Top 3 of 2009

Rooster asked me last year what my “Top 3 of the year were.”  I like the idea; it’s a dense statement of that person’s year.  My top three of this year are processes I’ve incorporated into my life.

Functional Cycling

I think it’s amazing to look back last year, at this time, when I was completing my first 6 months of bike commuting.  As a casual observer you might not notice the outward differences between how much I bike commute between last year and now, but from an inward perspective I see a great change.

Last year, bike commuting seemed like a big deal. As in, a hard-core activity.  Since then, I’ve discovered bicycle touring which catalyzed my love for getting around on a bicycle.  Bicycle touring changed the way I like to vacation: a slow, but moving adventure that throws you into someone else’s community faster and deeper.

I think bike touring changed my view of functional cycling from more of an ego based push to a more inward happiness pull.  Cycling to and fro work allows me to unwind.  It allows me to feel alive with the breeze against my face, the blood pumping through my veins, and the close-up visual appeal of watching the asphalt quickly transform from future to present to past.

I don’t have as much interest convincing people they should try bike commuting. It’s not that I care if you do or do not bike commute.  The thing is I just like to.

Give me bike, or give me liberty.

Dawn Patrolling

I think running on your own motivation is totally possible.  The human brain is a very powerful device.  So much so that I think running is 80% mental with the remaining half just being physical.

Running with others creates a social commitment for those days when you’d rather sleep in or sit around and watch football.  Some people are gifted with the natural drive to go out day after day and week after week training hard, but I don’t think the average person naturally has that gene.

The Dawn Patrol is a group that organically formed from the SoCal Trail Headz.  It’s a group that is entirely inviting and welcoming, with one exception: you need to be at the trail head at 5:00:00am.

Since I’m a half hour commute away, I usually wake at 4ish.  I have not once regretted waking harshly out of my peaceful slumber to run with this group. Actually, I cannot speak highly enough of this group, and I bet they would the same of me.  It’s a natural symbiotic journey together on the trails.

This group was the journey that helped me finish my first 50 mile race this year, set an Absolute Personal Record (APR) in the 50km, as well as PR in the marathon and the 50km.  Not to name drop, but the group constantly gets visited by such incredible people like the Easter Bunny, a leprechaun, Santa Claus, and Super E-Rod, to name a few.  And, the best part of all is that my body is now used to the process of waking abnormally early one to three times a week now!

Home Adventures

As far as project jargon goes, I would say that I am in the experimental phase of home adventures.  I consider a home adventure something of personal growth you experience in your place of temporary permanence.  For me this year, I allowed myself to watch televisiongrow stuff, and gain comfort wrenching on bikes.

There’s still a lot of room for growth — or adventure — in this area.  So, I have that going for me, which is nice.

I ask because I’m interested: What are your top 3 accomplishments for the year?


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