Category: Projects


Chivalry

Chivalry…

 oh boy… man I have run this over and over in my head most of the day, after reading an article/blog that was shared on Facebook (why chivalry is dead from a mans perspective) this article/blog for me was an interesting read that made quite a few good points. Other parts were a bit off… but on the whole I thought it made a good overall point.

   Ok for a moment let’s just get beyond the history of the word, chivalry, I mean ok yes everyone who wants to run chivalry through the mud will bring up images of oppressive knights on powerful horses as they do evil things to prove they are great warriors and good knights, all the while looking down on their ladies as prizes and “things” or objects to own or to win over. They will also tell you that it is power trip to show women are helpless and need men to do things for them…  fast forward to today…

  Between our marriage laws and our president it is clear we are far from the dark ages… I am trying hard not to drag this out to much as I can tend to be rather full of myself and try hard to make my point clear 🙂 

  But ok back to today, and my thoughts on Chivalry and even this article/blog… he made some pretty good points about the direction our society is going and maybe even hurt some feelings with that. Some of what he said did come off a bit on the, poor me I’m a good guy side, no one ever likes being friend zoned for the bad boys and then having the girl cry to you that she cannot find a “good” guy… but again that is not what this is about…  I read over the comments about how sexist this guy was… and how oppressive his point of view was… I also read the comments when people stood up for him and said that they liked the way he thought and saw nothing wrong with it… then reading further as they got bashed for what they believed.

  So umm ok I am confused when are we aloud to be judgmental and tell people what they think and feel is wrong and when are we not? When is it we are able to look at someone and say you are stupid for thinking this or feeling like this even though this is your own person choice about how you want to be treated and how you are treating others…

  Reading this… I see respect not oppression… I see values and morals… at least from his perspective. let me take a second and define something this definition is per the ever knowing interwebs : Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender. Sexist attitudes may stem from traditional stereotypes of gender roles, and may include the belief that a person of one sex is intrinsically superior to a person of the other.”  so ok let’s look at this and the way he wrote this… I do not see him saying men are superior, in fact he states that he collected his values from the women whom he seemingly looks up to. Second he ends this with women hold all the cards… granted he is referring to sex, but he is stating that if they want higher standards in men they have to make them have them. That today as he sees it, women do not. Again I think some of the ways he got his point across are bit questionable… but no where do I see him saying, what is up with these girls… they know they cannot afford their own food, why can’t they just let me buy it.

 

 Now, holding open the door, pulling out a chair, walking on the traffic side of the street, these things are courtesy. Same thing you do for elders, it is a sign or respect. I mean yeah every guy knows from all the late night “fail” videos on YouTube a girl/woman can take a face plant as well as a man and shake it off… and seeing those men on the tables hooked up the with electrodes to simulate labor after which they are a pile of drooling jelly, the look on their faces was priceless as they realized just how tough their wives were through their own tear streaked eyes… I mean this is the information age, we know if a car splashes in a puddle and soaks us you are ever as able to take it to the face as I am… and we know you are just as able to pull your chair out and or stand and wait for me to sit before you do. Trust us we know you can take care of yourself and buy your own food, we also know that you can buy your own flowers. Knowing that… I still would like to do this for you… because you are weak or because I want to show power over you?  hell no… because I am attracted to you… because I like you… because I want to spend time to get to know you. I mean if you ever want to come wash my dishes, or try to get some of the stains out of my clothes I would be more than…. hahaha got you… just kidding lol thought you had me huh 🙂 but honestly ladies… this is a respect thing. And yes I said ladies… why? because it is my blog and I am a straight guy lol but this works for any gender in any relationship… if someone asks you out it means they are interested… if someone tries to buy you a drink do you get mad and rant that you can buy your own shit and go off on them? sure you can… go ahead… lol but why? it’s an ice breaker to try to spend time with you… someone from a distance noticed you were pretty and wanted to talk to you. and yes I know I will get talked to about why does it have to be about looks… how does he know he likes me… well he cannot see your soul and he cannot get to know you without talking to you, and well he tried to break the ice and do just that but you went off… and depending on what you do next after he makes that attempt to communicate, he or no other guy within 40 ft, may get that chance or want too for that matter.

