Case of the S’pose’das

According to me, myself AND that dude I, I ( or we…or me) am supposed to be posting every Sunday.

Maybe.

I’m also “s’pose’da” watch the news, follow football and drink beer. – 😮

That’s right. I don’t watch the news.

I’ve not watched the news for many years now. I forget how many. Why?

It’s simple. It didn’t make me feel good. It’s pretty negative and the “feel good” stories are typically weak, patronizing and late to the party.

I do my best to focus on positive things and forward progress. Conscious decisions and communications on being a better human.

Now, all this said, I do occasionally get notifications on my from from Apple/CNN.

Let’s take a look at some that I saved to remind me not to read (no, the irony… contradiction and hypocrisy is not lost on yours truly) :

While some may look at this as simple information and aren’t affected, not I. This stuff affects me. There are real people behind these blurbs. Maybe I’m jaded. Having worked in broadcast media I understand spin and ratings and targets. Stuff like that is hard to forget.

So for me. No direct broadcast media. Sure I can’t be completely devoid of it but I make choices about what I invest.

I’ll learn all I need when I go grocery shopping:

I kid I kid… let’s keep it positive. Here…have a snack:

B

Horses & Sub Zero Are The Same

Wow…Clydesdale’s are beautiful. Like REALLY damn beautiful. Majestic even! Mortal Kombat is possibly one of the worst movies franchise of all time. I’m going to rant and basically further unrelated the two.

As I may or may have not have mentioned I worked in a bike shop during my formative years (not really because I’m still forming). I learned a lot there. The bike industry and culture has many unique and oddly appropriated terms. Take for example…”Clydesdale”. Many a Saturday afternoon I’d be turning a wrench while overhearing dudes utter phrases like “…is there a Clydesdale class?” Now hearing this for the first few times I was like -“WTH? Horses?” Which probably wouldn’t have surprised me because… well… the folks who were able to spend thousands on bikes could have (and possibly were) spent those same thousands on horses. Of course I not so quickly learned that the term “Clydesdale” in the cycling world means a road cyclist who weighs in at 200lbs or more. Haven’t heard the term in years #because2018 I guess.

As of a few days ago I am a Clydesdale.

Now what does that even mean? Why does it really matter? Well, nothing and it doesn’t in the grand scheme of things.

The technical ramifications mean a lower power to weight ratio. I’m slow on the bike. I don’t want to be slow on the bike.

In looking back though there was a time when my goal was actually to reach 200lbs/ 8% body fat. It was wayyyy back. I mean back in the day. There is a scene in the original Mortal Kombat movie with some random goon, minion, flunky dude:

I remember thinking “I want to be cut like THAT dude and weigh in at a solid 200.” Granted the guy got literally destroyed by Sub Zero and I was only 17… but I was serious. I wanted to pack on muscle. So I started body weight exercise. No free weights or machines and I for damn sure didn’t have a gym membership. Eventually I got there. This was also during the brief time I was modeling (If one can call it that). Take it from me, if you ever want to develop some strange concepts of body image and self-worth… try modeling for a few years as a teen. Moving on, a lil after that I was riding more BMX street. Then downhill/dual slalom. Weight was not a thought. I did not own, see, touch or remember a scale of any kind being in my life.

Then I start road cycling and power to weight mattered. Not at first. At first I just rode the damn bike like you are supposed to. I was getting fitter, sure and I typically hung out at about 178lbs. But that was then this is now(ish).

In 2017 I decided it’d be a great idea to only drink water for a year. On one hand it was great I went from 215 down to 190 in about 6mos. On the other hand – chocolate milk is delicious and I missed chocolate milk. A lot.

Long story short I made it about 340 days but I learned a great deal about myself and my body. While I don’t have the same body image issues I had at 20, for me, it’s not possible to be completely devoid of them while they I’m in this physical form. I know that emotionally loosing/maintaining weight center around how I feel and how I perform. Not as much how I look. Back in the day the confidence in who I was and the relationship I had with myself wasn’t as solid. Now? Now I’m a beautiful Clydesdale thick, juicy and slow. I’m working more, riding less and at 200lbs, keeping the weight down is a bit of a challenge as of late.

DID SOMEONE SAY CHALLENGE?????? I do enjoy a challenge so challenge it is.

So, It’s November 11th. I have until 12/31/18 11:59:59 to weigh in at 185lbs.

It’s that simple.

Why am I doing this?

  1. To ride more efficiently.
  2. Because looking back on it – that movie really is horrible and I need to disassociate from it.
  3. Because having goals, specific targets, keeps me motivated and accountable.

I’m Out!✌🏾

Prince of Pop

He made me cry. He’s 4.

These are two songs that I’m familiar with only because I’m human. In 2018 they are arguably still two of the most popular songs being played. Everywhere. Though they are both many years old at this point.

Ellis loves both of these songs. I know they have dance parties at his PreK and that’s clearly where he hears them enough to memorize them. He can’t help sing and dance and then gets embarrassed when I see him singing and dancing. It’s funny.

For some reason today it hit me. Hard.

Shake it Off and Happy. Simple pop melodies. Yet some of the key challenges we all face. That HE will face throughout his life. There’s so much ahead of him.

All of the tribulations the hurt. The poor decisions. The anguish. Misunderstandings. All of the things we do to try to be happy. The things we can’t seem to shake off.

