I’m trying to find a balance. A life balance that inspires ikigai – the Japanese concept meaning, “a reason for being”. Ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day stress, but enjoying life and living it to the fullest is essential to finding ikigai. Raising a family, working 8-5, and racing cyclocross creates quite the hectic schedule. It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time.
I usually wake up to the sound of my 20 month old son saying, “Mama” from his room across the hall. Then brew up some coffee and before I know it I’m rushing out the door, late for work! If I drive it takes 15-20 minutes, if I pedal it takes 30-40. Lunch rides are a definite perk of working at Feedback Sports. Typically, we ride for an hour and have 15 minutes on each end to eat, shower and change. It really is amazing and I feel very fortunate to be afforded this luxury. 4pm is beer:30 and that’s usually enjoyed with a crisp Coors Banquet. Riding home and avoiding the manic rush our is the best way to decompress and when I walk in the door to see my wife and son, I realize why I’m on this planet!
This past weekend was particularly intense and perhaps one of the best yet this season for many reasons. I signed up to race the Cross of the North – a 3 day omnium cyclocross race in Fort Collins, CO. Our expo set up was pro and we had several of our new Omnium Trainers for people to try out. I personally warmed up and cooled down on one all 3 days. Friday night was the first race and it started at 8:45 under the lights! It was awesome – fun course, great atmosphere and lots of friends out there. It made for a late night since we were eating Yellowbelly chicken in the parking lot until 11pm and the drive home took well over an hour.
Saturday morning was all about family. We slept in until 8 – which is late for us – Lauren made us an awesome breakfast, then we headed out to the pumpkin patch! Everett loved it and we met some other co-workers with kids out there to hang out and have a picnic before heading up to the race. I love when my wife and son come to the races. Now that Everett is getting bigger, he is riding his strider around the venue and we actually did a couple laps of the kid course together! As I was getting prepared for my race at 4:30, I noticed Danny Summerhill roll up. Turns out he rode from Boulder to Fort Collins and was going to jump in the race. I already knew how this was going to end up… he WON! It sure was fun racing with him and cooling down on the Omnium together – he’s such a cool dude! After the race, Lauren, Everett and I went out for a nice steak dinner.
I knew Sunday was going to be tough, especially since I turned myself inside out to stay with Summerhill as long as possible on Saturday. I managed to get the holeshot and lead the first lap, but then I detonated and went backwards to finish 8th on the day. Luckily, my points added up from all three days were enough to win the Omnium. I was thrilled to take the top step for the weekend and proud to take my new Alchemy bike with me! Everyone that cheered me on out there really made the experience that much better, so thank you! There was heckling, beer hand ups, mechanicals, and of course lots of cowbells!
I thought it was ironic that warming up on the new Omnium Trainer was vital to my success in winning the Omnium at Cross of the North. I’ve never really been much of a “trainer/roller” guy much less a “warm up/cool down” guy. When you have a trainer as smooth and easy as the Omnium, there is no excuse not to! It folds up smaller than my duffle bag and weighs less than 14lbs. It utilizes a rear wheel roller platform that easily adjusts to any wheel base and will accommodate essentially any fork mount on the market! With our universal fork mount and the free floating roller platform, you don’t need to have any balance – so that gives me some time to keep trying to find mine! The internal progressive resistance is a magnetic system that is built into the rollers and is unlike anything else on the market. As you increase wattage, the resistance gets harder – it’s about as close to riding the road without the actual road. Needless to say, I was thouroughly warm for all 3 race starts. Cooling down afterwards, with a cold one and my son was the best way to cap off the weekend! I’m pretty sure I’ve found my ikigai…
Photo Credits: Annette Hayden from Mountain Moon Photography.