Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I love the fall!

Fall is my favorite time of the year. Cool temperatures make the air fresh and sharp. Leaves turning all sorts of colors make it a great time of year to be outside.

I was out over the weekend trying to do my part in trail maintenance. Raked about 3/4 of the pines before my rake broke. Turned out to come in handy that I was able to get out and clean Saturday afternoon, as we used the pines for part of the monthly time trial last night. Our time trial was the first "night ride" I have had in a long time. I forget how incredible it is to ride in the woods at night. Our trails provide excellent scenery while riding along the ridge above town. Coming up the hill from complete darkness besides your headlight providing you with 20 feet of visibility to viewing Decorah lit up through the trees is pretty awesome.

I am going to visit Aj in Portland on Friday. School has been terribly busy which is a bummer because I thought my senior year should be a little more relaxed. We start fall break on Friday until Wednesday so I will be spending my time out west. Aj has some awesome things planned while I am there. I am hoping for a bike tour of Portland over the weekend and on Tuesday we are climbing Mount St. Helens. It's going to be an awesome break!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Heck of the North

This past weekend was the first annual Heck of the North gravel race in Duluth, MN. 102 miles of some of the most scenic, remote, and beautiful countryside I have ever seen. Total time on the day was 8 hours exactly. 7 hours 30 minutes on the bike. Very happy to get my first gravel/endurance race and gravel century out of the way. Heading into the race I was nervous because of my lack of training, but the legs held up well. Nutrition went as smooth as it could have (Thanks, Aj) and still had more gas than expected at the end of the race. I feel as though I could have pushed harder, but with it being my first race I did not know exactly what to expect. Looking forward to the next event I can participate in and work on improving.

Here is a link to the few photos I took during the race. The race itself was approximately 75% gravel (washboard), 10% pavement and 5% "singletrack." Check make sure to check out the "singletrack" pictures. That stuff was nuts and not ridable by my standards....kudos to anybody who attempted.

Go Easy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Spent the last week near Elkhorn, WI with family and friends at a cabin that Anne and Sandy rented. Had an incredible time and words and pictures cannot describe how awesome it was to be surrounded by family simply enjoying each others company.

Pics of the lake will follow, but for now here are some of the pictures of my attempt to bike all the way to the cabin. Made it to Dodgeville, WI the first day of riding (115 miles total) and rain detoured me from riding until later in the afternoon Friday and only rode an additional 35 miles before the rally car picked me up....oh well. Did not make my goal of riding all the way to the lake but accomplished my first century and then some while enjoying my time on the bike.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

This Irritates Me

Word is spreading quickly about a new petition started online by a group of Iowans for the Iowa Legislature to place a ban on the farm-to-market roads. For those unsure what a "farm-to-market" road is, it's basically any highway that connects agricultural and rural areas to towns and cities. To see the petition (do NOT comment on it as they count it as a signature), click here. Some of the comments did make me laugh out loud, some made me furious, and towards the end it left me sick to my stomach. These people are definitely on my short list and are probably sitting with their laptops on the beer guts, sporting a confederate flag on their wall.

I do see where some of their concern stems from. Many cyclists do not obey traffic laws, ride with a helmet, and bike lights/reflectors. Cyclists need to ride together with traffic as we are considered (by Iowa law) to obey by the same laws of traffic. Common bike ettiquite should be taught at an early age and obeyed by all. The same should be taught to drivers, give at least 5 feet of space when passing a biker, slow down, and pass safely.

One comment I read (which was a common complaint) is that cyclist do not pay fuel or license taxes for using the road. Do they really think that all cyclists only drive bikes to get around? Almost every biker I know owns a car and pays taxes. Very few use a bicycle as their only means of transportation.

While I don't see any reason that this ban would ever be considered, it just goes to show how ignorant people can be. We might as well sign a petition preventing people from exercising or leaving their homes for the potential of inconveniencing others. So, to show how obnoxious the petition to ban bikes has been, another has been started to ban cars from the roads. So, now that you have read my rant, I encourage anyone who rides a bike to sign the petition here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nordic Mess

Hard to believe Nordic Fest is already here. Back in high school, this time of year essentially meant that summer was over. Fall sports begin practice shortly after and school before you knew it. It's nice that I have a little more of summer to enjoy before classes start again.

