Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You're gonna' go blind doing...

"Self improvement is masturbation, now self destruction..." -Tyler Durden,  Fight Club

Riding, Racing, Training can be considered self improvement, but to really ride, race and train there has to be an element of self destruction.  Let's call it self improvement through self destruction.  This attitude of self destruction is not always realized, maybe not even recognized to the untrained eye.  But it is there. 

When was the last time you turned yourself inside out trying to stay with someone on a ride who is better than you?  You know that feeling when your legs turn to molten lead, start to seize up, and you are no longer able to even pedal squares?  Ever throw up in your mouth trying to bridge a gap, or taking a pull to keep the break, away?

We destroy our bodies, we break down muscle fibers, we endure broken bones and roadrash.  We do this in the hope that we will come back fitter, stronger, faster.  Call it what it is, but don't try and fool yourself into thinking that you are being "good" to your body. 

Take a look at Andy with his shirt off -is that self improvement?
Photo: Andy via his TweetPhoto Stream

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Riding with Ghosts

Palo Duro Canyon is the site of a massacre of women, children and horses.  I don't have any reference or historical backing to this, except for what I have heard over the years living in the area.  I am too lazy to look up any facts right now, so for the unsubstantiated rumor:  the Indian fighters waited for the men/braves/warriors to leave the women and children alone, and once alone... well you get the picture.  It is said that you can hear horses at night in the canyon.  People on hikes have heard people talking (mostly women and children's voices) (not in English).  Scary stuff right?  Anyway if you are interested look it up.

I went on a solo road trip to PDC to ride mountain bikes and I encountered ghosts.  Ghosts of my past, and of my past "self".  There is something powerful about being in a place that you have history, history all around, around every corner, over every hill. My parents brought me to PDC before I can remember. We would come down after church for lunch and stay until we would have to go back for church that night. I spent many hours exploring, hiking, and playing. These ghosts flow in and out passing through me when I see the picnic grounds, the old slide and playground. There on the right is the creek we used to wade in. There is the small knol that was used as a fort for capture the flag.

Driving down into the canyon one of the first landmarks is the amphitheater where they have the musical Texas. I can see the people dancing and singing, and all those Texas flags blowing in the ample Panhandle plains wind. I remember some of the friends and family that we would take with us to the play. We once saw a cougar walking on the foothills behind the actors on the stage during a performance.  Bits and pieces of memory come to me as if changing channels in my brain, not staying on one long enough before the next one and then another.

Here is the area where the Sad Monkey Scenic Railroad once ran it's tiny train. My grandmother would buy me some soft serve and a ticket. I would try to finish the ice cream before the summer heat laid it to rest at my feet dripping down my forearms. We would sit on the picnic tables waiting for the train to come into the station for our turn to ride around, see the sights and hear the stories of the conductor.

Fast forward a few years and I'm with the high school marching band on a Saturday afternoon chasing girls (no, really chasing girls).  Going on misadventures with testosterone charged teenage boys looking for thrills and adrenalin.  We tried our hand at caving and when we got far enough in and had no flashlight, we opted for rock climbing.  The whole time trying to impress the lovely girls in the band.  It is a surprise that no one was killed, maimed, injured or arrested.  Oh, someone broke a finger playing Frisbee with the lid to a 5 gallon bucket.  Frisbee, football, and other activities were outlawed shortly thereafter by the band director.

I've spent hours and hours in this canyon, lunches, meals, picnics and several breakfasts.  The memories that are in these walls of the canyon, in the small streams, rocks and trees that I have compiled over the years.  Some more recent than others.  Some more prominent like the "romantic" make-out sessions watching the sunset over the rim of the canyon. Oh, the brilliance of a amorous teenage boy.  Then there are the memories that I can't remember like that time...

New Years Revolutions

Resolution is a weak word, why would you resolve to do something?  Now Revolution, that's something you can sink your teeth into.  Resolve is what you want to do, Revolution is action.  You could resolve in this new year or you could create a self-revolution.  I don't believe in making a Resolution to do something.  I'm going to work out, I'm going to stop sniffing glue, I'm going to arbitrarily change my life.

I want to create a Revolution for my life, not just this year but a change for life.  I have written about motivational problems, my issues of motivating to do something productive.  I want to make my life more productive, and it starts with TV.  I watch too much TV.  I am addicted, turn it on and my brain is turned off and then the body shuts down.  I become a slug, a parasite of visual and auditory mind numbing entertainment.  Calling it entertainment is a stretch, it is plain and simple time killing.  Turn on tune in for a self lobotomy.  The TV is on right now as I type this, I can't turn it off.  I need accountability.  I need a village to help me get off of TV.

I have no excuse to not do something positive with my life each and everyday.  I have a good life, I have all my faculties.  The only issue that I have, is motivation.  I am easily swayed from being active, or constructive.  How do I change my lifestyle to become a more motivated positive member of society?  I am not looking for some Dr. Phil/Oprah answer.  I need a nuts and bolts surefire way to get off my lazy nonconstructive bum and get something done.  -Each and Every Day.  Is that too much to ask for.

Make a Revolution in your life, I am trying to make one in mine.  If you need help ask for it, I am asking for help.  Help me be a better person, a more positive, constructive entity in life.  Be a true friend and call me out when I am being less than positive, you would let me know if I had a booger, wouldn't you?  Wouldn't you?