Happy Holidays to all my wonderful readers. I hope you guys have a wonderful time and vacation doing whatever you love!! As for me, I’m in New Mexico with my family for the holidays. A lot of my long time best friends come back for the holidays as well. I get to spend time with people I love to be around AND time riding singletrack in the brisk high desert air. More on that later!
As we move into the twilight of 2012, I find myself thinking about the year once again. It’s always crazy to think of what I do and where I’ve gone in a year. I try to take things one week at a time, but thinking back to last January, a lot has happened! Once again, I find myself feeling even more gratitude for everything in my life. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunities, and I’m happy that I find ways to seize them!
I always hope that at the end of each year, I’m a better person with more rich life experiences than I was when the year started. This year has been another phenomenal year for me with growth in just about every direction. For me, growth comes not only from the highs, but also from the lows so I am able to flinch maybe a little less(but not much!) when things get tough.
So here is my best and worst of 2011 if you want to read….
and here is this year!!
Best New Race:
BC Bike Race… I wanted to put the Yak Attack, but I am choosing BC Bike Race because it’s more accessible to everyone and has some kick ass singletrack. Just don’t leave your full suspension or your technical skills at home.
Favorite one day event:
Breaking my wrist at the BC Bike Race… fortunately I was dumb enough to find a way to keep riding
Favorite Ergon Product:
BX3 Backpack Tried and true, big enough for the adventure mountain biker in mind. I took this pack with me through the heinously cold winter training last year (and stuffed full of food and clothing). I took it across the Annapurna Circuit of Nepal. It’s been covered in mud from some of my summer riding…and it’s still going strong.
Best new beer I tried:
Upslope Belgian Style Pale Ale (this is a seasonal release…and it’s amazing)
Countries I raced my bike in…: 6! I can’t believe it! US, Canada, Nepal, Germany, Costa Rica, Austria. Who knew? I wish I could make that happen again!
States I visited between work and racing: 12
Best new wine I tried:
Michael David Winery 6th Sense Syrah
Best trip: I had so many amazing experiences and trips where I experienced a great amount of growth in my mind and in my heart. I’m so lucky I got to see more of the world, and go back to some of my favorite places. I am so thankful for all the people I’ve met along the way this year that have touched my life. However, this is very easy. NEPAL!!!!!!!!
Thing that’s hard to believe: that this is my life! I pinch myself sometimes… I never thought I’d be where I am or doing the things I’ve been so fortunate to do. I am somehow living the dream and I still can’t believe it sometimes. One thing is certain. No regrets. <– I stole this from myself from last year, but it’s still true. I can’t believe it. 5 years ago I was finishing up my master’s degree in engineering…no way did I think I would be racing my bike at this level, or in other countries!
Favorite beat: I need 3… it’d be a crime if I didn’t put a dubstep one. However, I’ve really been loving Calvin Harris this year and simply cannot pass it up!
Example – Midnight Run (Flux Pavillion Remix)
Skrillex feat. The Doors
I need 2 again.
Lumineers – Stubborn Love. One of my favorite songs to play on my guitar too! Lumineers is probably my new favorite band of 2012 too.
Florence and the Machine really sticks out in my mind from the year too! This is Heartlines
Oh shit moment: About to descend down from 17,769′ and having NO brakes. And then throwing a violent hissy fit and walking a 9000′ descent!
Best reminder to myself: Find happiness and humor in the toughest of moments
Biggest surprise: That I was crazy enough to race Leadville 100 with a broken wrist in a cast.
Best book I read: I read tons of awesome books this year and it’s hard to pinpoint one. If I think of one that wasn’t part of a trilogy that stood on its own, it would be Kite Runner. I can’t wait to re-reread it.
Best new trail I rode:
Tire Mountain, Oakridge, OR
Favorite motivational quote of the year:
“Risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” – Leo Buscaglia
Yeah…you get some pretty cool jerseys at stage races. I love my collection…but the coolest jersey this year would be the 24 Hour Coed Duo National Champion Stars and Bars jersey!! This was actually my 3rd national title under the 24 hour umbrella, but it was especially meaningful this year with one of my favorite people as my teammate – Jon Davis. Thanks Jon!