I have came to really enjoy watching my sister (Catherine) preform as a Nordic Dancer. In the past Mom had to pull some teeth at times for me to come watch, but Cat does an awesome job. It's hard to find another dancer who seems to smile and enjoy her time out in front of the Norwegian crowd as she does.

The performance times for the dances are as follows:

Thursday night at 6:30
Friday at 11 and 7
Saturday 10:30 and 7

As for my activities, you can find me at the rock throw sometime Saturday morning as well as on the river enjoying some choice beverages if the weather holds.

Pictures to follow....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Adventures on my La Cruz

I have been riding my La Cruz everywhere lately. There has been a steady balance between pavement and gravel thus far. The usual route has been out towards Bluffton and beyond, but I am excited to start heading out in different directions.

The two pictures below I took on the river trail where I set up my hammock to read and take a nap before biking to work.

Below is a picture from my most recent ride through Bluffton, Burr Oak to Middle Hesper Road and back to my house. It was a chilly, fall like ride in mid-July, which is extremely rare in Iowa, but it was beautiful regardless.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Whips

Been to busy to blog and honestly, it has not been high on the priority list. Weather has been a little chilly but not enough to keep me inside. Between school, work and logging miles on the bike free time has been scarce. Last weekend we were in Madison for my cousins wedding. Aj and I took off early Saturday morning and biked to Prairie DuChien before the car caught up with us. It was a beautiful ceremony but I don't have any of the pictures to post yet. Melissa and Sean are off to Australia and New Zealand for the next month which makes me really jealous....I know they will be having an awesome time. The wedding was held on the Monona Terrace overlooking the lake and was a beautiful ceremony. The reception was a lot of fun as well. I figured out where I get my dance moves from....thanks, Dad.

Here is a montage of pictures of the new bike/pre-ride. This bike is my new favorite toy. It will be seeing lots of miles on pavement and gravel for years to come. I have logged close to 80 miles in two rides thus far on it. I am still working on getting the fit dialed in but it rolls so nicely.

I am also borrowing Ally's cousins unicycle for the time being to see if I can learn how to ride it. I feel like I am getting close but not quite there yet. I'll keep anybody interested on how it is going.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Damn Weather

Rain has been hovering over Decorah for what seems like a week. There have been periods of sunshine, but as usual, it has been rainy for the better part of the week whenever a bike event is planned. The Dirt Burger starts tonight and was to be kicked off with a night ride but will now be turned into an urban ride of some sort. The weather seems promising for the weekend so hopefully it holds up.

I have recently heard about the Tour Divide mountain bike race. Holy cow! This thing is the most epic mountain bike race I can imagine! 2745 miles of riding self supported from Canada to the Mexican border. It takes most riders (if they finish) three weeks to complete. I have been following the leader board erratically this week and what these guys are doing is incredible. Definitely something way out there for me to think about doing when I go insane....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gearing up.....literally.

Travis has placed the order on all of my parts for the La Cruz build up. I'm stoked for this bike. It will be the first one that can actually be "my own" because I have laid out the spec to the way I want it. It should be done in perfect time for the "Dirt Burger" this weekend. If you are around and want to bike, be sure to show up. The flyer is below and more information can be found at Bike Decorah.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life Back Home

After coming back to reality in Decorah after a week in Colorado it has been a busy few days. I am taking Physics as a summer class at NICC for the month of June from 7:30-12:30 and then working between the bike shop, Pepsi and for Karl when finished each day. I am in the process of building up my new toy for the summer, a Salsa La Cruz! I have been putting quite a bit of thought into how I am going to build it up (opposed to the stock version they have displayed). It is going to be a pretty versatile bike for me allowing for miles and miles on gravel and I will so be able to throw some "slicks" on it for some road excursions. The plan is to ride it to class and back if time allows in order to get back for work in the afternoon to get my base built for longer rides.

Tuesday night was the local time trials. It was a nice, short race that I needed to have for some motivation to get back on the local trails. Even though I biked in Colorado it seems like it has been forever since I have rode in Decorah. Colorado was a blast, but nothing seems to compare to the stuff we have in Decorah. I am pretty lucky that I can roll my bike out of the garage and be on the trails in less than a mile. Not to mention we have some of the best stuff around!