This lil boy has it figured out. Not really. But the message resonates in him. Today, as I sat and ate a slice of pizza it passed through him on to me… bringing me to tears. You know the kind that just trickle down and all you can do is breathe?

My sons teach me things I didn’t know I needed to know. They produce a feeling in me that I can never shake off. A feeling beyond being happy.

How to fly

What does it mean to be human. How do we know each other and more importantly how do we know ourselves. What we are capable of? Our paths?

After reading this book many years ago I started to formulate that we don’t. We never know.

We just live. Guess. Push. Believe and have faith that what we are doing will serve our soul.

Forget what others believe. Follow what your soul says.

The book was published in 2003. I read it in 2005 and have followed Graeme Obree in the news and media. From what I know the guy has been through a lot. He has been praised, honored, broken, vilified and everything in between.

He’s a pretty unique character in the world of cycling and in many ways has been one of my cycling inspirations. He’s stuck to his troubled soul despite the naysayers.

In 2018 through science and tech the champion, genius, innovator, hero was quantified:

SLACK

I’ve been slacking. Lazy. Procrastinating. Lollygagging but worst of all- Half Steppin!

Sure, life has gotten busy. Family needs always come first. My boys social schedule comes 2nd (having mean, unpopular, antisocial and downright horrible children may have its benefits 🤔). Life will ALWAYS be busy. I’ve been busy since I was 11. I cannot think of a time where I had nothing to do.

Nope… not once.

So, here’s to not being a lump and getting back on the bike!

No more slack

http://www.brian43.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/quik_2018-03-06_18-49-51-1.mov

I have no excuses. Skratch Labs keeps me hydrated. GoPro is my eye on the ground!

✌🏾

The Universal Solvent?

As a kid I remember hearing this uttered for the first time probably around 4th or 5th grade. I’ve always had a fondness for science. Not a love mind you but more than a like. Maybe a “mild appreciation”? I enjoy how wrong science is willing to be (sometimes). There are these rule. These foundational understandings that whole societies are built upon. Then, some years later, a person (or persons) come through with a revolutionary thought totally negating hundreds of years, and millions of individual perceptions and understandings. There’s something so humbling about that. It is SOOOOOOO serious yet knows that it can be swayed, discounted, debunked or dismissed.

Why wouldn’t water be at the top of the food chain? It can seep into anything, transform anything, dissolve just about anything. All living organisms need it. Life as we know it is nothing without it. Though my feeling lately, it’s not water that is the “universal” solvent.

It is time.

Where there is no water there is time. No light… still time. Where there is pain there is time. Where there is ignorance, doubt, healing, desire- time. Time is a universal and most valuable currency.

Time affects and changes all.

It is indeed working against us yet on our side. Both at the same…

Something old, something blue

If you’ve noticed or not I have a connection with the color blue. People ask “what’ your favorite color” and of course I say blue but it’s more than that. Having a “favorite” denotes that one would likely have gone through a series of choices and come to the reasonable conclusion that this is the one you like. For me, there’s really not much of a choice.

I have come to accept this fact and have lived my life accordingly. Just about everything I own has a hint of blue or I have a blue version of it.

One of my bikes:

Another one of my bikes: (Yes…that says Blue. There is indeed a bike company named Blue that, ironically, makes bikes of other colors)

One of my favorite albums:

I work by the water:

I’m usually not the person to ask many questions. I’m pretty accepting of things. When you feel something you feel it. The color resonates with me. It puts me in a mood. Grabs my attention. It really is a chemical reaction or some type of neurological response in my synapses. Clearly by the previous statement I am not a doctor but I know there is something going on up there.

This door always grabs my attention when I walk by. Most days I just stop and stare (oh man… Maybe I should stop. The people that live there may be freaked out).

Big things. Small things. All things.

My apparent on Walnut Street in Philly, Circa 2000:

At this stage in my life I decided to ask myself why. Why is my favorite color blue?

As far back as I can remember my first memory of the color blue was the blue frame on one of those spring suspended rocking horses.

I’m glad I still have my limbs

Nah I don’t think that thing really solidified my connection. Primarily because when I think about those things I don’t feel anything. Nothing remotely close to that feeling that resonates with me.

Using this, most likely incorrect and rudimentary methodology, points me to something that does resonate. Something that does evoke a similar feeling and connection to the memories and experiences associated to it.

Yup… The Blue Angels.

Recently the family went to the National Air and Space Museum.

Like any red blooded Americans we stopped at the gift shop. After much debate and many tears my youngest walked out with this:

A small blue angel pullback jet. And then it hit me. My grandfather used to take me to see the blue angels. He also used to take me to a small airstrip in Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoons in the summer. We would just sit there in the grass, look at the sky and watch the planes land. His dream was for me to be a pilot.

I remember laying on my back just staring up at the sky for hours and hours on end. I was young, probably about five or six but I’m pretty sure it had this impact on me. As soon as I took a few minutes and stared at my boy playing with his airplane at home it hit me. One of the first toys I can remember was a blowup Blue Angels airplane that my grandfather got me from an airshow at the Willow Grove Naval Air Force Base. It was cheap plastic tethered to an even cheaper wooden stick. At some point my grandfather tied it to my ceiling.

I had it for years. Many years. In some ways, it left such an imprint that it never left.

You know what… I could be wrong. It could be something in my DNA or maybe I was socialized into the boy/masculine norm we all know so well. Maybe. But that Blue Angels explanation feels right so I’ll stick with it.

B