Monday, January 23, 2017

Alta Loma, California

The past 48 hours have been pretty interesting. Finished the drive into California yesterday morning. Chris and I arrived to his parents house a little after noon and started to settle in. Shockingly it seems like CA is getting a lot of rain. It prohibited us from riding outside yesterday and had to settle for taking turns riding the rollers in the garage.

Last night I called it early sleeping by 8 o'clock. I was awoken by a car alarm around midnight, soon after I heard voices being exchanged outside. I was laying in bed overhearing someone getting their car repossessed. Soon I realized this person was the guy I was drove out here with. First I was thinking oh crap my car keys are in his car and then I thought about how we are now stuck in California with no way of getting to the track the next morning. Then I made up some crazy idea that it was some sort of elaborate car jacking and my keys were never gonna be seen again and my car would also be useless. I lost several hours of sleep last night rolling back and forth with all these crazy thoughts going through my mind.

The next morning I still woke up at 6 like we had planned and was wondering how the morning would play out. We ate breakfast as if nothing had happened, he didn't know that I overheard the entire thing happen. Soon he told me the news and I don't think he was expecting me to be as calm as I was. By no means was it his fault the car was repo'd. He has always been properly ensured and has paid on time every time. The lender he is going through hadn't listed he was properly ensured or something along those lines and ended up falsely having his car towed away. We drove to the track in his parents pick up truck which we are both surprised actually got us there. He called the impound and got everything sorted away and was able to pick up his car later that day thankfully.

The track was a lot of fun today, there was a decent sized group we trained with. The LA track makes me nervous at first, the surface feels like a basketball court and the maximum banking in the corner is 45 degrees. If you don't go through the corners carrying enough speed you run the risk of sliding down the track. Anyone experienced enough will know that and is safe to do a warm up with. Unfortunately that happened today in one of the warm up groups. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt just some egos. I wasn't very happy once the two groups got put together for some of the warm up efforts. That big of a group on an unfamiliar track with such varying ability levels seemed like a recipe for disaster. Luckily the rest of the training session went on without a hitch. After that Chris and I bailed rather quickly to beat traffic and ended up going for an easy spin once we got back to Alta Loma.

The next couple days will be more of the same at the track. It will probably be a couple days before I update unless something else crazy happens. Thanks to those who reached out after the last update. I appreciate your concern but I think everything will be alright. I just really needed to get that off my chest. I feel a lot better now but I will make sure to update everything here as a public journal to stay accountable for.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Kingman, AZ

It's been a rough couple days now. Anxiety, depression, and second guessing myself. I don't think I made it a secret I was seconding guessing my decision to move out to Colorado. During the days while I am keeping busy everything is okay but once it gets later in the afternoon towards bed time thoughts become dark. This is nothing new, I suffered from the same thing back home in Minnesota. The thoughts just manifest into different subjects.

The depression goes back a couple years now, it comes and goes but seems to always manifest at night. My thoughts go dark, really dark at times. Back home when I was really not sure what I was doing and going through the trouble of life seemed to challenging I would wonder if it would just be easier to end it. I have only admitted this to someone once before and soon after instead of trying to support and be there for me said person left me. The only other time I came close to admitting it was when I was at the doctor for my anxiety and couldn't bring myself to actually say it in fear of crying in front of him. The depression was something I could manage, riding my bike has always helped the most, at night when it got to its worst as I lay in bed I would remind myself that it went away in the morning. The anxiety and panic attacks were something I couldn't manage. I didn't plan on going to see a doctor, I never really thought about it until someone else in a round about way set it up for me. At the time I didn't realize what was causing it. I never went on medication for it but my doctor suggested I need to find what is the root of my struggle and face it head on to try and come to grips with it and use other mechanisms to lessen the attacks. I didn't wanna go on medication and I am glad he suggested this way of approaching things. I haven't had the sever attacks like I did at the start. Those were unbearable, I couldn't function. The closest thing I can describe them as feeling like is just pure dying. A heart attack, stroke, or some sort of body failure is what they feel like. Now that I know what they are I have to really focus to get through them but at times it's hard to remind yourself that it's just a panic attack. Especially when one of the biggest causes of my anxiety is the worrying about my own health. I have never known what it feels like to be completely able. I started off life not playing with a full deck of cards and I think to myself in those dark nights if it got any worse where I couldn't be as able as I already am I don't think I could go on anymore and would rather just die. That is something I have never been able to admit.

I'm not trying to get attention by putting this out on the internet. I am doing this for myself as a way to face my demons. Secondly I am doing this because I have always had the feeling I couldn't talk to people about these things. I think if it was something people could more easily admit to loved ones and friends we wouldn't have to suffer from these kinds of thoughts and would have healthy outlets. I don't want others to go through this kind of emotional suffering and I sure as hell don't wanna go through it anymore.