Derek and I went for a ride tonight. The trails are in great shape and have been getting maintained well. Everything about the ride went well except for some obnoxious driver who got under my skin. There has been a lot of vandalism on the road signs that state to "Share The Road" on the way to Bluffton which has stirred some hostility. Apparently, people think it asks too much of them to give 5 seconds of their day to slow down, give a few feet for the biker, pass and carry on with their day. Instead, as Derek and I are biking to the trail head on Ice Cave Road, some punk in a '96 Saturn had the desire to rev up his engine to pass us, just missing while passing and yelling that "biker's (explicit) suck!" We're sorry that our presence is enough to ruin your day and your ignorant driving is more important than our lives. Some people need to get a clue and it's a shame that a few can potentially give Decorah a bad rap for cyclists. In all my years I have never had a problem riding through town without nearly every driving being a courteous, aware driver. What these people have against bikers, I have no idea.

Well, enough of my ranting. Hope everybody is having a great summer.

Do what you like. Like what you do!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Boulder, CO

Ally and I just got back from spending incredible week Boulder, Colorado with Ally's cousin, Andrew. Andrew is going to be a sophomore at Luther next year and is living in Boulder for the summer while working and training for cross country. He was kind enough to let us crash on his floor for the week while we explored what Boulder and the surrounding area had to offer.

We spent the majority of our time hiking and biking the trails around Boulder and walking downtown around Pearl Street. There are endless miles of trails for outdoor use in Colorado for people of all levels of fitness.

Here are some pictures that highlight some of our outdoor adventures:

Our first hike just north of Boulder

We spent an afternoon painting artistic skills need work, I figured out.

I went on a 12 mile ride by myself at White Ranch near Golden, CO. Nearly 2,000 feet of straight climbing is not fun on a single speed.

A picture during my descent.

Ally, Andrew and I played disc golf in Boulder with some awesome views of the flatirons in the background.

Another picture during frolf (frisbee-golf)

The start of our Twin Sisters hike.

A picture of us on the way up. Pictures do not do any justice for the view we witnessed.

Estes Park at the bottom of the picture.

We made it!

Not a bad place to eat lunch!

Ally and I with the Twin Sisters in the background.

To top off the whole week we were (somehow) able to scalp tickets to O.A.R. playing at Red Rocks Amphitheater. This is the most incredible place to see a concert. It is a "natural" outdoor amphitheater built between two huge rock slabs. OAR is my favorite band and played a wicked concert that I will never forget, along with our struggles to get tickets. It was an awesome way to end the week. I do not have any good pictures from the venue because of the poor lighting but you can google some pictures and see what it was about. The show was sold out and played with clear skies, allowing everybody to see Denver and the surrounding area lit up at night.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Well, I have successfully made it through the last week of classes for my junior year. Finals begin on Saturday and end on Wednesday. I have a good schedule, one final each day. Chemistry is the final I am most worried about mostly because the final is comprehensive throughout the whole year, not just one semester. Not to mention the fact that motivation always seems to fade when you look outside and the weather is awesome. This weekend I will really have to buckle down....

It always seems cliche but this semester (year) has really flown by. Hard to believe that in one more year and I will have graduated (that's scary!)

I am spending tonight packing some of my belongings at my apartment to take home this weekend. It is amazing how much stuff one can have in such a small place. One of my goals this summer is to really start downsizing which is easier said than done. If anybody has any tips (or wants anything) let me know.

On the bright side, you know what always helps pass the time while packing......a cold Peroni!

I saw them advertised at JD's the other day and had to stop in to bring back some memories from Roma. Below is a picture of Sandy and I resting after our first day of visiting the Coliseum and Palatine Hill.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Rock!

Happy mothers day to all Mom's. I cannot say enough about how awesome of a Mom that I have. I hope everybody has a great day!

Happy Mothers Day Mom!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Time Trials

On Sunday, the Decorah Park and Recreation held their annual time trials. The flier stated that trails would be held rain or shine.....and they were despite 48 hours of rain prior to the race.

