Ahhh...January is upon us. It's the time of year that cyclists every where start working on their base fitness and the excitement of the upcoming season looms. Normally I have my race schedule set months before I hazily ring in the New Year. I'm a logisitican, which means by nature, I logically plan...EVERY thing. Not this time. 2013 is different. It's a year of big change for me. The race schedule had to in a differnt manner. I am judging things with a view I am normally not open to. I eventually finalized it and it was in essence, fabulous.
I ran it by a friend and he said "it's doable, but not easy."
Yet it was not. Something about it didn't feel right.
On paper, it was the most awesome race schedule I've made for myself thus far. In 2013 my bike racing will take me to 5 states I've never been to (or ridden in) and to 1 amazing new country. In addition to states I've already visited, I'll also be racing my bike in Georgia, Oregon, Minnesota, Utah, Indiana, and ITALY. It's a schedule combining Ultra CX races, NUE races, a Stage Race, some events for fun, some R rated, and some that involve the winners getting inked. It's so busy that my 19 days of paid vacation from work won't cover all of the fun. I'll have to take unpaid time off. Here is where living with my parents makes all the difference. I don't need to care much about a paycheck! I finally get to experience life not predicated by money.
Back to this race schedule not feeling right. It honestly didn't. In all of it's awesomeness, something was askew.
I'm still watching the Tragedy and Hope video every morning. Well, some mornings I'm running late and I just listen to it on the way to work. This video is truly having an effect on me. Maybe it's because my life is changing and I associate with this video. I am in the position where I can do almost any thing I want with my life. Much like a recent college graduate.
My race schedule filled up my 2013 quantifying my entire year with bike races.
What do I desire? I have determined I do not desire to do only 1 thing. I am absolutely defined as a jack of all trades, master of none. If there's one thing I love about myself, it is that. I have an overwhelming, all encompassing need to experience absolutely every thing in life that I can. I don't find it necessary to be the best at anything. But I do feel the need to get a full and satisfying experience of it ALL.
I started thinking about my 'bucket list." I absolutely hate calling it that, but I have yet to come up with a name more clever. I started a list on a blog when I came back from Utah of things I really want to do. That prompted me to literally write down a bucket list. Instead of keeping all of these dreams in my head. I put them on paper. In black and white. A hard copy list of things I literally will cross off upon completion. The list will keep me true to things I desire doing. I'll post a blog at some point about my bucket list, when I come up with a better name for it.
Thinking about my race schedule...
Thinking about the Tragedy and Hope video...
Thinking about my bucket list...
...Something finally clicked into place.
There are 2 scenes in the Tragedy and Hope video that have an effect on me:
One of the best books I've ever read was A Man's Life: Dispatches From Dangerous Places by Mr. Bad Ass himself Mark Jenkins. In this book, numerous times, I was intrigued by the mountains he climbed. I was especially excited for the summit days. On almost every expedition, they would awake before sunrise, and head out of camp in the dark for the summit. Hitting the summit. The goal of the expedition. Some times they got it. Other times, weather broke his crews dream and it was impossible. In each story, the summit day was a time I could never put the book down. I too, one day, wanted to wake up before sunrise for a summit attempt. I wanted to unzip my tent to a view of a vast land of frozen snow and ice in an uber remote location. So raw. So exciting. An adventure of the truest sense.
This all has led me to my next big adventure. I'm truly more excited about this than I have been about any thing in a very long time.
It has all resonated.
It has all culminated.
It has all come to fruition.
The trip is booked. Happy birthday to myself.
This June, 15 days after I finish TSE, I'm flying to Ashford, Washington to climb this beast of a mountain:
|Mt Rainier Summit, 14,411 ft|
To reach the summit I will get to traverse the beauty of Ingram Glacier:
|Notice how far above the coulds it is. Awesome!|
I get to use an ICE AXE for 2 days on this climb, which I'm stoked about. Ice axes are totally BA (bad ass).
I will be getting my 'wake up before sunrise summit attempt' that I so desperately want:
|Day 2 push to the summit|
I can not wait. I'm sitting on the edge of my seat just looking at these pictures, excited for my trip. The beauty of climbing the mountain while the sun is coming up is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life. It'll be one of those mental pictures that burn in your memory for so long, with the hopes of never to be forgotten. Memories are the best things I'll ever have.
I'm doing this trip alone. I most likely could have searched through my vast expanse of friends and found someone to join me. But honestly, I need this trip to be on my own. I will be on a guided trip with 9 strangers. None that I can count on when times get tough. When times get hard I always have a friend with in arms reach to lean on. I am truly blessed and grateful every day for all of the people in my life. But this trip, for my 36th birthday, I should roll solo. Be brave. Be strong. It's going to be hard. It's as exciting as it is scary. And I don't want to have any one to lean on at my disposal. I want to do it on my own. One of the most fabulous people in my life right now sent me this after I told him about my expedition:
It fits me so perfectly. Climbing Mt Rainier scares the hell out of me. It's also a necessary step in my Pursuit of Happiness. My most exciting and memorable moments in life have been dead center on that chart.
If you've read my blog about my trip to Utah, you know I feel trapped by my east coast mentality. I hope to get my elusive West Cost Jump Shot at the summit of Mt Rainier!!!
I will achieve a MOMENT I WILL NEVER FORGET.
My 2013 race schedule didn't feel right at first. With the addition of the Mount Rainier Expedition, it now feels right. This year will certainly prove to be my raddest year yet.
PS - Mom, do not freak out. I will be fine. I checked and only 2 people on average per year die trying to summit Mt Rainier. I will wear my Road ID. Not that they would ever be able to retrieve my body in the event of an avalanche, but maybe some day some one will find my left arm and return it to you.
:-) Love you momma.