 

  Ok so now that I may get blasted further… those that are chomping at the bit calling me a sexist so and so… ya know… some ladies… and men even… want to be treated this way.  Some women want a man who will be more dominant… who will take care of them… who will do things for them… then some guys will put a leash on and let his girl lead him around the house like a dog… to each their own lol. Everyone has a different view of what they want and or desire… I just do not understand in the world we live in where everyone is supposed to be so open and honest… where everyone is not suppose to judge or look down on anyone else… where we are supposed to be accepting of different religions, and sexual preferences, different class types, all of the above… those that fight the labels the most seem to be the ones who help reinforce new ones. Who beat down anyone who want to keep what they see as “traditional” beliefs…

 

  I respect everyone’s right to think and feel how they wish… but how is it when someone wants to do something they see as being nice and proper labeled as chivalry… and then others say, “hey I like that… that guy is speaking the truth.” that we can jump all over them and push our ideas of gender roles and sexism and knights and horses on them…

 

  My grandfather when I was little told me to never ask a girl out unless I was willing to pay her way, and I said why grandpa is it cause she is a girl? he said no son… because you asked her… she did not ask you.  Talk about making it simple.

 

  Would I buy a guy friend of mine dinner…  yes… would I buy another couple dinner… yes… do I stand normally until everyone is seated? yes… is this a power trip hahaha hell no… this is love.  I love people and would like to make them happy… sometimes people do not feel they are enough… sometimes they feel like doing things and buying things for people is a good way to show they care because they just cannot find the words… sometimes… little boys look at knights like the hero of a story… and would love to have a girl look at him like he is the hero… why? because he is the boss? because he is the man and she cannot do it herself?… no… sometimes because simply he wants to be loved.  We have to stop making everything negative… in the end there will  be no colors… no genders… just a grey dull world with no diversity and no choices… everyone will think and feel the same way… because they have no choice.

 

  call me sexist all day long 🙂 but chivalry the 21st century version that does not involve repression lol will live on!!! 

 

  *please note that I was interrupted many times while writing this and I am really bad at proof reading… also yes I have a mild addiction to “…” and well this is my blog and I am ok with that… and I have been told over and over to love yourself just as you are ;)”

 

  Smile… life it to short to run around trying to make everyone else happy… find what you like and do it… and above all else… find a way to love yourself. 

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Yeah ok who am I to tell anyone the key to life? I’m no prophet or yogi… I’m not a learned scholar… heck I still rely on spell check for grammar and spelling issues way too often, and I still get it wrong… But I digress. I really should get this all out before I lose my thought…

 

 

An easy Google search tells me that a Key by definition is:

 

a. A notched and grooved, usually metal implement that is turned to open or close a lock.

b. A similar device used for opening or winding: the key of a clock; a can that has a key attached.

2. A means of access, control, or possession.

a. A vital, crucial element.

b. A set of answers to a test.

c. A table, gloss, or cipher for decoding or interpreting.

 

And there is more but this serves my purpose

 

 So as we see… a key, simply put, is a way to gain access to something: access to knowledge, access to a place, access to time (the key to a clock).

 

 Getting access to knowledge, places, people, and things… well that is what we do in life, is it not? So the best way to do these things is to live life… by a stretch of my already stretched imagination… to live… to really live is the key of life…

door

 

  The picture above looks very foreboding, metal grate fastened over a window with wire running through the glass… perfect for keeping people in or out. With only a small view as the one pictured, it would make you think moving forward was hopeless, but with a step back, (no picture sorry) we can find that the window is attached to a door. The point I want to make there is sometimes we are much too close to a problem we have in life… maybe sometimes we have to take a few steps back and the way will seem much more clear. There are times I feel that we move through life way too fast and we do not slow down to actually enjoy it… so we come up on our problems so quickly we never see them coming, and then we feel so rushed to get through them, we do not take the time to step back and make clear decisions. Maybe one of the keys to life should be to slow down, and do not be afraid to go back from time to time… maybe you missed something you should have seen.

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   All of us are human, we may look different and talk different but we are all here for the same basic reason, to live life and learn as we go. We come in different colors, shapes and sizes… it’s a beautiful diversity that makes us as humans a beautiful thing.

differentsame

 

   But with that being said… many of us at a glance can seem very alike… but if you look close and take the time to actually see each person for who they are—their likes and dislikes, the things they are passionate about—you will see that even though they may seem to be the same, each person holds the keys to different locks. Each person can bring something different to your life and break open a new part of life you may never knew existed.

