Monday, November 26, 2012

We're mountain people!

Ale: “Hey, Michael, why aren’t my gears working? I’m pedaling but the bike isn’t responding.” [feet moving in fast circles as the bike slows down while going up a hill]
Michael: “That’s because your wheels are spinning fast enough going into the hill that you need to switch into a lower gear.”
Ale: “Oh, that makes sense.” [bike and Ale topple to the side due to lack of momentum going up said hill]
Michael: [laughs, shakes head, mutters something about intelligence]


Ale: “Hey, Michael, we’re mountain people!” [big cheesey grin on face while rounding a corner on the trail and then flying down a rocky part through two trees]
Michael and Cathy: [doubled over in pain from laughing]

In addition to dominating some turkey, three types of dressing, and old-fashioned southern pecan pie, this past weekend was spent dominating mind and body while learning new skills on a mountain bike.

And, acting like a mobile comedy show for the enjoyment of my brother, Michael, and cousin, Cathy.

We had some fun this past weekend at Blankets Creek, Michael’s “home” riding spot in Canton, GA.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thank you

Thanksgiving is on Thursday. So here's a poem about all of the people who I thank from the deepest places in my heart: 


a comfortable place to sleep when traveling far from

all of the incredible opportunities.

allowing me to learn from you, and make mistakes and learn from them.

always being ready with a meal and glass of fine wine and coffee.

answering the phone at 2 AM.

being family.
being the first person I want to call when something incredible happens.

calming my heart.

clearing my vision when it becomes blurred.

converting a misunderstanding into a beautiful collaboration.
finding the most beautiful flowers.
facebook messaging into the wee hours of the morning.
giving me a calm escape on difficult days.

helping me grow into the person I want to be.

highlighting when the ‘boose is loose.
keeping me focused on my nature and making me a better person.
listening to me during my highs and lows.
making the geochemistry happen.

supporting my training, riding, and racing.
            reminding me about God and love.
                        teaching me about the rocks, how to see the important details, and how to write.
encouraging me to have fun, do my best, and remember my way home. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

All-out ninja samurai kung fu warrior mentality mode.

I entered into my 2012-2013 off-season training with goals to become stronger and faster, and to develop a sharper focus with my training and riding. In my post-Nationals blog article, I highlighted the mentality of Beatrix Kiddo during her training with Pai Mei (from Kill Bill Vol. 2) as one of my primary sources of inspiration for my off-season training. Jb and I started the off-season Phase 3 plan a few weeks ago, and there have been a number of revelations and breakthroughs along the way.

Calluses and blisters after waxing and lifting
My hands were destroyed after spending the past two days scraping off summer wax and waxing on new layers on multiple boards. In addition to the waxing, today's gym session with Jb involved lots of gripping heavy things that required chalk. But, like with Beatrix training with Pai Mei, sometimes destroyed hands are part of the growth proces.

After watching both volumes of Kill Bill while waxing boards today, I was inspired to characterize my current training mentality as the "all-out ninja samurai kung fu warrior mentality mode."

At least, I think those are all of the terms that describe Beatrix's fighting style...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Video Artistry Part No. 2

The power of nature and strength of the ocean are very apparent after Sandy's rampage throughout the northeast United States last week. We felt a little bit of the storm in Western PA, although my heart definitely was with my NY and NJ friends and family, especially when the before-and-after photos were being posted on Facebook.

Photo from NowThis News. Credit: Daniel Edward Ekdahl, a friend of
NowThis News (Sea Bright, NJ). (Thanks to Laura Redman for sharing this photo!)
There are a number of volunteer efforts focused on helping send supplies to NY and NJ. If you have any direct links to pages for donations, etc., please leave the link and a description of the charity/activity as a comment to this post.

As for the second wave of learning the Adobe Premiere Pro software, I played with some shots of the Pacific Ocean collected with my GoPro along the Oregon Coast.