Originally posted on Life and Bicycles:

That girl who is wearing a kit that is a little/a lot snug, about whom you were about to snicker…has been fighting her weight issues all her life and is really excited to finally fit into “proper” gear. She is terrified to eat a single thing in front of anyone.

That guy who slowly dismounts and gingerly steps over the log with his bike…is recovering from surgery and this is his first time back on the bike. He is in acute pain.

That one lady riding off the back of the group, for whom you have to wait at the top of each climb…is struggling to breathe and is having a panic attack hoping not to be left behind or alone or frustrate anyone. She will beat herself up for hours after the ride.

That other guy who cannot seem to get his act together and is always forgetting gear…

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I Know, I Know, I Know…

I know that you felt replaced when I had my first surgery of 2009…

…but you forget that I called you to see how your race went and how you were; I didn’t leave you.

I know you felt rejected when I left our group and humiliated when I returned 2 years later after someone else took over…

…but you forget that it was never about you or anyone else and that I continued to show up and support you, but had to focus on my health and family for a while; I was burnt out.

I know that the grapevine is loud, especially when two friends have not seen each other in a while…

…but the grapevine is also typically dysfunctional and has no one’s best interests at heart when it sings.

I know that gossip makes you feel included and different from those years when you were on the outside…

…but being on the inside of the wrong thing can often become a cage in which we are stuck either to stay there forever or break free into the scary unknown. Break free.

I know that deep inside of you, there is a person with whom I connected long ago and grew to love…

…but until you learn to see and love yourself your actions will almost always hurt me…and you.

I know that exploring the things that influence our behaviors can be scary as fuck and painful too…

…but I am your friend, regardless of your absence and I am holding your hand, even if you cannot feel it.

I know that you believe that you hate me…

…but I know that you don’t want to feel that way about anyone and I will continue to send well wishes your way.

I know that you think it has gotten so far out of hand that it could never recover…

…but I know that the first step is a doozie and yet only as big as the first word in a sentence.

I know that gap is wide…

…but every bridge has to start somewhere.

Wicked Cross-hairs

2I had to come back and check that this photo was still here, since I had heard that my cancer and surgeries were a figment of my imagination…and the imaginations of those who visited me, changed my dressing, or partied in my hospital room the last time (2011).

To know that there are people so sick and ugly on the inside to spread vicious lies about others, whether about me or anyone else, makes me sad instead of angry. I cried long, hard, ugly tears upon hearing the awful gossip and lies as I recalled the numerous surgeries I have had since 1999, 4 of which were between 2009-2011 and were very public. I don’t owe anyone, especially virtual strangers, photos of my medical procedures. I don’t even owe them to myself, as all I need to do is look in the mirror to see the scars that no lie or piece of gossip will ever remove.

I am sorry that some people believe that cancer patients can only be either a Lance Armstrong or sick in bed and nothing in between. I do not apologize for being a mediocre bike racer or sub-par angel; I blame neither on cancer.

3My heart goes out to anyone who has come in the cross-hairs of this angry lady (and those in her circle who assist in the spreading of the lies and gossip), as I sadly realize that I am not alone. I sincerely hope that she seeks help and finds peace within herself to change her path and her heart. I will love her/them because she/they cannot.

Dear Tipper: 

One day, you will tire of me and leave me. I will not be sad, but happy for you. You have my love and well wishes. You always have. 

xoxo

-Me

Get Dirrrrrrrrrty!

Just as I was starting to become weepy about the dreadful winter wetness of the trails, I see a ray of light (and mud) at the end of the tunnel!

DC[1]

IAMEXCITE!

The Cold Hearted Crits will begin at 8:30am on Saturday and the two weekends of racing that they are offering will be all the dirt crit/short track love you will get in the StL until JULY!!!

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

When folks offer up opportunities for us to race in the dirt during the crappy-ass winter, we should support such generosity with attendance, yes? (YES!)

If you are not in Louisville this weekend, come on out to the Cold Hearted Crits on Saturday, Feb 2, 2013 at:

West City Park – 2200 Sunshine Drive, Festus, Missouri 63028

If you ARE in Louisville this weekend, you will have one last chance to race a dirt crit on February 16th. After that, you are hosed until July.

JULY!

Races are only $20! Do it!

Lunatic on Wheels: The Story of a Princess Tomboy and Her Quest for Sanity and the Fountain of Youth

1The following is an excerpt from a guest post that I wrote for A Pabst Smear.  You can read the post in its entirety here.  Enjoy!

Lunatic on Wheels: The Story of a Princess Tomboy and Her Quest for Sanity and the Fountain of Youth 

By Gory Dreadmond

When Sasha came to me and asked me if I would write about a piece about why a 40-year old woman rides her bike, I thought, “HECK YES!”

Writing and cycling!  Yays all around!

Then I thought…

Hmmmm…Why exactly DO I ride my bike?

I mean, I know I ride for the obvious benefits of fitness, health, and vanity, but did I have a deeper reason?

Not really.

I mean…YES!