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  Many people have a clear path and are good with things from birth… others seem to struggle trying to find their place… much like the keys in the picture above, one has been cut and fits a specific lock. The other is still blank, and although it was never cut to go into any one lock, you can see the age on it and know it has lived a long life. People are like that… some are really good at one specific thing; others never really find that one thing they are awesome at. Jack of all trades and master of none… it does not make one better than any other… it simply makes them different.

stop

 

Everyone wants to know the key to the secrets of life… but I think the memories we make with the people we know and love are the best keys we have. It is a key to a memory of a moment in time where you were happy or sad or whatever emotion you remember… it is a key to a moment in time that you lived. Living… is for this guy… the key to life. Take your keys wherever you go… in the form of memories and remember to make new ones and live for today… tomorrow is never promised to any of us.

 

 

   Smile… it might be the only key to unlocking the smile trapped inside someone else.

 

bru

 

So Just a quick update on Sir Bruno the wonder dog…

 

Called the vet this morning around 8am when they opened, and he is doing much better. He was bright and alert and met them at the door of his kennel even wiggling his little butt. Still drooling a good bit but in much better shape.

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They are going to discuss taking out the catheter and going to solid (soft) food and water today. The vet stressed they are still guarded with their prognosis because he is not out of the woods yet. But you could hear it in her voice; she was hopeful as we are too.

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He seems to have a lot of strength in him and a ton of love flooding in from all over the place.

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So in light of that I wanted to just post an update and share some pictures

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Follow Bruno on Istagram: @SirBrunobt

 

Or on my daughter’s fundraising page for him:

 

 Hope For Bruno

 

 

Pictures take by my daughter… as you can see before he got sick she had a lot of fun with him… and then I tried to get him after we were both tired out lol Nap buddies

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   The Hound and I went out for a quick ride yesterday… and just so you know the Hound is what I call my bike. I believe it is part greyhound and part bloodhound… not the fastest dog in the hunt, but once it gets the scent it never gives up. ok ok yeah I know you just rolled your eyes but I thought it was witty. I got the idea on one of the first rides I did on my bike, I was going along in a pace line and we passed a Greyhound bus stop sign, and I thought to myself. I’ll never be that fast on a bike because I am just not built that way, I always tell people I am just too stupid to quit. That was when I thought of the name for the bike… The Hound… I use a activity tracking web site slash app called Strava  (www.Strava.com) it is great for runners and cyclists helps you keep track of how you’re doing and also how anyone else in your area is doing. It gives you weekly, monthly and even yearly challenges. Well it even goes as far as ask you which bike your using by name… that was why I was trying to think of a name.  But anyway not that any of that matters lol… So I took the hound out yesterday and we hit the over passes, the wind was pretty rough and I just felt beat up. It is what happens when you are off the bike for so long and then you put on more weight than you are used to having. But after I was done it really felt great to feel that burn again, it’s like a love hate relationship, I love feeling like I have done something even if it is just a short ride… but on the other hand I hate how out of shape it makes me feel. But there is only one way to solve that… and that is to get back on more and more and get back in shape J.

 

 Tonight I will head to a spin class, 55 min of self inflicted torture, I know people who roll their eyes when you tell them you are going to a spin class. “You mean one of those classes you just sit on that bike for an hour? No thanks I’ll get a real work out and go lift weights…” haha I always laugh at that, spin class is no joke if you do it right.

 

 

 

  So I also thought I would share with you guys some pictures I took a little while back. I was looking for inspiration for a story I was working on during NaNoWriMo, I decided to walk down by a local park for a bit and then I noticed this fog rolling in and granted these are taken with my cell phone so not even close to being great pictures. I thought they were cool enough to share.

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Smile… though the fog may roll in… know that sooner or later the sun will come out again.