Saturday night was filled with thunderstorms and a heavy downpour on Sunday morning. I had to work at 6:30 before the race and on my drive to Waukon it was coming down hard. I began wondering if the race would still be on and how it would be handled. The race directors decided to cut out the Palisades section of the course and keep it limited to the Van Peenan and Dunning's trails. The course was just over 7 miles and over 2400 feet of climbing if I remembered correctly.

I was the 52nd rider on the course and to say that the trails were "greasy" would be a tremendous understatement. Like many others, I took a pretty cautious approach to the race. Picking up a lot of speed could prove to be very painful with your tires covered in mud. The race was fun, I crossed the finish line in 1 hr and 12 minutes while covered from head to toe in mud. It was a stressful experience because of many bike and riding problems, but nothing to complain about. It was my first time riding in such conditions and my second competitive race, so I will accept my results. I finished around 45th(?) overall, good enough for second in my age division (19-23) and a plaque. It was an accomplishment for anybody to compete in this race because the conditions were miserable. Three other Luther students that I know of competed and congrats to Ben for putting up an impressive time of around 47 minutes. A huge thanks goes out to all of the volunteers for running the race and getting everything in order beforehand.

After the race an awards ceremony/party was held at T-Bocks. I was only able to stay for about 45 minutes of the presentation, and with my luck, my name was drawn for the door prize about 5 minutes after I left.

The reason I had to leave early was because it was my final weekend of coaching the Coyote Freestyle Club in Caledonia, MN. I have been coaching a group of kids for the past seven Sunday's from 4-6. It has been a great experience and I am glad I had the opportunity to give back to the wrestling community. Coach Friedhof better make sure the Decorah boys are prepared when they dual them next year :)

Friday, April 24, 2009


What an awesome day!

83 degrees, sunny, clear skies....what a great day to be able to get outside and enjoy life!

I had a great ride yesterday. Rode the unofficial time trials course that has been laid out. Finished in just over 1 hour and 7 minutes at a pace less than race speed. Trails are pretty dry and rain is expected this weekend but hopefully it holds off enough for the time trails to be raced. My goal is to get my time below one hour in optimal conditions and have a fun ride. Race report will be given as soon as I can.

After my ride I went right to Perry's for an adjustment. He was willing enough to let me come in besides the fact I was a little sweaty. Going into the office is an awesome part of my week for many reasons. I always seem to come out of there with a different attitude on life, whether it is from something he said or how my body reacts after an adjustment.

His office is set up in an open environment where you are able to pick up on the advise that he gives to his patients. Yesterday he asked someone advise that I thought was very practical, "How awesome would you feel if you worked with your body instead of against it?" How many times do you make things more difficult than they should be? Are you getting the proper amounts of rest? Eating the right foods? Allowing enough time for yourself? Getting stressed out about things that are not that important? Are you getting enough exercise? Are you getting adjusted?

Things pile up quick. Take care of yourself.

Have a great day! Get outside!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Seat!!

Check out my new saddle I will be putting on my fixie tonight!

I think this comic explains my current problem/rationalization with bike purchases.

Lovely Weather

.....means lots of time spent outside.

On Friday, a group of friends from school and I went up to Van Peenan to hang out and build a campfire.

Before we started our nightly activities, Derek, Aaron and I had a good ride before we parking ourselves beside the fire. There are days when we have really laid back rides and just screw around trying to accomplish some new technical stuff on the trails. Derek, after many hilarious attempts, finally made his way completely across the log ride on Little Big Horn. Check out the video below...

Here are a few pictures of us hanging out. We had some intense games of ladder golf followed by a few diet pepsi's while hanging out and debating about stuff that nobody could agree on. It was a good night.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Local Time Trials

Last night a local time trial was held atop Van Peenan Park. Last fall I participated in a few of the races and this was the first race of the spring. The great thing about these races is that it is more of an event to get outside, be on a bike, drink some beer and talk with others whose company you enjoy. It is pretty laid back and although time is kept, I view it as more of a personal gauge for improvement than as a competition (although, I certainly don't want to lose).

The course for last night was short: start at the fire pit, through West Pines, down Fred's, up Rocky Road then ride the top half of Little Big Horn back to the finish. My course was a tad longer because I assumed there was a longer loop than mentioned at the bottom of Fred's and avoided the local rule of finding any loophole you can to ride a shorter route. Nonetheless, I finished in 14 min 50 seconds which was good enough for fourth. The winning time was 12 min 30 seconds which I thought was insanely fast.