Of course!

I ride my bike because I am an undiagnosed lunatic.

If I didn’t have bike riding as an outlet, I would lose my bleeping mind…cry a lot, eat my emotions, and possibly cause bodily damage to others.

I am forty (4-0) years old and started to feel really old and useless when I was 30 and pregnant.

In the middle of my pregnancy, I had an overwhelming urge to get back on the bike after a 16 or 17 year hiatus.

I mean, I was never a bike racer or anything cool like that when I was a kid, but I rode everywhere and I rode long.

Once I became an adult, I was like those crabby-ass adults in the Frosted Mini-Wheats commercials…and I REALLY wanted to be the kid.

My then-husband took his Cannondale hybrid (He is 6’1” and I am 5’6” so that was a good option, yeah? No, it was not.) apart to get it ready for me to ride when the baby was born instead of getting my own bike that would actually fit and also be ride-able.  It stayed apart in pieces on the basement floor for another 18 months. I left.

I finally got back on the bike when I was 32; I felt 80.

My rather small A-cups were even saggy and my ass just sort of hung off my back and drooped to my leg tops.

(I paint a lovely picture, no?)

I wasn’t overweight at that time (though I had been many other times in my life), which is why the whole “ass situation” was even more disturbing. I always pretended like this did not bother me when in fact I was freaking right the fuck out.

I started riding and immediately, I became an asshole.

I mean, it was pretty instantaneous as I rode my sweet assed 5-yr-old hand-me-down MTB around Forest Park like I was effing boss yelling , “LEFT!” and freaking the shit out of rollerbladers and baby-jogging mommies.

(continued at A Pabst Smear)

Sandy Hook Memorial Run

To start the new year, a few of us will be running 26 miles (technically 26.2 miles) in memory of the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012.

The run will be 2 loops on the flat sections of Castlewood State Park and on the Al Foster.  This event is not supported, so you must bring your own everything, including mojo.

Some people have indicated that they will run the first 13.1 with us and that is of course noble and welcomed.

My hope is that all who read this can find a way to donate $1 for each mile we run to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

The United Way of Western Connecticut, in partnership with Newtown Savings Bank, has created the Sandy Hook School Support Fund to provide support services to the families and community members.  Check donations may be mailed to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund,c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown CT 06470, or dropped off at any Newtown Savings Bank branch.

For questions about your check donation within local Newtown Savings Bank branches, call 800-461-0672. Or, at the United Way, call David Deschenes, 203-792-5330 ext. 239, or Isabel Almeida, 203-792-5330 ext. 106. You can also donate by credit card. Go to: https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/.

Each mile will be represented with the photo and name of one of the 26 victims and will be posted to Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #26milesforNewtown.

If you cannot make the run or donate, I hope that you will take the moment to commit their faces to memory as you plan out your new year and maybe do something that you normally wouldn’t…just because you still can.

  • Where: Castlewood State Park; Pavilion 1 (first lot on left)
  • When: Tomorrow, Jan 1, 2013
  • Time: 8:00am
  • What: RUNNING!

If you would like to do the run later/earlier…you are on your own (which you would be anyway because I am a crazy slow runner and skipping is hard on the trails!)  That said, do it anyway and just use the hashtag so that everyone can feel the love.

I wish you all a very safe and happy New Year!

Peace!

Who Am I? Questions 91 – 95

This is IT!

The finale!

It’s BIG (or small, if you are considering the numerical quantity…)

Here we go with Marc and Angel Hack Life’s 95 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU FIND MEANING AND HAPPINESS

So far, what has been the primary focus of your life?

Primary focus has been survival and secondary has been parenting, since the latter has been half my life.

How do you know when it’s time to move on?

You just know.  You can feel it in your bones and heart.  It hurts but differently.

What’s something you wish you could do one more time?

Hug my grandpa.

When you’re 90-years-old, what will matter to you the most?

That my children are alive, happy, and healthy.

What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life?

  • Not fully doing: Everything I could;
  • Not fully being: A more selfless person;
  • Not fully having: More inner peace, happiness, and love.

…but I’m not dead yet and there is still time, so no regrets!

I cannot believe this took a full year…but I am thrilled that I took that time.  I hope it helped you too in some small way too.

Peace!

One Billion Rising…Plus 1

“One In Three Women On The Planet Will Be Raped Or Beaten In Her Lifetime.”

Great opener, ehhh?

One in three women equals one billion women.

Tragic.

Sickening.

Revolting.

Terrifying.

On Feb 14, 2013 there will be a global strike to demand an end to the violence.

Not just “over there”, but over here.

In your backyard.

On your doorstep.

Please watch this 3 minute film and support One Billion Rising and V-Day.

It is very difficult for me to watch this video, but painful as it is, it needs to be watched and the issues need to be addressed.  

The movement is peaceful and celebratory for the women being empowered.

If you are reading this, you are either a woman or you know one.  You may have a daughter, sister, or mom…

Imagine them experiencing the reality of even 5 seconds of that video…

Now, will you rise up with me?