 

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We are all searching for answers… I do not care who you are or where you are from, how much money you have or how content with your life you think you are, we are all searching for answers. Sometimes I feel like it is in us pre-programmed by God, or by pond slime, maybe even our monkey DNA still looking for that perfect banana. But whatever your belief or disbelief is we are all still looking…

 

  In our search we listen to music and watch TV or movies, we drink, smoke, eat, practice, push, fight, love, hate, kill, destroy, build, fix, and create new problems in our search for the answers to the questions. Searching for the answer… but if we stop and ask ourselves what exactly are the questions half of the time we won’t even know. Sometimes there are specific things we think we want until we get them then we find they are not as cool as they were when we romanticized them in our head. We think if we could change that one thing… that all the other pieces will fall into place and we will be content… I’m sorry to say there is nothing in this world outside of ourselves that will make us content. We want to change the things around us and say if I could just stop this, or have this job, make this much more money, get that new car, find that one girl, get that cute guy, make that good grade… we are too short sighted for our own good… what we fail to see is that the new job has new and different, maybe even more responsibilities… more money always brings more tax, and we always spend it and wonder where it went so shortly we are again wishing to make more… the new car as shiny as it is now comes with debt, and higher insurance, and is not so new after a time and becomes neglected just like the rest until soon when it is not so new anymore you are left trying to figure out how to make the payment, wishing you had more money, and again wanting a new car… so there is a “girl” you want, that perfect girl, who has her own life and does not revolve around you and expects things from you and needs your time and oh wait, you mean it was not like in your head when she only came out of the “closet” to do your bidding and the disappeared until you needed her again? You mean she thinks and acts for herself and has needs that might not be just like yours… and then there is that cute guy, brilliant white toothed smile makes you weak in the knees. You do not notice the mark left by his wedding band that was removed when he left the house, you do not notice he marks on his knuckles from his temper, and you do not see the pain that follows behind him, you were blinded by a smile, now it is to late… you pray at night looking at your school books wishing for that good grade, why do you even need to know how many atoms are in a cheeseburger, why do I need to know why slavery is wrong, why do I care about what happened and 1782, who the hell knows why a + b = y, what you miss is the lesson of learning and growing, thinking outside of the realm of normal thought and learning new things, what your missing is the lesson of dedication and persistence, and how learning all this stuff will in some time maybe help you get the job, make more money, get that new car and snag that cute guy or girl… or maybe it will just let you find yourself. Maybe it will show you a variety of things you would have never learned on your own, a variety of subjects and disciplines and you find that one thing you’re really good at that you never would have touched because who cares what happened in the past…

 

  We are all looking in all the wrong places for all the wrong things… says the man who still looks outside of himself to make himself happy… I have no answers, or maybe I do, maybe we all have every answer it is that we are searching for… maybe we are just to chicken shit to look inside ourselves and find it… or maybe we know it and we are too scared to say it out loud because to do so would bring about a change we are scared of.

 

  Here is a girl who has looked inside herself and found a bunch of answers… I am sure this will lean more toward the female crowd but guys if your honest with yourselves there is a lot for you to learn here to… not only is what she says powerful but the way she gets it across is also amazing. I have become a fan… I hope you enjoyed my muddled thoughts above and the video of an amazing woman below…

 

  Smile… Life is giving you the answers to your questions everyday… you just have to accept them.

  Here is a link to her own youtube channel…  http://www.youtube.com/user/holliemcnish?feature=watch

 Well Football starts in about 40 min and my heart is not into it… my team was a train wreck this year and not only that but it seems the front office all the way up to the owner really are imploding. But fear not this is not a sports blog, I would never do that to you… ok I might at some point but right not is not that “some point”.  I have just finished watching a movie and had some time to kill and thought I would write a blog. It has been a while… so first let me do a quick update:

  1. I am still breathing
  2. I am still employed
  3. weight loss is going fairly well, down 10 lbs in 2.5 weeks and it is slowing now as it should… please before I get all the “2 lbs a week” comments about being un healthy, know that I just started back on watching my food again and being much, much more strict on what I eat. So as you know the weight seems to fall off the first week or so and then levels off to a normal amount of loss per the amount you need to lose.
  4. training? well ya see here is the thing… ok really I have gotten on my bike once, it was hard, and eye opening… and yes I will be doing a lot more.  Also I have an elliptical that I will be using 3 times or so a week, when I do not ride my bike. I try to get on it first thing in the morning… kinda to jump start my metabolism… and I will be checking with the gym (YMCA) i belong to and check their classes to see what they have available. I hear yoga is really good…  Just a thought… all the exercise in the world will not have you lose weight… it is only to make you fit to make you want to move more, I am not saying it will not help but if you do not control what you put in your mouth then it will not help. Sleep is important too… but anyway…

