Friday, August 28, 2015

Ride To The Barns- Recap

Last weekend I completed this years ride to the barns 65-mile bike ride along with Kyle and two friends. We woke up around 5:30AM to get in a hearty breakfast and lots of stretching. I decided to have a bowl of oatmeal mixed with fruit and an egg topped with avocado. That way I would have a well rounded, energy packed breakfast to sustain our journey. It was a beautiful morning and we arrived at our starting point in Hartford, checked in, and hit the pavement around 8:00AM with a slow roll out. This was the first time Kyle and I have ever biked 65 miles so it was a fun milestone and experience to complete together. After starting in Hartford, we made our way through multiple counties such as Ashippun, Oconomowoc, Dousman, Ottawa, Delafield and so forth.

Throughout the ride we had four different rest stops which were hosted by local farms along the way.

Our first rest stop was at mile 20. 

Each farm offered riders a selection of food, music, and lots of Skratch which we both had for the first time and LOVED!


 We refueled and on we went. Riding against the wind during the first half of our ride was tough. Not to mention we didn't have the best road bikes so it made our ride a bit challenging. Luckily we were able to catch a break with the wind on our backs for the last 20 miles or so which was a nice relief. It was funny as we passed through certain cities Kyle would point out some of our friends homes from when they were growing up. We'd point, shout out their names like crazy people, and excitedly wave like we haven't seen them in years. Keep in mind we were never waving at people. So yep! We were those people...

We continued with our ride, rest, and repeat. Hitting the rest of our farms along the way. 

As we neared the last half I was over taking pictures. Looking back I wish I would have snapped some while we were riding, but at that point there was no time to allow any extra stops. The last 5 miles were the most brutal. I think by then our legs were starting to get fatigued and the wind really picked up. My left knee was a bit achy by this point so I was feeling ready for the finish. And we made it! 65 miles and we did it together. We celebrated with some well deserved Fat Tires, more food, and music.

Now I can't wait for the next one. Especially after I received an early birthday surprise the next day with a brand new whip!

A great surprise always includes blindfolds. 

Pedal on!

Friday, August 21, 2015

It's never too late

Hello again! Today I am switching things up from my usual Friday sign off and links. Since our return from vacation we have been busy settling back into real life again, which I'm sure you know can be a bit of an adjustment. Lately I've been thinking about how life changes as we grow up and how I hear more and more of these "it's too late to do...X,Y,Z." Whether it be the media feeding in this youth is the prime garbage OR society as a whole sending a message of life is work and no time for yourself crap, there's a tendency to undermine your abilities. Think about it, don't you think there are more responses of surprise or admiration for people who are "older" doing things they love or pushing themselves to new and difficult challenges? I do.

Why is that? Why are we surprised? Unfortunately I don't have the answer(s). Perhaps I'm even reading too much into it and making this a bigger deal than it needs to be, but I don't care how old you are or how many previous opportunities you've passed. It's not too late! If we want to get technical, unless you are referring to living in a time capsule and wishing you could relive a previous experience than you've got me beat. But I will also argue you have control of what's happening NOW in your life. Even though I hate the word control, more than you'll ever know, I'm going to use it as a way to see that we can all make a choice with what we have in the here and now. 

This weekend I'm riding in a 65 mile bike ride/race. Am I nervous and scared? Yes. Am I excited? Even more. While I've been training, I've never biked a whole 65 miles in my life. Maybe you're thinking "that's nothing," and I'm making this a bigger deal than it needs to be, but its a big deal to me. As I mentioned, it hasn't happened before and it's going to be a good challenge. You see, I'm hinging on 28 and never got remotely serious about cycling until about a year and a half ago. Sure I'd putz around but never used it as a means to really push myself past my limits. Like running, cycling has taught me how to embrace the challenges and unpredictability of my journey. If you asked me ten years ago if I would picture myself riding 65 miles I would have thought you were dreaming. 

One thing I'm noticing about myself as I age is that I push myself harder to live bigger and be kinder. Compassion is the best gift we are given as human beings. And giving yourself compassion is the first place to start. So instead of telling yourself all the reasons why you can't, shouldn't, OR should be blah,blah,blah. Start being gentle with yourself and discover what's kept you from doing what you want. I once read to ask yourself... "If I weren't afraid I would___________." As you incorporate this question more and more you'll begin to recognize your true desires and authenticity. Don't let a silly old number or fear hold you back from your true potential. Cast judgements aside and go out there and live it. 

Tomorrow I will be pedaling right into fear and uncertainty. Wish me luck. I'll see you next week!

What have you been avoiding? 

Was there a time when you punched fear in the face? 

