Daring

I remember how I got into biking; I was astonished by the weight (pun intended) of the number staring back at me when I stepped on the scaled, in pom’s nomenclature I weighed more than about 10 stone. I reluctantly forked out $400 for my new bike, astonished that the bike guy was not overly impressed with my extravagance, I was half expecting the machine to levitate since I paid so much for it. Reality set in when I went to the back of the shop and saw bikes with multi thousand dollar sticker prices, I remember blacking out for a couple seconds. Thinking back to that time, I was completely open to learning something new, a champion of change, desire was strong and motivation virile, food tasted better and I took my tea spicy. For someone who had never been on anything more complicated that a vintage racing bike I stole from a friend in college, my 21 speed looked to me like a fighter jet.

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I doubt anyone has ever crashed as many times as I did on my first mountain bike ride. In my anticipations, I looked up mountain biking videos on YouTube and as you would expect I binged on hours on downhill mountain biking, planning to reenact these moves at my local trail on my $400 100mm travel pogo stick – I cannot be faulted for not trying, as you would expect, the results however was nothing like the videos. Ignorance about riding styles, equipment and abilities, was less than blissful let’s just say. I remember plummeting down gullies, and grabbing hand full of the front brake only to go over the bars, giving trees hugs, changing tubes, I remember how incomprehensible changing gears were and how unforgiving little humps were to submit. I can’t remember doing anything that hard before, even for someone who swims like a stone, this was immeasurable harder than my 10 week training block for a triathlon. Despite the toil, I still dreamt about being on that $400 bike every day, I still saw myself as Hans Ray. At this point in my life, I embraced change, I was not scared by something new, I did not care about success or failure, I just wanted to do something and Hot dog , I went out an did it.

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Black Eyed Susans (Maryland State flower)

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Attempt at a landscape shot… Not doing much for me

I just picked up a much smaller machine recently, this hast highlights have changed over the past few years. I picked up a nifty Olympus Pen E17 mirrorless DSLR camera, great entry level mirrorless camera. Photography has always moved me, in my heart, right next to the chamber which only great music occupies, is a space for awe inspiring images, just below the gourmet tacos chamber. I have however noticed a strange trepidation when it comes to fully immersing myself into this new experience. As a millennial accustoms to ever changing screens and buttons, I am completely overwhelmed by this device. Some much to learn; ISO, shutter speed, aperture, light displacement, image composition, hundreds of hours to be invested to even be mediocre at it. I constantly see myself wanting to just give up and go to the status quo of taking overly processed images on my iPhone using Instagram filters. I believe the greatest strength of a leader is anticipating and accepting change, its uncomfortable, it’s difficult and it can be avoided for only so long.

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My best shot so far… I think the model makes it, not the shooter

 

Through this, I have learnt to extend grace to the hidebound, to appreciate that every person experienced a time when they were vibrant and open, receptive and zealous, but slowly life and its minions make security the priority and society demonizes risk. I plan on mastering this photography thing, I plan on being good at it, I plan on having It add color, texture and context to my ballet of and in life and then I plan on moving on to sometime new before I settle into my immovable way of eating shrimp with old bay or none at all.

I leave you with this quote by Theodore Roosevelt

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight what knows neither victory nor defeat.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Point of no return…

Too late to turn back now….


when skiing with friends much better than me, we always come to the point where the blue and black diamond trails no longer satisfy them, the logical next step in a double black or glade skiing. I am forced to decide to take the plunge and thread the needle; though the trees or ride in between and over the mine field of knee high moguls. Many times 15 yards down the steep I can abort, hike back up, ski across to a tamer trail, or gracelessly exit the glades (there have been cases where I took off my skis and hiked to the button to the amusement of onlookers. However, there is always the point of no return, that point where it is impossible to hike back to the top or pizza it to the bottom.Where you must muster all your courage and go for it.  It is at times like these that we come face to face with our inner strength. In these times we realize that no one else matters but us and what we think aboutourselves and our effort. At such times, due to the inability to guarantee success the most important thing is effort; doing the best we can to achieve our set goal. 

wipeout and we will laugh.


Many times, a difficult trails runs right under the lift line, so if you wipe out you end up being entertainment for everyone. This stops many people from attempting runs they would like to try, businesses they would like to open, vocations they would like to answer. You would be surprised by how many adults who do not know how to ride a bicycle but are afraid of what people would say or think when they see them practice. When you reach that point of no return, survival sits higher on your scale of preference as compared to avoiding embarrassment. 

Your Turn !!


Sitting on the ski lift at White Tail ski resort for some winderful springish skiing, I realize I am slowly inching towards that point of no return in my personal life. It feels exciting and scary, I can’t stay where I am but making the move somewhere else is daunting and scary. Soon it will be too late to turn back. I would love to nail this run but there’s also a good chance of a wipeout. 

Let’s go…

The Cost of Awe

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Most people come to a point in their lives when they ask the universal question “What am I here for, What does my life mean, Is there more to life than this”? In a way these seem easy and expected akin to those teenagers ask about their bodies during puberty. They also seem easy because for most of us this stage of curiosity does not last. It is quickly stashed away by the buzz and routine of life, melancholic moments overshadowed by activities, laughter, routine,  they down into the background awaiting rekindling when life slowly drifts to sleep.
The harder and I dare say more important question is “Why do we do the things we do”, why do we stay in routines that have long lost their meaning, why chase a dead-end job or even worse ascend the corporate ladder that provides material wealth inversely proportional to the wealth of the heart? Cliché you say? How about why do you go out and run that 5miles even though today its stinking hot and you really did not feel like it, why still go to the gym when all your mind, muscles and adipose fat in unison yearn for a retreat on the couch glued to the tube? Why do you pedal up that climb doing intervals on your bike….

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Even the things we think are fun and we do for recreation often times turn into routine void of our first love and enthusiasm but we keep on doing it without thinking about… so apt to autopilot “it”…I think many a times we subconsciously deny ourselves the options of asking why, we feel the question  more than we think it but we fear to expose it to our consciousness… we fear to explore it for what answers might be buoyed to the surface.

Every once in a while we experience Awe for cheap… Get lost and end up on a beautiful scenic mountain road, hook a Rainbow Trout on the line, the first time we descend a 1000ft climb with a tailwind and no traffic, the first time we nab a PB on a 10K…. Obviously there is the price we pay in effort, resources, training, practice and the likes but that cost when compared to the result the first time is unequivocal, the awe factor far outweighs the cost. We are designed to be leaky vessels, God fills us up and we immediately start leaking, we have to continually return to be refilled, it might in some cases get easier to refill but we might start desiring a taste for something else. This is as true in our spiritual lives as our physical. That Job we were overjoyed to have starts becoming unfulfilling, yes we enjoy running a 10k but dang motivation is now at a premium, yes the view at the top of this climb is great but I do not feel like climbing….

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For us to really experience Awe, we constantly have to reevaluate routines and be brave the question why…why should I do this again… is it time  to initiate change? We have to be willing to put the effort in to earn the experience. We have to be willing to climb a different hill if the view is no longer enthralling, fish a different stream if the fish are no longer biting. We have to be willing to tarry and wait for God to reveal himself if we feel he has gone silent. As important as it is to ask the questions it is even more important to accept the answers, Oswald Chambers put it this way “we all have those times when there are no flashes of light and no apparent thrill of life, where  we  experience  nothing  but  the  daily  routine… The routine  of life  is actually God’s  way of  saving  us  between  our  times  of  great inspiration  which come  from  him.”