For my birthday last October, my dear friend Ivy gave me a necklace: It was more than just a piece of jewelry; it was a reminder and a life philosophy. Get shit done. Keep going. Don't let anything stop you. There was a moment last November when I almost forgot that. Everything felt broken and insurmountable. I sat alone in my apartment in Seattle and wept at the mess I'd made of my life. In that instant, I couldn't figure out how to begin untangling the wreckage of an entirely derailed life plan. But then I got up off the couch and did. One step at a time, one day at a time, with the help of my tirelessly loving family and friends. I got shit done. Now it's time for the next step. I just left home to go on the road for the season. I often write something here ...continue reading.
What a year! I will forever look back on 2016 as the year that overflowed with joyful moments like slamming into the ground repeatedly, getting my heart pulverized, and finding out we'd elected Trump. What a time to be alive! And yet, in the wake of a year of sometimes crippling defeats, I have never felt more alive, excited, and ready to plunge ahead. So many things happened in the last 12 months. We launched Hagens Berman | Supermint and had an incredible season of highs and lows, victories and learning experiences, and a roller coaster of thrills that took the team all over North America and to Italy for the Giro Rosa. (Meanwhile, I went to Canada. So that's basically my 2016 life choices in a nutshell.) It still feels surreal, yet we're now well underway towards our second season. In my own cycling career, I raced hard, crashed harder, stubbornly kept ...continue reading.
Things have been unraveling since I slammed into the ground during the first North Star Grand Prix crit on June 15. When the crash happened and I was cleared by the hospital and the stage was neutralized, I went back into the race the following day like nothing had gone wrong. I did that stage and all the others after it, limping along stubbornly and pushing my body so hard. There was no logic in what I was doing but I couldn't stop and wouldn't let anybody around me say otherwise. That mindset is my greatest gift and curse as an athlete - I never stop. But I should have. Then, or in the days after, but I didn't. I tried to race and then started another cross-country drive out west. I called that drive my "time off" but who the hell is ridiculous enough to think driving 5-6 hours a ...continue reading.
I'm sitting in a stranger's living room now, doing my laundry in his washer with my feet up on his ottoman. I've never met the guy before but I'm going to sleep in his bed tonight and go through his cabinets to find a pot to boil water in the morning. After breakfast, I'm going to pack up my things, get in my car, and relocate for the weekend to another city I've never visited. This is basically my every day. Tonight it's Cory's house, last night it was Chelsie's, for a week before that it was Ayman's, before that it was Angie, and Alice, and Gretchen and so on. The year started with me living in a studio in Tucson that I was subletting from a guy I never met named.....David? Michael? Can't recall. But for three months, I used his dishes and sheets and towels, lounged on his ...continue reading.
In other news, I have relocated from Virginia to Tucson, AZ. It was so enjoyable to drive across America last year that I decided to do it again, only faster and this time with a dog. On December 28, I packed up the Chevy, put some bikes on the roof, stuffed Tanner in the back, and got on the highway. This trip, unlike the last fun, adventurous one, was all about efficiency. I had to be in Tucson by 1:30pm on December 31 to sign my lease before the office closed for the holiday, so I skipped luxuries like sightseeing, regular meals, and peeing in favor of driving as much as possible. The highlights were few and far between: Tanner threw up only once. However, he waited until the moment we pulled up to a New Mexico border checkpoint to do so. Turns out he'd eaten a rock that didn't agree ...continue reading.
It's my off season from cycling and because rest is challenging, I've been running for fun. Other than the constant joint aches and slight limp, it's great! Highly recommend. I flew out to Colorado last night for a friend's wedding and decided to start today with a nice brisk jog. It went really well for the first minute and then the shooting pains started in my back and I had to revert to an aggressive power walk. It was discouraging - who wants to walk for exercise?! - but then the road turned from pavement to gravel to dirt and my interest was piqued. When I hit a NO TRESPASSING - GOVERNMENT PROPERTY sign, I knew shit was about to get real. My best moments in life have involved prohibitive signage. A little over an hour of hiking and climbing later, I was at the summit. It was incredible. So much beauty and solitude...so ...continue reading.