Mountain Biking and Living in the Moment

I’ve lost count of how many weeks I’ve been working from home. I think three but it may be four. I really like working from home because I get to hang out all day with my dogs and take many walks around the block. When I walk I think of writing ideas and create sentences. 

One of the benefits of working from home is I can take lunch breaks whenever I want, specifically the warmest part of the day so I can run or bike.

When I run I think of everything: what I’m going to eat, who I need to call, past boyfriends, trips I’ve taken, races, the Cuomo brothers and their daily banter; basically everything. When I mountain bike I think of nothing except the line in front of me; the line I will take around rocks and roots, and maybe going over a big rock and catching a little air off a perfectly placed rock. 

When I really think about all the sports I do from ultra running to Ironman, the sport I’m really the best at is mountain biking. As I maneuver over obstacles my body seems to know how to move with the bike, and my flow is natural and efficient. Yet, I spent years running and training for ultrarunning, and I pretty much suck at it. To me, running is minimalistic and satisfies my need to be low maintenance; I can run anywhere and all I really need is a pair of shoes. With mountain biking you need a bike, comfortable bike shorts, gloves, a helmet, replacement tubes and more. 

Colorado 2012

I mountain biked more when I lived out west. I biked all around Winter Park and all over the mountains surrounding Tucson. I even did a 24 Hour race with a team when I lived in Tucson.

Looking back, the weather seemed to be a little more cooperative out west and there weren’t as many roots and rocks as the New Hampshire trails. 

Tucson 2014

I’m ready to get back into mountain biking this year and getting better. I have a 10 mile loop that I like to do, right from my door. I’d like to spend less time walking some sections and get faster.

My loop in Concord, NH

I follow Kate Courtney on Instagram and when I’m flying down a hill, in my mind I say, ride like Kate Courtney – body position specifically so my weight is distributed properly. I love her workout videos and how she is so successful at a sport I love. I’m looking forward to going back to the gym after all of this to get back on track to get stronger. 

I am thankful for many things and one of them is that I can ride. Riding makes me happy and makes me live in the moment – nothing else does that for me right now. So I will ride today, maybe even in the rain. I know with the rain and cold temperatures that I will be the only one out there and that may just be a good thing.

My fascination with Andrew Cuomo

I have a new fascination that is taking my mind off the chaos that the Coronavirus has brought to our world. This is not related to ultra running, Ironman or hiking in New Hampshire. I’m turning my attention, for a while anyway, to the acting president of the United States: Andrew Cuomo because watching his press conferences seriously makes me happy.

I accidentally started watching the Andrew Cuomo press conferences on Thursday. Or watched parts of it. As I listened, half watching and half working from my sofa, he made so much sense. He talked statistics and used graphs that I understood. He was inspiring, comforting and I couldn’t take my eyes of him – this almost never happens to me when watching the news. 

Friday I watched more and then I started Googling: Who is this Andrew Cuomo? I’ve never even heard of him. 

I lived in New York State from age 3 to 12. I remember hearing about Mario Cuomo, maybe, once I moved to New Hampshire but I was young. Living in New England as an adult and later moving out west I didn’t hear much about New York or even really cared about what happened there – I was a mountain girl. And not into politics.

But now I’m bit obsessed about learning about Andrew Cuomo. I’ve read articles about how he becoming very popular lately with his press conferences. I learn that he is bold and brash, a bit of a bully – characteristics I typically don’t like like in people or my politicians. I like people who calls it like they see, are intelligent and understands how things really work. Politics aside, I really like him. 

New York Times Sunday Review, March 29, 2020

Then I read this story by Maureen Down, Let’s ‘Kick Coronavirus’s Ass’.  I’ve read the entire piece online six times now and bought the Sunday New York Times so I have it in hard copy, too. I have clicked on all the links within the story to learn more about Cuomo.

Dowd writes, “Often in the past, when people called Cuomo patriarchal, it was not meant as a compliment. It was a way to describe his maniacally controlling behavior, his dark zeal to muscle past people and obstacles to get his way.

She writes, “To the surprise of many who did not associate the name “Andrew Cuomo” with the word “empathy,” the governor has become a sort of national shrink, talking us through our fear, our loss and our growing stir-craziness.”

She detailed his history, family, kids, political fights and I began to learn about Cuomo. She added a link to Rebecca Fishbein’s story about how Fishbein thinks she is falling in love with him. 

I really liked Fishbein’s story and feel the same except that I’m not trapped in New York, but nonetheless I am being trapped, like we all are right now with this virus. 

Like her, I see next week looking a lot like this: 

“my day’s two bright spots: 1) My afternoon run, and 2) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily streamed press conference.”

Cuomo just makes me feel better.