What helped you do it? I'd love to hear.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. You know how I am about music, so I have to share my new obsession with "How Deep is Your Love" by Calvin Harris. To relate it with this post, see if you can listen to it and think about your passion and what you want out of life... Can you take it deeper? (Yes I already am aware I'm a cheese ball. Thanks for putting up with me ;-) 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Desperate times call for desperate measures

The most horrible thing you could ever imagine happened last night. There. Was. A. Bat. In. The. House. What did I do? Well I handled it like any sane human being would. I panicked. Jumped, screamed, and barrel rolled towards the nearest blanket. There I laid flat, like I was hiding from someone during an intense game of hide-and-seek. Making sure any opening was tightly sealed shut. Because clearly the bat would not find me under there! I guess all those episodes of extreme infestation have paid off!

Monday, August 10, 2015

So long!

Aloha! How was your weekend? We are back up north for our annual vaca, but this time we are spending a whole week on the lake which is the longest we've ever been up here. Internet and basic reception has been extremely difficult to come by, which is also why I kind of just seemingly disappeared. But I wanted to pop in and let you know there may be bit of silence this week. Depending on if and when I'm able to get access to Internet long enough to make it through a post.

In the meantime I hope your Monday is treating you well! We woke up early to catch some fishies and now we're laying out before we get some good skiing in. We mostly caught some small bass and I still hate getting the fish off the hook so I leave Kyle on that duty ;-)

What did you do this weekend? Anybody spend some time on the water?

Take care and see you soon! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What's the most important quality you look for in a partner?

Recently I was chatting with a friend about her dating adventures and a relationship she had decided to call quits. She shared she likes and dislikes of the relationship and the reasoning behind her decision. And like any good friend I quizzed her on what she actually wants in a relationship and the types of men she's attracted to. (See what I'm doing here?) I'm THAT stereotypical matchmaker friend. I'm going to find you a man! We ended our conversation with me on her phone, jokingly swiping right for yes and left no. Using a popular dating app, Tinder. As I can imagine what you're thinking right now, I'm REALLY scoring friend points, ha ha. But our conversation got me thinking, what do people look for in a partner? If you could choose the most important quality in a person, what would it be? 

I reached out to a few friends for their thoughts. Their answers varied as some shared faith, compassion, or drive was the most important, and others identified personality or humor as the top priority. 

As one friend put it,

{"Being able to laugh at yourself when you do/say something random or ridiculous, while being able to also find humor in times of struggle and happiness is the number one thing I value in my relationship right now, because it really is a huge portion of what life is all about."}

Another friend shared,

{"A quality that I find most important in a life partner is passion. Not just the hot and steamy kind of passion.... but the kind of passion that motivates others. Someone who is passionate about life, their career, their family, their hobbies, their future, etc."}

And another one added,

{ "Faith -  because everything else follows.... trust, compassion, love, and so on."}

I found a lot value and understanding in each of my friends responses and had a difficult time pinpointing one exact quality myself. I agreed with all! So I decided to do some research and I came across an article discussing this exact same topic. Here's what they found... 

Kindness was the most important quality desired in a partner. It glues a couple together. Which makes sense because a lack of kindness devalues every other quality mentioned and so forth. As I continued my research I time and time again found the same evidence all pointing to kindness and generosity. Even when looking across different cultures!

It was one of those aha! moments for me. When I thought about my relationship with Kyle one of the best qualities I could think of was his kindness and generosity. That was one of my favorite things about him! I also remember being a young college girl, skeptical of nice guys... I would ask myself, could there truly be a guy I would date that would actually be kind-hearted? Well I discovered my answer was yes... and fast forward a few years and here we are married. 

Researching this information and asking some friends for their input also got me questioning different stages of a relationship and could those qualities change as your relationship evolves? I believe yes! I loved the example my friend said about humor. At this point in her relationship humor may be the one thing that keeps the bad not looking so dark or the happy times 10 times more joy to savor. 

So according to the research this might put the nice guys finish last myth to an end. Or at least highlighting what people really want out of a partner.

What are your thoughts? What's the most important quality you look for? Do you believe those qualities can change throughout a relationship?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Bucket List- August Challenge

I absolutely love August. With it brings all sorts of excitement, including the host month of my birthday. But August also gives me a little nudge, whispering "you need to make the most out of what's left of Summer." So I'm left trying to fit in everything I'd promised myself I'd do back when it was 20 below, when I'd fantasize about what I would do with hot sunny days. I tend to walk into Summer with these vague ideas of what I want and how I'm going to somehow make it the Best. Summer. Ever. But I never quite do all the things I promise. So this month I want to have a more specific plan on how I will spend Summer's precious time that's left.