Monday, January 11, 2010

Racing for the Sake of Others

I do a lot of talking, theorizing, debating what is important in the world. Talking about a how a world like ours could be filled with love and peace. How people could become fully alive. I'm going to start talking less and doing more. A small part of this is what I'm calling Racing for the Sake of Others. It's a campaign to raise money for wells to be dug in communities around the world where there is no clean water. See, I love to race bikes but it's been all about me and the team for too long. I thought, surely i've got this gift and passion for more than just myself! So I'm taking pledges for each mile I ride this year starting with the next three months of training for the upcoming season. If you want to join the cause of making a real difference in the world and saving physical lives please join me by making a pledge or a straight donation. Check out my webpage at I'm aiming at 1000miles in the next three months but I'll post weekly mileage amounts on the site and facebook.
Please join me!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Six months

Wow! Our little boy is 6 mos already! Time flies. He's started eating cereal and had peas for the first time today. Noah continues to be such a sweet, laidback baby. He loves to jump and to laugh. We're so thankful for such a wonderful son! Here are a few of his six month pictures.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hot Race

Obviously, smokin hot and 80% humidity or more. Everyone sweating
just standing around.
Trail was in great shape. Fast with just enough grip to push it into
the turns and not slide out. There were a handful of muddy spots.
Before Start: Ben "Jeff, lets grow some nuts and push it at the start
and get ahead of some of these guys who have been beating us! Let's
make them pass us!" Jeff: "You wanna a hard sprint at the start
huh?" Ben: "Yep".
But Jeff didn't get there soon enough to get on the front of the start
line like I did. I thought he was screwd. But gun went off and Jeff
was right behind me as we held 5th and 6th place into the trail.
Three riders made some ground ahead of us and left us following some
guy who was doing ok until Cliffside trail's wet switchbacks. I
decided I'd try and pass him and make up the gap to the leaders. I
yelled back, "we need to pass this guy" and when I had a chance, I
passed on a turn. Jeff didn't make it with me but I was off and
feeling really good and fast. All was good, I was pulling those guys
in, until on a rocky section my chain fell off. It took me a good
minute to get it back on with my 1x9 chain guide in the way. 2 or 3
people passed w/o saying anything so I assumed Frame was one of them.
Finished lap one and saw Janet and asked if Frame had gone through yet
and she said "no". I assumed he'd flatted or something.
Lap two I was probably riding in 6th place or 7th until I had the
chain drop again! took another minute to put it on and that's when I
began to feel the "pinch" in the legs. I thought...."oh crap, I'm not
supposed to feel that until about 5 miles from the finish!". I ended
up dropping the chain again during lap 2, another 60 seconds.
Lap 3 I ate everything I had and going into it and was probably down
to 10th by that point. I was going really slow at this point. I knew
it was going to be painful as I was already fighting cramps in my
hamstrings. Then came cramps in my quads. When I would stand up to
pedal and reach the bottom of my pedal stroke, leg fully extended, my
leg would lock straight! I had to force it to bend again! 3/4
through the last lap my hammys were wanting to seize up when I dropped
the chain again. This time Frame came up on me while I was putting
'er back on. He asked if I needed anything, I didn't...just needed to
be finished! Got the chain on and he slowed for me to help get me
going again. I only stuck wth him for just over a mile or two and
just couldn't push my legs anymore. It felt like the Brown County
Breakdown kind of pain. My arse was friggin raw as my seat pounded me
over every little bump. I was suffering! I couldn't push the pedals
down and so my rear was just bouncing all over the place! I finished
my water 20 minutes before the lap was over. Was able to pass two
more experts before the finish though.
Finished 2 minutes and 1 place behind Jeff and we were both in the
bottom 1/4 of the results. Not our best race by any means. Tough day
in the saddle.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


This is gonna be vague just so you know. Sorry.