I liked Fishbein’s honesty in that she’s not really a fan of Cuomo and detailed her disappointments with his decisions as governor such as not legalizing marijuana and not enacting bail reform. Despite it all, she watches his press conferences and is happier: “comforted”

My favorite line: “And yet, in this time of crisis, with little concrete information available, I need Cuomo’s measured bullying, his love of circumventing the federal government, his sparring with increasingly incompetent city leadership.

And then Cuomo called her about her story:

Cuomo call her: https://jezebel.com/my-best-recollection-of-the-call-i-just-had-with-andrew-1842416129

Another link from Dowd’s story is an article written by Ben Smith, Andrew Cuomo Is the Control Freak We Need Right Now is excellent, too. I’ve read it at least three times and clicked (and read) on all the links to other stories.

Hmmm. Cuomo doesn’t seem all the endearing after reading Smith’s article. He writes, “Mr. Cuomo has governed New York for more than nine years without inspiring much love. He wins elections by grinding opponents into dust before they can make it to the ballot box. He governs by transaction, not inspiration, as a dispenser of favors and destroyer of insurgents’ dreams, the purest master of the machine since Lyndon Johnson in his prime.”

Smith explained why we love Cuomo so much now: “Mr. Cuomo holds news conferences filled with facts and (accurate) numbers almost every day. He explains systems and challenges and decision-making with a command that Mr. Trump lacks. He even models social distancing by having speakers stay six feet apart from one another.

Today’s conference that started at noon was a good one. Cuomo stated the facts, inspired New Yorkers and quoted Roosevelt. Then there were questions and that is when I could see the politician, the man the Maureen Dowd talked about in her story as he answered questions.

However, when his powerpoint is displayed on my TV and he speaks I just feel better. 

I think he’s very interesting and I want to learn more about him. He makes me love New York and New Yorker’s because they are a tough bunch. I definitely think he should run for president.

“A Human Touch” (from “5B” soundtrack) 

“A Human Touch” (from the “5B” soundtrack). About the song and collaboration from Billboard magazine. Although this song is from the documentary 5B about San Francisco General Hospital’s AIDS ward during the early ’80s I feel like it’s so appropriate today. It’s been one of my favorite songs since the beginning of the year.

“You can call it a decision. I say it’s how we’re made. There’s no point in shouting from your island proclaiming only Jesus saves. There will always be suffering and there will always be pain but because of it there’ll always be love and love, we know, it will remain.

Everybody gets lonely. Feel like it’s all too much. Reaching out for some connections. Or maybe just their own reflection. Not everybody finds it, not like the two of us. Sometimes all anybody needs is a human touch.

Everybody wants a holiday, everybody wants to feel the sun. Get outside and run around, live like they’re forever young. Everybody wants to be beautiful and live life their own way. No one ever wants to let it go, no matter what they do or say.”

Today

Today, I will ride my mountain bike on the trails. 

Today, I will watch less news.

Today, I will work hard. 

Today, I will walk my dogs.

Today, I will call my mom. 

Rest, Repeat tomorrow.

Change of Venue, Writing Rooms, Squash Fear

Today is the first day in awhile I’m not feeling so afraid. At this moment anyway. I think it’s because for the last two mornings I created a to-do list by hour. And, I changed venues.

Yesterday I decided that I would work all day from my writing room (aka spare bedroom). This morning I started early in my new work space, drank coffee, read the news and planned the day. Prior to the new venue I would alternatively work from the kitchen table or the living room sofa. I liked sitting on the sofa with my laptop sandwiched between the two dogs. 

I like the work space I have now and the dogs can either be in this room, the sun room or hangout on my bed. While they are in my bedroom they can look out the window and bark at all the people walking by with their dogs. 

I can’t see the street from my writing room. All I can see are trees and rooftops. Today the sunroom is filled with light and the dogs can go in to soak up the sun while it warms my writing room. 

I’m liking the new work digs and I’m more productive, and maybe a bit happier with a structured routine. My work room has a lot of natural light, there is a coffee mug with pens and plants line the corner of the table. When I turn around I have a map of the world and a raised relief map of the NH 4,000 footers. Also on the wall, is my motivational poster by John Wesley – Do All the Good You Can and a framed picture of Lake Granby (Colorado). I took the picture of the lake during my first week living in Granby, Colorado, most likely in April 2007. It’s the only wall hanging or memorabilia in my house from my years living in Colorado. 

This is a good room – an inspiring space. With my to-do list in front of me outlining calls, webinars, deadlines, a run, a hike and the grocery list, I feel better. Despite all the uncertainty in the world, at this moment I feel like everything may just be okay. Moment by moment we get to where we need to be. 

Change Your Perspective
Move
Write-Read-Reflect
Walk the Dogs