Saturday, November 2, 2013

With A Most Humble Heart...

A year ago today, I was on my bike ripping through some switchbacks somewhere singing along with my ipod at the top of my lungs. My entire body, soul and heart were smiling at the fact that my last shift pouring drinks was 24 hours prior. It gave me a colossal surge of energy, strength and happiness to finally beat the living shit out of that heavy, annoying and crippling monkey that had been hanging on to my shoulders and camping out on my back for so many years. I had finally won the inner battle, realizing absolutely NO amount of quick cash I could make was worth the toll this job was taking on my mind, relationships, overall wellness and energy level.

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.

The goal?


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....

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