 

  so yes this blog is about nothing and everything… maybe I will purge a little… a bit about my thoughts and feelings from things I have seen and done over the past week… well like my weigh in at Weight Watchers, it went well. Not as good as I wished but I still lost about 2.8 lbs and I am ok with that. I am still kicking myself for letting go when I was so close last time. I like the meeting because they feel like a family, I mean people are happy to see you when you come they all ask about your week and really wish for your success. They share their ideas and triumphs and are there to help you and the other with their failures.  We give each other great ideas to help with our success and not just that but we are able to support each other in a way unlike any other family unit because we all understand. When we talk about points we get it… trying to explain to other what has take us so long to learn ourselves is not easy task… and then the “other” people always seem to have a story about a cousin or uncle or even themselves… “well (insert name here) lost 45 lbs. on the fatback and Cheetos diet in 2 months….” or  ” ya know I just read on the internet there is a new elixir made from the saliva of rare cave crawling wombat… man they say doctors unlocked that you can stuff your face all you want with just a few drops of this a day. You just cannot eat (insert food here) because you might poop yourself…” hahaha yeah no thanks… I will stick with what is healthy and what works.  I mean Weight Watchers is a diet only in name… because the definition of diet is:

 a :  food and drink regularly provided or consumed

b :  habitual nourishment

c :  the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason

d :  a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight

 (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diet)

so yes Weight Watchers teaches you in a unique way how to eat properly by assigning each food or combination of food a numeric value… which can change depending on what it is paired with and how it is cooked. But yeah enough about all of that… it is working again and now that I have my food on a good path it is time for me to get back on my bike and or back into the gym.

 I made into the Freewheelers group so I am able to get signed up for the Mt. Mitchell event before the end of the month. I have talked to a lot of people about this and about my equipment and how hard it is, but really what this is going to boil down to is me… just me. And well to be honest, I will finish this no matter what. I will hate it, I will wonder why I am there, I will doubt myself and get angry… but… once I am angry then I will finish.

 

 Other things I want to work on is finishing the story I started for the NaNo Wrimo project, that book really has some good potential and I really like it. I met some pretty interesting people while doing my research for new characters and it seems even made a few new friends. I am a firm believer you can never have enough friends and supporters. That is one aspect of my life I feel truly blessed. The friend base I have, between the writers, and cyclists, and other people who just like how contagious my excitement is, I am just blessed with as much support as anyone could ask for. It also seems like the good people that read my blog also are growing in number which is a surprise to me with the limited amount I actually blog. But you guys are all amazing for taking your time to read my random thoughts… Thank you all for your time and remember to love each other.

 

 

  Smile… if today was the worst day of your life… just think… tomorrow will be better. 

Coming Down and getting back up…

Today I finally took all my Christmas stuff down, I have been a bit under the weather but the cold Meds had kicked in and I wanted to take advantage of it and get some stuff done. So with a little work I got it all done. My son came by to help me get it all put up in the attic in my garage and with that another Christmas season gone. This is a pretty down time of the year for me… going from all the beautiful lights and garlands all over the house to none… my house is just as full as it was before Christmas I know that, but it just feels empty. On a side note to top it off my work has no holidays at all from here until April… ugh…

Now for the good part of my day, I went out to meet up with some cycling friends and other cyclists in my area. We had a challenge last year where we would ride to a brewery in Alaska… well ok only virtually… we would log our miles and email them in each week so that they could be added to a spread sheet that was sent out to the group. The total miles in the end needed to add up to the distance to the brewery. Having fun hitting virtual mile stones along the way. We really do have a good group of people to cycle with in this area… and not only are they super supportive of most things cycling related, but they are also a great support group for almost anything else as well. Well there were only 3 people that actually hit that mile stone of over 4 thousand miles this year. I myself only logged just over 3,600 it was a bit more than that but I was well off the mark. This year they picked a different route as well as a few different options, the first challenge is the mileage from a local bike shop here in town to a dock in California… that is over 2900 miles which is very doable. To add to that challenge you can then go up the coast to the space needle in Seattle Washington… and if you really want to take the challenge to its limits you can then come back home to NC from there… I have a feeling at least one person in our group will push to do that this year. For me I think I will try the Seattle mile stone. If I can do that I will be more than happy.

