What You See Is What You Get

Asheville, Western NC, United States
Now residing back in the mountains of western NC where I was born. I've spent the past 12 years mountain bike racing with many amazing riders all the way from Miami to the midwest. Mountain biking then turned to an endurance endeavor for me in 2002, competing in 12/24 hour, & 100 mile races. I found endurance was my calling , then in 2009 was introduced to endurance running through an amazing group of people in WNC & have since went on to participate in many ultra running events. I feel like the people I ride & run along side in the endurance world tend to be well rounded & driven by the better things in life, purely because you cant fake or be superficial in this endurance world. Everything I do in my life is to allow me the time & energy to keep pursuing my passion of adventure in whatever form it comes. I was gifted life & the gift of an active life by my still inspiring mother Nancy, whom I lost in 1999 to suicide. I've learned through my adventures & losses to have a blast, don't take your self to seriously, & keep going because there is no finish line. This goes out to you mom.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Hearts Still Beating, Tales From 2012 & The New Year

Another year of inspiration. Always amazed how much life we can experience in one year. A very inspiring quote I carried with me every day this past year & into this new one comes from a dear friend Jeremi Mcmanus & simply goes," how are your relationships?" Via the different places I've got to live over the past 15 years I've created my family of friends. This group of friends has become my foundation, considering my blood family has dwindled to my father, a cousin, aunt, & uncle whom I all keep in very little contact with,mainly because of distance & just life happening. So my friends are my family now & who I depend on. As I look back on the accomplishments, cycling, running, professional, none of those hold any weight as much as the condition of my relationships with those amazing people in my life do. 
This past year I faced something harder than any race I've done, mountain I've run up, river I've been down. That was the fight I had to put up against the everyday darkness out to destroy the beautiful connections with people in my life. The biggest lesson in this fight, was nearly 14 years ago now. Cruel things in this world & general loss of compassion drove my mom to take her life. Loss is something I understand well, sometimes its our fault to what we keep & what we lose. Other times it is almost completely out of our control. This year for me, rather than sitting by & letting life & that darkness take some things from me, I chose to fight for things I love. These lyrics embodied that fight & what I asked of the people closest to me.

i need you to be the strength of widows and soul survivors
i need you to be as fearless as new mothers and new fathers
i need you to be the hope of hearts who lost true love
i need you to be the might of their first kiss
i need a purpose and i need a reason
i need to know that there is trophy and meaning
to all that we lose and all we fight for
to all our loves and our wars
keep breathing
keep living
keep searching
keep pushing on
keep bleeding
keep healing
keep fading
keep shining on
this is for the hearts still beating

I consider those closet to me in this new year to be those hearts that are still beating. I saw many of those people go threw losses last year & had to fight against those dark times. We were able to join each other through those times, live, love, heal, & see better days. This world can be dark & discouraging to no end, but I found inspiration & victory to overcome by joining those I love to fight it. So I ask myself today, how are my relationships? Well, there will always be hard work to be done & battles to fight, but I stand with some of the most amazing people I could ever imagine. Jeremi, Katie, Ross & Kristin, Tavis, Ian, Wiik, & the list goes on, you know who you are. All of you inspire me to no end & have kept me healing, searching, pushing, Loving, & I only hope I bring the same to you all. This new year will be the most inspired we've seen yet, let that fire burn deep in that beating heart.  This year there are no finish lines,

                          "If my Journey is everlasting and there is no finish line"