After the race was over most everybody stuck around the campfire to talk. Heard some great rock climbing stories from Deke. O'gara talked about his first Canoe Derby experience and I was able to catch up with Freidhof for a while. (On a side note people should start haggling him about getting a blog going for Decorah Wrestling....) Around 10 we put out the campfire and I followed those with lights out of the park. It was a neat experience riding in the dark, not knowing the ground you are riding on, just following a red taillight ahead of me.

I apologize for not having any pictures to share. Bringing along a camera always seems to be the last thing on my mind when going out to ride. Check out the Bike Decorah Blog for some pictures and a short recap.

Next time...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Ride

After a day of slipping in and out of consciousness while watching the Master's, I took off on a ride with Derek once Tiger and Phil reached the clubhouse. I decided it was too nice of a day to stay inside and I needed to work off our Easter brunch meal from the morning. I am throwing in some older pictures on this post because I have no current ones to forward 15 years and not much has changed from my actions today.

The trails have been awesome this spring, thanks to a lot of work from a lot of people, and some good weather. Derek and I rode all of Palisades, up Rollercoaster and Rocky Road to Little Big Horn, Dust Bowl, Back 40, Gunnar and Julia. We then weaved through both pines before going down Fred's and climbing up New Randy's. We rode around up top of Dunning's for a while before riding Mother's Day and Lower Mothers Day and back home.

This past week has been the most I have ridden in a week, ever. I want to be able to compete this summer in some time trials and the long term goal is to complete a 24 hour race with a team, preferably, but if I have to, by myself. There are two races I am currently looking at: one is Salsa's 24 hour race in Bloomington and the other is 24 hours of 9 mile in Wausau. The race in Wausau conflicts with Nordic Fest and the race in Bloomingtom may conflict with school but I will be able to work my way around that. Both events are a long ways away and right now I am just concerned about getting into better shape.

I have not been able to get out and take any pictures on the bike yet so I will bring back some old memories from when I was little.

Mom and Dad definitely had me riding my bike early. I have so many memories from our trips to Lanesboro as a family and they are times I will never forget.

Hope everybody had a great Easter!

Happy Easter!

Hope everybody's day is filled with sunshine, family, friends and happiness.

Easter break has been great for me. Friday I was able to get out and work on some trails with Jeff, Jim, Derek and Captain. Derek and I nipped a new connector for Mothers Day and Lower Mother Day. I know a large group of guys got out to work on the trails again on Saturday afternoon so hopefully the lower trail will be ready to ride soon. All the trails are in great shape and are getting pretty dry now. I am just happy to be outside!

After working on the trails Brandon, Derek, Mitch and I played disc golf. I had never played before but Luther has a great course that was set up last year. First nine holes were rough, but I began to figure out how to play the second nine and shot only two over. I plan on purchasing a disc golf set in the near future for this spring/summer.

After disc golf I went back to the room to catch a quick glance at the Masters before heading back to the trails. Derek and I got a nice ride in the Captain and Kirk Johnson, who we met at the start of our ride. We rode trails we built in the morning and we now have a great way to get atop Dunnings without having to walk up that steep washout on Ice Cave. It was really fun to be able to ride on a trail that you just built. I have never done any trail building, just maintenance, and it was a rewarding experience.

Saturday, Dad and I got out for a ride in the afternoon after cleaning the garage out in the morning. It was good to get back on the trails with him and I am looking forward to whipping him into shape again this summer. Many rides to Bluffton along the gravels of Iowa will be in store.

For today I plan on sitting back and watching the Masters before I get out and ride again.

Get outside and enjoy this great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Catching Up-Aspen

Sorry for the delayed post. Blogging as taken a back seat to school, work and other activities.

Starting with Aspen:

I have created a Flickr account and created an album to share all of our pictures that can be viewed here.

My trip to Aspen was arranged through the Backyard Wilderness Pursuits group here at Luther along with 15 students. It was an incredible opportunity and decided I had to go….and for the price, it was a no brainier. We took off early Saturday morning on March 21, the beginning of Luther’s spring break. I completed my share of driving from Decorah to Des Moines right way so I had the rest of the drive to relax, read and sleep. We got to our hotel about 11 p.m. mountain time that night and went right to bed...apparently the excitement from driving through Nebraska was not enough to keep us up.