But, two weeks ago there was no sign of my dreams coming to fruition. I had settled in my heart and mind that I would settle back into the familiar and common way I had experience in the past. My passion and dream didn't seem to working out and so I had set it aside and was in a kind of funk, but didn't want to push what could have been my own desires and not God's will. Then the intervention!
Two weeks ago I was confronted by a good friend about what I've done with my dreams and passions. He got in my face, through iChat, and told me I'd probably regret not running after this dream. He told me the things I thought needed to be in place did not have to be in place if God was with me in this. He reminded me of the way I felt alive when pursuing this dream. But there was frustration at the end of the conversation. I didn't want to have to wrestle with the dream again. It was hard to pray and to think and to process. It's work to seek God and listen. It's hard to wrestle with decisions that radically redirect the trajectory of your and your family's life. And I had settled it already in my mind and didn't want it brought back up. Then there was another intervention!
Two days later a friend from out of state, who comes into town one time a year, had lunch with me and asked about how pursuing my dream was going. I told him my fears and how I set it aside but how I had been confronted recently. And for the next hour my false perceptions of what it would take to live the dream was revealed. My confusion over my understanding of what God has called me into was clarified. I realized I was putting pressure on myself to become a different kind of person and leader because I thought the dream couldn't be realized without this kind of person. That got blown out of the water as my friend retold me my dream and showed me that the kind of person needed to pull it off what just who I am! I felt a sense of freedom I hadn't felt for a long while!
And from that day so much has happened. I mean a whole bunch! Confirmation after confirmation has been given. Family is 'on board', friends too, resources are available, mentors are saying "yes" and much more! And I'm being moved everyday with thankfulness and wondering why I get to live into my dreams and how God could be so good and his timing so perfect!
As more develops I'll be sure to post for the three of you who still look at this page!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

PIcture of Heaven?

Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft writes:

"Medievil imagery (which is almost totally biblical imagery of light, jewels, stars, candles, trumpets, and angels no longer fits our ranch-style, supermarket world. Pathetic modern substitutes of fluffy clouds, sexless cherubs, harps and metal halos (not halos of light) presided over by a stuffy divine Chairman of the Bored are a joke, not a glory. Even more modern, more up-to-date substitutes--Heaven as a comfortable feeling of peace and kindness, sweetness and light, and God as a vague grandfatherly benevolence, a senile philanthropist--are even more insipid. Our pictures of Heaven simply do not move us; they are not moving pictures. It is this aesthetic failure rather than intellectual or moral failures in our pictures of Heaven and of God that threatens faith most potently today. Our pictures of Heaven are dull, platitudinous and syrupy; therefore, so is our faith, our hope, and our love of Heaven." -Everything You Wanted to Know About Heaven

"If our pictures", John Eldridge says, "of heaven are to move us, they must be moving pictures. So go ahead-dream a little. Use your imagination. Picture the best possible ending ot your story you can. If that isn't heaven , something better is. When Paul says, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor 2:9) , he simply means we cannot out dream God. What is at the end of our personal journeys? Something beyond our wildest imagination. But if we explore the secrets of our heart in the light of the promises of Scripture, we can discover clues. As we have said, there is in the heart of every man, woman and child an inconsolable longing for intimacy, for beauty, and for adventure. What will heaven offer to our heart of hearts?"- The Sacred Romance

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Story We Find Ourselves In

Elie Wiesel suggests that "God created man because he loves stories". If we are wanting to understand the mystery of life we may want to explore it in story. We have a great hurdle to leap if we are to have our eyes opened, for we are children of the Enlightenment and the Post Modern era.

This Era, John Eldridge says, has been causing us to loose our Story. "The Enlightenment dismissed the idea that there is an Author but tried to hang on to the idea that we could still have a larger story, life could still make sense, and everything was headed in a good direction. Western culture rejected the mystery and transcendence of the Middle Ages and placed its confidence in pragmatism and progress, the pillars of the Modern Era, the Age of Reason. But once we had rid ourselves of the Author, it didn't take long to lose the larger story. In the Postmodern Era, all we have left is our small stories. It's not pentecost, it's time for spring training. our role models are movie stars, and the biggest taste of transcendence is the opening of the ski season. Our best expressions are on the level of "Have a nice day." The only reminder we have of a story beyond our own is the evening news, an arbitrary collection of scenes and images without any bigger picture into which they fit. The central belief of our times is that there is no story, nothing hangs together, all we have are bits and pieces, the random days of our lives. Tragedy still brings us to tears and heroism still lifts our hearts, but there is no context for any of it. Life is just a sequence of images and emotions without rhyme or reason." from The Sacred Romance.

So what happens if we are created in a grand story and yet don't have eyes to see it? We create our own little stories to bring meaning to our lives. Deep within us we are meant to live within a grand story and to deny that leads to searching smaller stories or creating our own. What are these smaller stories? For could be mountain biking. For you? Maybe it's sports, politics, tv shows, music. Or maybe you create your own story...More on that later.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The World of the Gospel

"It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to what side because appearances are endless deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who life happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name...That is the fairy tale of teh Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still." - Frederick Buechner in Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale