Archive for the ‘INSPIRATION’ Category

Spending the day packing for Beijing. We’ve got a flight out on Air China at midnight, which gives me the entire day to attend to all the junk I’ve been shoving aside when I’m too tired from training.

I’m also trying to embrace the digital life, which means I’ve got to stop printing stuff like this and keeping it around. So I thought I’d preserve it here:

“Someday, in years to come, you’ll be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow, of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long-continued process.”

–Phillips Brooks

Admittedly, I had no idea who Phillips Brooks was when I printed it out. I think our sports psych, Wendy Borlabi sent it in one of her emails to keep us on track. Obviously, it spoke to me.

Upon further investigation, Brooks was not only a great scholar and theologian, he wrote “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem,” (which happens to be one of my favorite Christmas carols). His legacy lives on in educational and service organizations, where the development of kindness, character, service and a love of learning are core values.

The center for volunteer organizations at Harvard University is named after him. I also learned there’s a cool little independent school in Menlo Park, CA called the Phillips Brooks School, which is super hip and embodies the way of living he brought to the world.

Check it out! The Phillips Brooks School.


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I’ve been looking for an opportunity to get back to writing regularly, so I’ll start with right now.

I’m sitting in bed with my coffee. My dog Bruno is snoring at my feet; his fur catching the sun streaming through the window.

I just returned from Los Angeles where I spent the week training and posting times at the ADT Center in Carson. It was a really great trip, though hard to be away with Masters Nationals being held at my home track.

A lot of friends and guys I train with were competing this week, so I was bummed I didn’t get to see them perform live. We keep each other honest and motivated in training. And I’ve long realized the value of having good people with similar goals, abilities and work ethic to train with.

Good people help you show-up and keep you going, especially when the heat index is off the charts! Plus, it makes the work productive and the suffering manageable when you enjoy the company between efforts.

But between Facebook, USA Cycling & the event photographers, I kept on top of things & pieced together the action.

There was tons of excitement about Masters Nationals coming to T-Town. The one question I kept getting asked was if I were going to compete which means 1/There are more people interested in track racing then ever before; and 2/ They’re on to me and know I’m not a junior.

For the record, I turned 42 this year. I also signed a contract with Black Dog Professional Cycling, and as a member of a UCI Professional Trade Team, I’m unable to compete in masters events.

When I started this science experiment of one, my goal was to take the sport as far as I could go. To reach my potential as an athlete.

For a million reasons, I didn’t know I could be competitive at the Elite level until my late 30’s. The irony being it took success at the Master’s level for me to realize my potential in open competition.

I’ll write about my trip to LA, but I have to get to work, which today means over-geared starts, a road spin and getting settled and ready for 8 weeks of high intensity & volume.

So I’ll leave with huge props to all who came to T-Town to race, and beg forgiveness for not being here to cheer you on. I’m both proud and thrilled for everyone who shared their goals, aspirations or insecurities with me . . . then came out & rocked it.

Check out this article, featuring a bunch of friends:


And if you have the chance and are looking for some inspiration . . . flip through the photos on USA Cycling:


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I don’t know how many of you folks have been paying attention to women’s racing lately, so I’m going to share a few highlights…

Last week, Sarah Hammer (of the United States) set a new World Record in the Individual Pursuit at the Panamerican Track Championships.

Photo: © TeknoBike-Mexico

Then the following day, Sarah, Lauren Tamayo and Dotsie Bausch dropped a wicked fast time and ripped open a 3:19.569 to set a new World Record in the Team Pursuit in Aguascalientes, Mexico. For Sarah, that’s two world records in as many days . . .

photo by Benjamin Sharp

This is so freakin’ cool . . . . Here’s another great shot by Photo: © Wenceslao Rodriguez/ WRS IMAGENES . . . click on it to read the story. I’ve never seen Dotsie Bausch smile so large.

Photo: © Wenceslao Rodriguez/ WRS IMAGENES

Come to think of it, they all look pretty happy.

Then a few days later . . . T-Bird (aka Theresa Cliff-Ryan) lapped the field twice to win the women’s points race at Panam’s. She’s out of control. Let me say that again . . . lapped the field twice to win GOLD at Panamerican Track Championships.

Then, of course . . . on Sunday of this week, 17-year old Coryn Rivera won the women’s crit at the Amgen Tour of California . Here’s a pic of the finish if you missed this little nugget on the interwebs . . .

Photo: © Mark Johnson

Seems to me 2010 is cookin’ up to be the year of the girl. At least for the home team.

Just sayin’.

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Here’s a sweet piece that spells out everything you should know about carbon fiber bikes but were too busy to ask . . .  courtesy of Giant Bicycles & Bicycling magazine:

The Making of Giant Bicycles Carbon Fiber Bike Frames.

And in case you missed my piece on Bicycle: People + Ideas in Motion, check it out!

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I’ve been in LA since early February. I came for some Vitamin D and to get on the track at the ADT Center. I’ve never been so happy to miss a rough winter back East. The days here are predictably sunny & warm. I think it’s rained twice.

So I was out on the Santa Ana bike path the other day. I had an easy ride with drills in the mix.  I parked, got my kit on and soon learned I was SOL with no CO2 cartridge.

Now, I have a system for such things. I have a place for everything, and everything in its’ place. I went uber minimalist recently, though, and the tank sprang loose.

I haven’t had a flat in months, so I figured . . . what’s are the chances? The path crosses a vein or main artery every quarter mile or so; so I won’t be far from civilization no matter what.

Sure enough. There is no better way to guarantee you’ll get a flat than to ride without a pump or CO2 cartridge. Twenty minutes in, my steering went. I looked down to find my rim cutting into the front tire, which was flopping around like a deflated balloon.

Within minutes, a guy on a recumbent came along and stopped to see if I was alright. (He didn’t have a choice, really. The path is kinda narrow). I wasn’t, of course. So I charmed him into lending me his pump and interrupting his ride while I fixed my flat.

His name was Derek and as he went digging in his bag I sat down and got to work.  I don’t know many guys who roll the recumbent, so I asked why it was his ride of choice. ‘Bad back,’ is what I expected to hear. Then he said, ‘I have MS.’  Whoa, I thought. Then he told me he’s training for SoCal’s BikeMS160.

Now I was in awe. The recumbent helps him with his balance. Prior to his diagnosis in 2003, Derek worked as a chef at (what I presumed) a 5-star restaurant in London. Then one morning, after pulling yet another late-night shift, he woke up and couldn’t feel his legs. Days later, he was paralyzed and in a wheelchair.

That said, I was surprised to see him get up to stretch while I fumbled with my tire. He moves with a limp–traces of the impact MS has had on his body. Riding keeps his muscles firing. He mentioned how good the move to SoCal was for him. The warm weather and sunshine seems to have slowed the progression of his disease.

Derek met his wife, Noelle, after he was diagnosed. The details are fuzzy, but I remember him saying she’s an RN.  I also know she’s joining him on the 160 mile ride this October.

To raise money for their fight against MS, they sell Derek’s homemade jam online. No pun intended, but hearing how he manages MS and how they came up with the idea to sell jam to entice people to donate was one of the sweetest stories I’ve ever heard.

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As an athlete working towards personal goals, it’s so easy to get into the mind-set of me, me, me . . .

When do I need to be at the gym? What  should I eat? What was my time?  I need rest, I need sleep, I need to ride, I, I, I.

Then I look at this video and realize what a luxury this is and how different my daily reality is from the people of Haiti and really so many people in the world. People who are waiting in line for food, who don’t have clean drinking water, who don’t know where their kids or family members are and don’t know where they’re sleeping tonight or if they’ll be safe.

It brings new meaning to the idea of sacrifice and challenges.

I love the remake and think it’s amazing it came together so quickly. And I’m in awe of the power of god-given talent, and that people find ways to use theirs to help others and make a difference and provide hope to people  surrounded by devastation.

And I love that people and kids still manage to dance and raise their hearts and smile when their world has crumbled around them.

There are a million ways to help.

For me, Verizon just lowered my cell plan by 20$. I figure I should be able to give $10 of that to the Red Cross each month for awhile.

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Pink talks about doing this crazy st*ff in her Women’s Health interview.

If you missed this from last nights’ Grammy Awards (as I did), it’s worth the watch:

This one’s going into the inspiration file.

Amazing what the human body can do . . .

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