The drive today was rough, Chris Murphy and I are in the process of driving to LA to go race on the Velodrome. I was more home sick before I had left Minnesota and it returned as we drove through New Mexico and Arizona. Being in the desert for an extended period of time in a car with nothing but my thoughts made me think of home and how much better Minnesota is than those two states. It made me home sick. Not home sick of the people I left behind (yes I still miss and love all of you) but more home sick of how beautiful and comforting MN is. I am sure once I get back to Colorado I will remember how much I love it there but at the moment NM and AZ really have me down. I have no desire to ever return to these states ever again.

I am sorry if tonight's post was a little dark but I felt like I really needed to get those things off my chest. We will finish the drive to LA tomorrow and once we are settled in I will update what is going on. For those of you whom have read this post in its entirety I appreciate it.

Thank you,

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Olympic Training Center COS, CO

I can't say I am completely settled in yet. More that I just have a mess of my stuff all over my dorm. In other words it's no different from being home. It would be nice to have a little bit more room to organize all my gear but I will just have to make due with what I have. Sleeping at altitude is something to get used to. My respiration rate is higher and I have a hard time staying asleep. I am sure this will subside once I become more acclimated.

Yesterday was pretty uneventful, checked into the OTC, and started unpacking all my gear. I managed to get a short spin in before hand. The altitude is still noticeable, from what I have read it can take six weeks to acclimate to it. On the ride I wasn't feeling my heartbeat through my neck as much as I was on Sunday. Living here is mildly intimidating, I don't entirely know my way around and probably look more like a lost tourist than an athlete.

This morning there was a long team meeting that covered a lot of random information. The most difficult part was I had to pee about every 30 mins. I guess that is what I get when I keep downing water. The team gathered for a ride at 1400, was a very easy pace. With such a big group it was mildly hectic trying to escape town, not that we ever did, we rode over to Manitou Springs and back. Chatted with the Residency Coach Simon Bennett for a little while. Seems like a very bright guy who was very easy to talk to. I am very excited to be working with him from here on.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Colorado Springs, CO

The laughing was uncontrollable, it wasn't hysterical but disbelief. I left my hotel to go get an hour ride in today once the snow seemed to settle down and while it was moderately warm. I was laughing because I had been riding for half an hour and only gone up hill. This is something I have never experienced. I was riding towards the mountains just in awe of the beauty they possess.

Left North Platte bright and early this morning in efforts to beat the weather that was supposed to hit Colorado Springs. The skies were overcast as we continued west and there was a mist that came down from the clouds. Visibility was a minimum unfortunately, seeing the mountains in the distance as we approached never happened. Once I got into Denver I really didn't care I was still an hour away. I was so excited to be so close and right next to the mountains.

Riding today was just what I needed, the temp was warm at 35 degrees and the roads were only slightly wet. Managed to do a 13 mile loop but within that I climbed 1,300 feet. These numbers really don't make my ride seem like a lot but the amount of climbing I did just in that little loop made the ride an absolute blast.

Moving into the OTC tomorrow, planning on taking the morning pretty chill. I don't really know what to expect once I move in. There is going to be a pretty steep learning curve. I'm just going to keep my head down for awhile and try to learn how things work. In less than a week I'll be driving to LA for racing.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

North Platte, NE

I have lost count how many times I have tried starting up a blog and actually keeping it up to date. This time I have a little more motivation to do so. With this new journey I am embarking on I have had multiple requests for a way to keep everyone up to date. I found this would accomplish tasks, first keeping people informed of my endeavors, second a place where I can reflect on what I have done and vent my frustration and thank those who help me, finally I want to be able to look back on this adventure ten, twenty, thirty years from now and remember what I have done. 

For those of you whom are under informed I have been selected for the residency program for cycling at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Spring. I am typing this from a hotel in North Platte, NE. I really wanted to get this blog started soon to give me a place to release my thoughts whatever they may be. 

This first week I will probably be pretty adamant about updating this blog just to fill in the past month or so of all that has happened leading me up to this point. I want to elaborate on some demons that have been haunting me because I feel like once I face them and get it out in the open it will help me accept and face what has been really causing me a lot of pain and anxiety. More on that soon.

Last for tonight I just feel the need to thank everyone who was there Thursday night to wish me off. The impact all of you have had in my life has been very significant and I love you all. I cried when I got home that night because of the love I felt and what I am leaving behind. I had second thoughts all the way up till last night until I read some of the cards I was given and realized everyone is rooting for me and has confidence that I can come out here and accomplish my goals. I thank you all so much and love you dearly.