I feel like a real blogging jerk lately- I've been all but invisible as of late. Things have remained so spastic and furiously busy with work that I have so very little mental operating capacity left for updating the blog regularly. Twitter has truly been my "outlet" for months now, it seems. I swear upon my steel track bike that I am going to get back into the swing of this blogging thing... promise.
Last week was a real stink bomb in many ways. Lots of stress and endless crap just kept rolling in, not the least of which being another series of car issues. A long time acquaintance passed away and I heard the news mid-week and it really struck home. The week finished a little better than it started, but I was pretty much on empty by the time Saturday finally arrived.
Saturday morning, I rode the 40 miles to work (since the car is once again in the shop) so that I could present the new line of bikes to two of our Texas sales reps- Jeremy Meulman and Tyler Russell. The sub-2hr ride was broken up with a 1hr 45min presentation of the bikes and then another 2 hr ride directly to the velodrome for the memorial services for Randy Clark.
The ride was great, both ways, and my legs and body held up to the 80 miles a lot better than I thought they would- though I did have some significant cramping in my right calf on the trip back. Aside from the cramping and the overall stiffness that comes from not riding big miles regularly enough anymore, I was very happy with how I rode and how the bike performed (3VC carbon with new 6700 Ultegra and full Ritchey parts package... details, review and pics to follow soon). It felt good to be in the saddle that long- even with a break- and not feel totally destroyed.
I got to the track for the memorial and was so happy to see so many people there to celebrate in the life of Randy Clark and share their very moving memories of the man. Like I said before, Randy and I knew a lot of the same people and spent a lot of time in the same circles, but we didn't know each other that well and weren't "best friends". But we bumped into each other a good bit and I always thought he was a good guy. Little did I know what an exceptional man he was until the memorial services. I was touched beyond words by the show of emotion and the amazing recollections of his unselfish giving and kindness. I am now quite sure that I missed out getting to know an amazing man with a passion for life and cycling. I know I feel cheated now by his cancer, though not nearly as much as his true friends and family. Seeing so many tears and so many hugs among friends truly showcased what a great man he was and what a legacy he leaves behind in the memories of all who loved him.
Today, my wife and daughter and I all walked to Balboa Park to see the finish of today's America's Finest City half marathon- my step-father and brother-in-law both ran it. For the record, they are both better men than me because I could maybe run a block before falling to my knees to vomit. Both of them finished the challenging course in less than 2 hours. Needless to say, we were all proud of them. My mother, sister and nephew were all there as well to offer support. The walk itself was a nice way to start the morning and we enjoyed some time playing at the park along the way home as well.
My daughter left early this evening to be with her mother this week, so my goofy little ray of light and love is gone for a bit. So now it's just me and "the wife"... which ain't so bad. Tonight I made crawdads and jambalaya for a nice Southern meal for my Taiwanese wife. She liked it and I think she might keep me a little longer now... I hope. Afterwards, spurred on by the nostalgia of my Southern home, we looked at a bunch of pictures of my life growing up in Alabama and I shared stories of fishing trips and eating my way through "Nawlins". It's actually made for a nicely pleasant evening.
Sometimes life throws countless curve balls at us. I admit that batting was never my specialty. I had a great arm as a kid playing baseball- I could throw to home with either 1 or no bounce from deep center and when I held my control I had a great pitching arm (but that control thing was never good for long). But I was never a great hitter. Life sometimes gets those curve balls across the plate while I'm still trying to catch my breath and concentrate on the ball. Randy's memorial yesterday was another one of those reminders that sometimes a base hit is as good as a home run. Randy was a good man who gave to others without expectations of receiving anything in return- he gave because he liked to help and he liked to give. He was richer for giving, as much as the receiver was richer for the gift. I want to remember to enjoy more and worry less.
Monday morning brings the return of work and stress and being busy. Somewhere in between, I plan to remember to breathe, relax and enjoy something... I hope you all do too.