I knew I was going to suffer financially, but after the 2013 Arrowhead, my bicycle racing fund was as empty as my heart when I dropped the race after 80ish miles due to time constraints and snow.
From there, things got pretty dark in my life. I was back in Denver working for peanuts, kidding myself into believing there was a way to race. When it became evident that there really was no extra money to do so and the racing team I was a part of turned to shit, I grabbed the lightest, fastest road bike I could from the demo fleet at the shop which I was working and put miles and miles of pavement behind me. I pedaled out my hatred of city living, frustrations stemming from finances, dull relationships and the nothingness of the everyday grind in which I was drowning.
The biggie I could not pedal away, however, was that there was to be no bikepacking for me in 2013. No epic trips across Arizona, no score-settling with the Colorado Trail and no Tour Divide adventures to savor. Nope. I was out.
That sent me into a tailspin deep within. Deeper and deeper into a hole. A big, ugly, black hole....
From the bottom of that hole, my life consisted of constantly tear-stained cheeks, hollow eyes and a fake smile that hid the battle I fought with self-confidence, self worth and motivation. I had no real goals, purpose or motivation. A vicious circle of negativity clouded my thoughts and I was, in a word, a mess. I would look back through pictures of all the amazing people, adventures, mountains, trails, races and scenery that I had known and instead of cherishing the times, I would feel this sense of fear that they were to never come again.
Yeah, pretty dark in my old heart last winter....
But hope and optimism still resided inside. I honestly don't think I am the type of personality that will ever lose them completely. In the darkest of dark and the toughest of tough I have always felt a radiant light burning bright in my chest. Never have I truly believed all hope is lost. I hold the eduring belief that times always get bettter, no matter how hard it is to see in the moment. I clung to this and prayed a lot and continued to flounder along through the motions.
Then, as spring came around, I found horses again. If you follow my incessant ramblings on this blog, you will remember a few posts about my polo farm adventures.
Slowly, I made some changes in my life, some AMAZING people extended their hands to pick me up off my face and the Jillfire is roaring again. I work a job that brings in a little more than peanuts and is structured so I can take time off for racing. I work long hours, but I have a huge goal that drives me out of bed every morning at 4am.
And now the hard part of this blog.....asking.
*Long, deep, 9-count inhale*
*Slow, even, exhale*
It has taken me over a month to post this although it takes up a great deal of my daily thoughts:
It is with a most humble approach that I have added a donation button to the top, right side-bar of this blog. If it is in your heart to help me see my dream become a reality and follow this blog and my writing as I live it, although I will never find any words in any language to express my deep and genuine gratitude for your kindness, know that you helped make my absolutely epic journey possible....