The next morning we woke up early to get to the hill before most of the crowd. Our passes allowed us to ski on four mountains; Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. As a group we decided that the first two days we would ski at Snowmass and the last day we would ski at Aspen Highlands. Snowmass is the largest mountain and had the most variety for different skill levels which made for some great skiing. I had never skied outside of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa and I was really pumped to see what it was like in Colorado. To say the least, I was not let down.....

Our first day was relatively warm, up around 50-60 degrees at the base but very windy at the top. Being able to stay on runs for over 30 minutes took some getting used to but throughout the trip my legs held up extremely well. I started out with some of the easier runs and worked my way up to blues right away once I got my legs under me. One of my favorite runs that we did was called “Longshot.” We took the lift to the top of the mountain and then had to hike up even further to start the trail. My roommate, Aaron, who was on the trip as well has a Blackberry and we decided to e-mail our parents the sign posted before the trail that read, “Back country skiing: Risks include death.” Needless to say, I received a text from my Mom moments after she received the picture.

It was an awesome run where we were all by ourselves surrounded by nothing but snow and trees. Longhorn is the longest run on the mountain at 5.3 miles from top to bottom with no way out but the trail itself.

After a long day of skiing we went to Glenwood Springs for dinner at a microbrewery and came back to the hotel to relax in the much needed hot tub.

Monday was much of the same, skiing at Snowmass again. Only Monday had something even

better for us at the mountain, 5 inches of fresh powder. I had never skied in fresh powder and as my Dad said, “You will never want to ski in the Midwest again.” He was right. It was awesome! We did one run first before heading right back to Longshot. Only 2 or 3 people had been on the run before us and we were able to carve our own trail the whole way down. It was a little more work with more powder and it took a toll on the legs but it was worth it. The rest of the day was much of the same, trying to figure out the runs we had not been on yet and attempting some runs that were above my skill level. It was a great day and to my surprise the hill was pretty empty. We went over an hour of skiing without seeing more than 2-3 people on the same run as us.

That night a few of us decided to eat in downtown Aspen and get the full experience. We ate at a really nice Italian restaurant to fuel up for our final day of skiing.

For our last day of skiing we went to Aspen Highlands to ski. It is known to be the locals favorite as well as the most difficult of the four mountains. On Monday, we didn’t think we could top skiing in 5 inches of fresh powder but apparently, skiing in 14 inches is much better. We were getting way to spoiled. Highlands had some really awesome runs that were a lot of fun. We decided to attempt a long double black diamond with moguls and I paid the price. I made my way through the first ½-3/4 of the hill without much problem but the last part of the hill became extremely steep with some lager moguls. I took a pretty good crash and lost my skis.

My problem was not so much maneuvering through the moguls, but just getting my skis back on was the biggest problem. Once I thought I had my ski in and took off, only to be surprised when I took a turn that my ski was not completed locked in. It was frustrating but I finally made it down and decided not to attempt that demanding of a run again.

My experience in Aspen was awesome. The views were spectacular along with the skiing. Ally and I are heading to Boulder this summer to stay with her cousin and I cannot wait to go back.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I always complain about winter and the cold the final few weeks/month of winter. It gets old, I enjoy being outside enjoying the day. Winter begins to wear on me and I feel like I am less productive. Thinking this way obviously gets me nowhere and I have begun to let those negative thoughts go. Now that spring is here (I hope), it is a lot easier to do this and I have finally been able to wear some shorts and work out comfortably.

I took a longer route to work today on my Pugoet and took the Trout Run Trail back home. Being on a bike gives me a lot of time to think about things and I realized today that if it were not for winter, would I appreciate this beautiful weather we have had the last few days. They always say, "you don't know what you have until it's gone." If I lived in a place where it is sunny and hot everyday would I get sick of that in the same way that I get sick of winter?

Enough of my ranting.

Get outside and enjoy the day, wherever you are.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Which wolf are you feeding?

A older story with a great message....thought I would share.

One evening an Old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said “My son, the battle is between ‘two wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, self-doubt, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. "

"The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, patience, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, gratitude, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Creating Change

Imagine what your life would be like if you always did what you wanted to do?

What I have concluded is that too many times people base their decisions on two types of reasoning; they make decisions based on what they think other people perceive them as and they do it for the benefit of somebody else. So theoretically, few times do people ever act in their own interest.

Social conditioning proves to be a very strong influence over people and their decisions. Why people act the way they do and why we have acted in such ways for such a long time has become interesting to me. Like any problem, you figure out whats wrong with it and do your best to fix it. So how to you fix the problem if the problem is you?

In my opinion, authenticity is an admirable trait. Somebody's truthfulness to themselves has allowed them to live every moment as the full expression of themselves. Imagine how much happier you’d be if you stopped doing things that other people thought were cool, and started living every moment as the full expression of who you are.

It is uncomfortable and I'm not saying I'm original because I have been shaped by culture in so many ways. I am for from original, but I do feel some sense of freedom acknowledging that I am not. It can be a step from freeing myself from something that "I" am not. In the past there have been many things that I congenitally didn't feel was myself but did them anyway. Dressed a certain way, acted a certain way, ate a certain way, ect in an attempt to fit in and these things have shaped me into what people perceive me as today. It is now to the point of, "who gives a shit."

These actions (or lack of) were governed in large part from social conditioning. Not caring what other people think may be the biggest factor to making your own decisions. Accept that it is a problem in your life and that you act the way people perceive you to act, dress, speak, ect. Once you realize how you are perceived, it is easier to see what you are not. These presumptions of what others think of you is what is holding you back from your greatest potential. Placing a label on yourself and others only limits who you actually are. Labels are preventing you from doing the things you really want to do because you're to busy worrying about what other people will perceive you as and will look down on you because of your efforts.

It is a hard truth to accept but the only person you need acceptance from is yourself. You are the one who validates your thoughts and who has to live with those thoughts. You chose to read my blog because you want to (hopefully) not because you want to feel acceptance from me. Hopefully it can add some value to your day. For whatever reason, you should do it because it pleases you. If not, stop reading. You’re here for a reason because you choose to have a reason to be here.

I am still trying to figure out who "I" am, what I believe in and why I believe it. It is hard to justify whether or not I am just listening to another source or actually thinking for myself. One argument can be that instead of listening to a medical doctor's opinion I am listening to a Chiropractors opinion. Either way they are not thoughts of my own. In some ways this argument is true, we are all fooled by propaganda. One difference is that some expose themselves to multiple sides of the story while others are limited to one side. More exposure leads to more thoughts and more opportunities to create your own opinion. I have seen and experienced both sides and chosen what is best for me.

Above knowledge is feeling. Its not about what you say (you can hide the truth from people) but how you feel. You cannot hide this from yourself. Listen to your emotions. Does positive reinforcement from yourself feel good or are you constantly waiting for the approval of others? Are you approval dependent? Do you wish you had somebody else's life? What feelings do you get when you say what you feel?

The most adrenaline-pumping risk you can take in life is to be yourself. Caring what other people think will ensure you live a small life. The biggest risk we can take is to not risk being who we really are. You owe it to yourself to be authentic.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Winter Biking

Last night I had an incredible night ride with Jeff, Spinner, and Shockey. We left from the bike shop and ventured towards old highway 52. Our plan, to ride the snow packed snow mobile trails on a beautiful winter evening. Temperatures were around 25 when we left and not a cloud in the sky.

Trying to live up to my new attitude of having no expectations, I came into the ride expecting just that. To be on a bicycle.

Everything else surprised the hell out of me. Riding the snow mobile trails had a lot to offer. We had some killer climbs, some of which required walking. Some extremely fun (sometimes shaky) long downhills alongside spectacular views of the city on a crisp night.

It was definitely one of my more favorite rides in Decorah. I had some trouble staying on the trail at times and was getting sucked in by some loose snow. I left the rest of the group once we reached Whitetail road in order to get back home and finish up some school work and get my freezing toes warm. It sounds like they had quite and experience afterwards but I have not heard from them directly yet. Check out Shockey's blog to hear an another account of his ride here.

Get out and do something new today.