What is V-Day?

“V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery.”

What is One Billion Rising?

It is V-day’s most ambitious campaign against Violence.  “On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 2.14.13, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.”

For more info on V-day and One Billion Rising, click the links below.

Thank you and peace.

http://onebillionrising.org/

http://www.vday.org/

Who Am I? Questions 81-90

DUDE(S)!  We’re almost done!  SWEEEEEET!

Here we go with The Feel Good Tribe’s 95 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU FIND MEANING AND HAPPINESS

What makes you feel comfortable?

  • Knowing my kids are safe
  • Raycer (dog) snuggled next to me
  • Yoga
  • Reading
  • Writing things out
  • 20 minutes into a bike ride
  • Seeing my kids when I get home

What’s something about you that has never changed?

Aside from my physical features:

  • My willingness to forgive
  • My stubbornness has evolved, but not changed
  • Hopeless romanticism
  • Hunger for books
  • My ability to soothe myself
  • My belief that it will all somehow be alright

What will be different about your life in exactly one year?

I will have learned a lot; tried new things; met new people.  I do not know all that will be different, but I know I will not be going backward.

What mistakes do you make over and over again?

  • Trust others over my own instincts
  • Ignore red flags
  • Assume there will always be another day

What do you have a hard time saying “no” to?

  • My kids
  • My dog
  • The expectations of others
  • Bikes

Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

Ouch.  I am working for a company I believe in, doing a job I believe in…though not what I would do if responsibility wasn’t so cool and trendy.

What’s something that used to scare you, but no longer does?

  • Walking away
  • Falling
  • Dying
  • The Boogie Man
  • George W Bush

What promise to yourself do you still need to fulfill?

Forgive and love myself more.

What do you appreciate most about your current situation?

I appreciate that regardless of the naysayers, I did in fact land on my feet.

What’s something simple that makes you smile?

  • My daughter’s giggle
  • When son pretends to be his alter ego, Skittles
  • My dog humping the other dog’s ankles
  • Bike shops
  • memories

 

Thankful 2012

It has been a long and interesting year since last Thanksgiving, that is for sure.

This time last year I had recently moved back into my house and was preparing for Jingle Cross in Iowa City.

This year, I have been in my house for a year and Jingle Cross moved up a week and so I could not go and I will be spending the weekend in the dirt instead of the mud.

A lot (A LOT, you guys!) has happened over the past year and I don’t really want to get into it other than to express my thanks for a few things.

I am thankful that my kiddos are still healthy, balanced, and schmoopie.

I am thankful that I had the opportunities to travel as much as I did for races and non-races and grateful to all the people who made that possible.

I am thankful that my wonderful company decided to hire me full-time so that I could lighten the load of consulting for 3 companies.

I am even more thankful that that move included health insurance…even though I would prefer health “ensurance”.  (HA! Wouldn’t we all?)

I am thankful that my dogs figured out their relationship and stopped freaking the hell out at each other and have settled into the closest thing to a marriage that I have ever seen in dog world.

I am thankful that I have great friends who love me no matter the level of mess I am on any given day.

I am thankful that my daughter thinks I am awesome no matter how well or poorly I do while I have a number pinned to my person.

I am thankful that my son still hugs me everyday and tells me that he loves me…even when he is angry with me.

I am thankful that as many mistakes that I have made along the way, my son loves me enough that he would still live with me even if he won the Lottery.  (His words!)

I am thankful that I have surrounded myself with people who can debate opposing points of view without resorting to personal attacks or viewing an opposing point of view as a personal attack.

I am thankful that I was able to kick the following bad habits:

  • Starbucks
  • Red Swedish Fish
  • Lemonheads
  • Vodka
  • Sangria
  • Cupcakes
  • Bread
  • Entering crits (ZERO entered this year!!!  WOOOP!)
  • Giving a fuck about what the general public thinks

I am thankful that I have patient friends who encourage my awful swimming.

I am thankful that I have adventurous friends who talk me into doing new and adventurous things.

I am thankful that my close friends took the time to figure out the real me versus the public persona.

I am thankful that my dog thinks I am the most amazing human on the planet.

I am thankful that my dog thinks he’s a cat without pooping in a box or being an actual cat.

I am thankful that my family is safe after Hurricane/Super Storm Sandy.

I am thankful that I have a relationship, no matter how different, with every member of my family.  They are all unique and wonderful…the relationships and the people.

I am thankful that I have awesome friends who remember us singletons on Thanksgiving and invite us to share in the festivities.

I am thankful that I cannot eat pumpkin pie, stuffing, or that green bean thing that is all the rage. (The other two things are super yummy though!)

I am thankful that I did not enter any “Turkey Trot” type 5Ks.

I am thankful that I do not have to do anything except ride my bike all weekend long.  ALL.  WEEKEND.  LONG!!!

I am thankful that I am still here.

I hope you and yours have a fantastic Thanksgiving and that no one has any of those dramas that sometimes happen when you get too many people together in a room.

Peas…..errrr…Peace!