I did happen to Join a cycling group that is closer to the mountains though… with the hope that I can get some info on training for a big ride I plan on signing up for in February. The assault on MT. Mitchell, this will single handedly be the toughest one day ride I have ever attempted in my life. I am both excited and scared… but man with the people I have around me here all I need to do is but ask and I will have all the support I need. Now time to just get back on the bike…

I also did weigh in on Friday… it was disgusting and heart breaking. I have never had so much weight on my body. This will be a huge challenge and before myself I have put a soft goal of dropping 40-45 lbs before the Mt. Mitchell ride on May 19th. So well there it is… in the year of no promises I have set quite a few challenges for myself, but I know one thing… weather I complete the ride or drop every single pound, I know I have a good deal of support around me. And that alone makes it all worth it… for a change I am doing this for me, because honestly I am worth it… I am a pretty good person I think and for a change I need to get better for me…. oh and I also have to get off my butt and earn that expensive bike I bought last year as an upgrade lol 🙂

Well folks have a great week and keep warm it’s going to be cold outside.

Smile… it’s one of the most healing things you can do… and you can just hope it catches on

Apprehension…

Apprehension…

I signed back up for Weight Watchers today and I get to go and weigh in tonight. This will be the first time I see most of these people sense I did my beard challenge and video last summer. Where I lost over 45lbs and was doing awesome. ( Beard weight loss video )

Now I get to face them… with no doubt in my mind I am heavier now than I was when I started out way back when. A few things in mind though… I have done it once… so I know I can do it again. Secondly… these are truly amazing people in these meetings who have all had their ups and downs; many are life time members and have seen it all. So my apprehension may be for not… but it is still there.

For any of you who are doing the same thing as I am… who are trying to lose weight and make a change in your life regardless of what the change is. Lend me your ear for a moment. I want to plead with you… even beg if I have to; do not make any changes for someone else. Do not change anything in your life to make someone else happy, or to hopefully see a change in them. If you do this, and that person does not change, and what you hopped for does not happen the chances are great that it will all crash back down on you, except you won’t care because you will not see a point. Do this, whatever “this” might be… maybe it is smoking… or eating… or working out… no matter what it is… make the change for you. Be the change you want to see in the world… love yourself first the way you want others to love you. But always remember there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence.

As always I cram a ton of thoughts into a short little blog… so let me leave you with something else I decided to do today with a savings account I have… it’s called the 52 week Money challenge… what you decide to do with it will be up to you… me? I will use it to pay a big chunk out of a bill. Be it a few extra car payments… an extra mortgage payment… whatever it might be… if you’re wondering what this plan is here is a simple PDF you can print off…

https://www.affinityplus.org/Portals/0/Documents/Blog/52Week.pdf

well that is all for now… wish me luck tonight… I get to go back to the meeting and face the music… but once the music plays instead of putting my head down in shame I have decided to do something different. I am going to dance!!

Smile… even in failure a smile is reassurance you have learned something… and if you learn something it is not a failure after all. You only fail when you refuse to learn from your mistakes. I am sure some smart man somewhere has said something close to that…

(side note… I know I over use “…” but I am ok with that)

2014 The year of no promises…

I will not promise to be a better person…

I will not promise to lose weight…

I will not promise to change how I interact with my family…

I will not promise to save money…

I will not promise to manage vacation time…

I will not promise…

This year I refuse to make any promises in regards to changing myself… this is not a resolution… this is just a statement. By definition as promise is a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future.

So let me explain… I am not a wizard, nor am I omnipotent, psychic, a fortune-teller, or a god in any form. I know there are a lot of things in this life that I would “like” to happen and honestly as much as I believe we are the masters of our own fate. I know that little in this life we truly have complete control of other than how we re-act to situations around us. Our feelings and emotions though influenced by others and out surroundings… are still ours and ours alone to control.

