sure when I do, I will fall head first, fast and furious into that change. I want to be better and I want it now!