Saturday, August 6, 2011

Greatest Moments (so far)...

A few weeks ago I was reading one of the few blogs I follow, Jill Outside. If you haven't ever checked it out or heard of it, you should visit it. Not only is she an amazing writer, but she takes awesome photos to go with the story. Plus she's lived in a few different places, does endurance events both on the bike and on the trails (and both summer and winter seasons for that matter), and seemingly has a never ending list of ideas to write about. When I was reading a few weeks ago, she was talking about her "Greatest Moments", things she has done that have defined her over the course of her life. I'm stealing that idea and presenting my list of great moments for your reading enjoyment. They are in no particular order.

1) Conquering the Philmont Trail

I have often credited my boy scout troop with shaping me into the person I am today. It helped me build up my confidence and taught me disciplines I would've never learned on my own. That being said, I'm not gonna particularly run out and sign Dav up for scouting. Our troop was very unique, and most of the ones today are, for lack of a better word, a bunch of sissies that only care about book work and merit badges. Anyhow, one of the trips our troop did was going down to a ranch in New Mexico named "Philmont Scout Ranch". Hundreds of thousands of acres set aside solely for scout troops to hike the backcountry. Many different routes existed, and we picked on of the daunting ones. 120 miles over 10 days including going up and over Bear Mountain with full packs. To a 15 year old, this is an extremely intimidating prospect. I'll write more about the Philmont trail at a later time, but we finished the trail and I still to this day think about some of the experiences I had on the Philmont Trail.

2) Becoming a Dad

When Elli told me she was pregnant with Daven, a flood of emotion and thoughts swept over me. I was intimidated with the thought, worried that I would fail expectations, yet overjoyed and thrilled to "test" myself with the ultimate litmus test. So far I think I'm doing alright, and wouldn't want the alternative (no kids) ever again.

3) Finishing the Horribly Hilly Hundreds

2007, 2008, and 2009 all resulted in failing as it pertains to finishing this beast of a ride. 125 miles with over 11,000 feet of elevation gain all in one day during the summer solstice is not many peoples idea of fun. Paying for this privilege seems even more insane. But after being disappointed for 3 years in a row, in 2010 I finally finished all 125 miles, and didn't put a foot down once while on the course. I repeated the same feat this year. Not only is this ride challenging physically, but it is one of the hardest things mentally to do. The long course has an estimated drop out rate of 2/3's of the field. Just finishing proves your worth in the cycling community.

4) Having the courage to move out to Montana and surviving the MT internship

Say what you want about what I do, but the internship sucks. You don't get paid for it, you're required to work a FT schedule, and along the way study, pay rent and other bills, pass quizzes, and then pass 2 bitch of tests. Elli and I both worked 7 days a week almost the entire 9 months we were out there. It was stressful, but a whole ton of fun. I would put in 4 10 hour days at the hospital, followed by 3 full days working as a liftie at the local ski resort, and then repeat it all come Monday. Just to add to the chaos, we adopted Bubba while we were out there, cause you know, we had about 10 minutes of free time for the week we needed to fill. And we didn't know where we were gonna live until the night before we left ND. We both loved MT, and if an opportunity would've arose for me to work out there, we'd probably still be out there.

5) Being the person I am today

With all that went on while I was growing up, my life could've gone a completely different path. I could've easily just went with the half assed approach, accepted things for what they were, and ended up on the other side of the spectrum. The fact that I didn't makes me proud of myself. And not just me, but my two sisters as well. All 3 of us are thriving. It is a testament to our character, and I'm also proud of them for getting to where they are as well.

There's so many more, and I could fill up this post with hours of talk. But these are kind of the ones that stick out when I think about it. It's been a hell of a ride, and I'm anxious to see what lies ahead.
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