I would love to promise to get published, ride seven thousand miles, finish all my cycling goals, lose all the weight and have a 6 pack, get father of the year award, have my personal life work out all of its kinks, give more to those who need, and learn to cook something new. But what if in this blog I promise you all of those things… and tomorrow I get hit by a truck. I know a bit drastic… but a promise is really not good for much.

What I am going to do is quietly work to do all of those things I listed above. I will not make big big goals and put a ton of pressure on myself, I will not twist people’s arms and guilt them into helping me do this or that because it is what “I” want them to do or because “I” need their help. I will share my success with my friends, family and loved ones… and I will not have any defeats… because I will constantly be trying to improve. Minor setbacks maybe… but I have made no promises so I have nothing to apologize for… if I attempt a ride that I am unable to finish, well I have learned from it, a limitation that I can use as a tool to know what I need to work on… it is not a failure in any way. But a chance to learn and grow… if I have a week or two that I gain weight instead of lose I have not promised anyone that I will, because honestly my weight has nothing to do with anyone in this world but me. It’s my weight… my food… my activity… and if I have a bad week or two… then I will know again my limitations. I will not get mad or angry, I will simply move on.

2014 is going to be my year to better myself with less stress… a promise adds stress, it forces you to perform when you just might not want to. In the past I have used it as a tool to “force” myself to do things. And honestly it has worked many many times for me. But in the end when I meet the goal I promised, I slack off and whatever I worked hard to do is quickly undone because after my promised goal I just drift… this time it will be different.

So here is to 2014 and my year of less stress and less promises… I will be healthier and happier… I will accomplish amazing things… and I will uncomplicated the things in my life that make it more complicated. There is nothing and no one in this world you must have to live… no one person or thing you cannot live without… so the people and things you have in your life need to be there for your benefit and theirs. If they are crippling you and not making you better, lose it… if something is costing you more money than you see a benefit… lose it… If a club or organization is no longer fun and you no longer enjoy it quit. You have but one life to live, and I believe we have no set paths… you chose where you go, and there is an unlimited amount of choices. So do what you love and love what you do 😉 (I read that on a coffee cup but it fits).

This is my first blog of 2014… my blog of nothing… and of no promises 🙂

Smile… it relieves stress and makes you feel better… do you really need any other reasons?

The wheels go round and round…

When you wake up and have a bad day (like the one I had yesterday), the end of the day cannot come quick enough because you know you get to go to sleep and wake up and hopefully start over. Have any of you done that? Yesterday I had a rough day at work… my daughter who was home sick lets me know that there is no power in the house, crews are clearing power lines may have damaged something I am not positive that is what happened but that is my guess. The power did not come back on until almost 3pm. My truck picked up a screw somewhere and it ended up with a flat tire in the parking lot of my work. There were other more personal things that went on yesterday but if I keep listing complaints it would just get petty and old… I only said all this to make a point not just to complain and force anyone reading it feel sorry for me.

As I sat on the couch waiting for the first pro football game of the year to start… ummm which was delayed due to weather and I knew was going to put me to bed wwwwaaaayyyyy later than I needed I started to think ok… what else… I mean really did someone forget to call the NFL, Mother Nature, who ever dropped the screw, whatever guy cut the power off, whoever it was that took their time to fix it, my bank, my boss, my co-workers, my family, people in my city, state… did someone forget to tell them that the world… no scratch that… the universe in all its infinite glory was created to revolve and only work around me? How selfish… I mean really it’s not like there are people living every day of their lives with MS. Who cannot wake up tomorrow and start over again. It is not like there are people who just wish with all their hearts they could just hold a cup of coffee without the shakes spilling it all over them and burning their hands. It’s not like that the person sitting on the couch with MS much the way I am at this very moment wishes they get up and run to the bathroom during the commercial and grab a drink without a walker, or power chair, or assistance at all. I mean really…

So with that in mind I started to feel a little guilty and started to reflect on my life and the people who have moved me. People I have met that have given me a lump in my throat and curage to face things most people don’t dare on their best days. I have been truly blessed in my life with the supporting cast that has become the people in my life. The people I have tried to keep there and the people that have gravitated toward me for one reason or another.

When I did my very first MS ride it was nothing more than a challenge to see if I could actually do. The following year I had major knee surgery and the bike sat unused and taunted me so I sold it. Not thinking much more about it than that. As fate would have it one day I decided I needed an outlet and I looked into writing a blog, my life was really mixed up and I just needed to get things out. I found an awesome little community and started following blogs from other people. One person I was drawn to at the time was a girl from the UK who I thought at the time just dropped everything only out of a desire to help, and went to South America and worked with the Red Cross. I was only after some time that we became more close through email, IM, and out blogs that we begun to share more and more about our lives. I was inspired by what she was doing, a girl who seemed to have it all together just to give up what many would consider a life of privilege and work with the Red Cross. Well that was when I learned she had MS, she had chosen not to share this with the people following her blogs she said she did not want to be “The girl with MS”. She did not like how her friend and family treated her sometimes, and was very independent, so the blog was just a way to be herself. The girl she was on the inside not the one who would have physical issues from time to time. Well she disappeared for a while rather quickly without a word. Then when she returned it was at that moment she come forward with her story. How when she found out she had MS and the doctors said it was aggressive, that she quit university and wanted to do something meaningful before she was not able to do anything at all. Shortly after hearing her story she told us the doctors also found a brain tumor… then shortly after that she passed away. For those of us in the smallish blog community that had gotten to know her it was a tough thing to deal with. One min she was there and the next min she was gone. There were even, as there always is, people who considered if maybe she was not a “real” person if it was all just made up. For me… I believe… her story and who she was touched my life and inspired me. And honestly changed my life in many ways. Shortly after her death I decided to attempt to ride again. It had been a few years and now a couple knee surgeries sense my last MS ride. I no longer had a bike, but I told the blogging community that if they would help support me I would ride. And boy support me did they ever. I think I got donations from 5 or 6 different countries, emails and words of support poured in. I was not doing well financially at the time so I was training on an old mountain bike, trying to get enough money together to purchase a road bike. Finally about 2 weeks before the event my cousin loaned me the money to buy the bike. I pushed hard, I was heavy from all the knee work I had done and lack of motivation to do much else, but I was determined to do more. Well I ended up doing 200 miles… 100 miles each day of the event. It was a miracle and I know that without the motivation and encouragement of my friends and family from all over the world I would not have been able to do it. Several times I just wanted to stop… I just could not figure out why I was doing what I was doing. With me though I carried a printed email that was from her sister… some of the lines have always stayed with me…

“You hold within you so many of the qualities that people admired in Sydney, an endless amount of compassion for your fellow man, selflessness, a determination to DO something rather than to sit back on your laurels, putting others’ interest before your own. If Sydney was the feminine embodiment of an angel walking the earth, surely you are the masculine equal. I see why you and Sydney thought so highly of each other.

When you ride in the MS150 I know you will have Sydney along for the entire journey, she’ll be watching over you, encouraging you and reinforcing the sentiment of “The distance you ride is of no consequence, it is your participation, thus bringing attention to the plight of those that suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, and aspiring to do the best that you can possible do that is the ultimate achievement of the goal.”

If you become tired or downhearted about anything on your journey, listen for Sydney’s soft whisper in your heart letting you know that she believes in you and trusts that you have the fortitude to make the right decisions, and determinations.”

Those words have always meant a lot to me…

So to make this super long story shorter, I did it… and that was just the first of many rides I do in Sydney’s name… I will continue to do what I can in hopes to bring awareness to this disease. This disease even though I have no one in my family with it, it has changed my life for the good. Because of my bike I will live longer, be stronger, and be able to do more. Do more for those that cannot do for themselves.

So tomorrow I ride, and then the next day… not only for Sydney, but for all the people I have met over the years that have touched my life and supported me along the way. All of my friends and family that hold me up when I am not so sure I can keep going and that have donated to show their support for a cause I hold so dear. And for all of those with MS that cannot ride themselves, I am humbled at their resolve to keep up their spirits and keep the fight alive.

This year… the following year… and every year that I am physically able… I will ride.

If you would like to donate here is the link…

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?px=1870526&fr_id=20780&pg=personal

Thank you for taking the time to read this… each year I get butterflies before the event, getting all this out and reminding myself why I am doing it always helps.

Smile… it’s not always about what gets you started… but what keeps you going.