Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Get Out There

Yesterday was perfect. One of those spring days that makes the Lotus Coloma valley simply one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth. Mount Murphy is blanketed with California poppies and there are wildflowers out everywhere you look. The Live Oaks and Black Oaks are budding out new leaves that glow in an almost fluorescent green. The air temperature was about 75; perfect riding temperature and the river was up to about 2500 cfs which is a perfect play level. If you live in the valley you know what I mean. If you don't please disregard everything you've read. All there are here is angry hillbillies and trash heaps. It is a desolate wasteland that is much too far from the shopping malls and Starbucks and there is never "anything happening."

It seems not so long ago that a day like this would be all I would need for an excuse to get out and enjoy. Somewhere along the way things like paying mortgages and health care bills, meeting deadlines and closing deals became more important. Now I see the error in my way. The fact is that we are all living on a finite schedule and at the end I am going to measure our life not in the things that I have acquired or the amount of money I have made but in the experiences I have had and the differences I have made in other peoples lives. I can not make a difference in someone else's life unless I am centered. The way that I get centered is to enjoy perfect moments. Days like yesterday and today are so conducive that perfect moment that there should be NO excuse not to get out and enjoy them.

You may be reading this right now and thinking yeah sounds good but I a have got to do XYZ thing or else blah blah blah. Well you may be right but I would encourage you to ask yourself what will really happen if you take the day or the afternoon or morning off? I mean really what would happen? There is someone willing to watch your kids or do a trade with you. Your clients will either not know or understand that you need to take some time for "personal issues." Your work will not bust you for taking a sick day. I can guarantee that all that crap that you are working on will still be there when you get back and the only difference is that you will be refreshed and ready to go to work instead of surfing over to the puddin' cyclist to see what I am rambling about what you watch the clock tick down til quitting time.

So call your friends, make a plan and get out and enjoy. While you still can. Go race each other up prospector before sunset. Go paddle chili bar and hike up and sit in the poppies and feel the warmth soak into your cold body. Go for a hike with the kids and the dogs at Cronin Ranch. Go up the hill for one last slush session at Sierra at Tahoe. Go take the boat out on the lake for an early season ski session. Go out and whack the ball. Sit under your favorite oak tree, contemplate and meditate. Run the Monroe Ridge trail. Go ahead, I give you permission. Your spouse will understand. The people around you will appreciate it because you will mellow out a bit and god knows you need it.

Do this and I promise you this, you will be happier and better for it, and you will feel better than those who choose not to do it.

Report back here and tell me what you did.

18 comments:

Annie B. said...

GO spence, GO!

Matt said...

amen.

we had a great guy at work named fick (well fickru) fick was from ethiopia, had a hard life growing up. fick embodied some of what you just said. one night a server was in the weeds, stressed out about things at work, at home, her commute...fick looked at her and asked 'is anyone was going to die?' she said no, fick flashed his big easy smile and said 'then there is no real problem is there'

Pedaldork said...

Spence,
At one time I admired Lance Armstrong for the way he took on cancer. I must say though, you have now taken his place. I never thought someone I have never met could make such a difference in the lives of others. You're definitely making a difference in mine. I'm looking forward to riding with you in the near future. Keep fightin' and writin'. God Bless

Pedaldork said...

I'm leaving to go play baseball with my kids. Take care Spence

Anonymous said...

Rode into work this morning with Ace, who's new. Ace wanted to see the Folsom lake reservoir--we put into the sandflats behind Los Lagos, the mansions on the hill. Could have stayed out there all morning with the mist burning off, dropping off rocks the size of cars into soft sand, carving dune turns, making new singletrack out to the water, chuffing the mudflats. Thought about you all morning. Showered off at 24--Ace is hanging on the rack w/ his big fat 29" tires--he doesn't know how fun you are to ride with but he will soon. Carpe Diem!

love,

-M

Anonymous said...

Hey buddy
Yesterday was a play sesh at First Threat with the Jackson crowd. Today was a ride up Prospector for you coming down Murphy to check out the flowers and the kids in the park. You were there right next to me. Maybe I WILL do one more slush fest at Sierra after all and ride Castle for you. Keep it strong and know you will be coming out to kick our collective as%%%#@es before you know it.
Much love
hilde

Anonymous said...

Hey Spence,

I've been putting the roof on a pavilion over an outdoor kitchen we're building. There is a spectacular view of the foothills surrounding Lake Del Valle, my home mountain biking spot.

About 3 o'clock I couldn't stand it anymore. I went home grabbed my mtb and headed for the hills. I was supposed to do sprint intervals, but sometimes its just about the joy of riding.

I love you big guy,

Ray

Anonymous said...

Hey Spencer--

Today I took off from work just to come home and be by myself for awhile. My husband was working and my baby was in daycare. And it's not exactly what you are talking about but it was great. It was foggy here today...

Can you put a link up to your care page? I want to check it out.

Thanks so much for writing. It makes me feel a whole lot better to hear what is going on with you from you. Take care.

Love,
Amy Flynn

judyh said...

Spence I just left a long, heartfelt comment and got an error message and lost the whole damn thing. Will try to re-post.
Judy H

bikesgonewild said...

...LoCo Valley Herald...
...News Flash...

...no commercial business was conducted in the valley today between 10:00am & 4:00pm...everyone lay their burdens down, conversed & cooperated w/ each other, appreciated & enjoyed the beauty surrounding themselves & had a damned good day...
...details are sketchy but it seems thanks should go to a gentleman named 'sorelegs' who made the suggestion that was being subconsciously awaited by the locals...details at 11:00...

...props & best wishes to the whole family unit...your strength together is reflected in spencer's awesome attitude...

Anonymous said...

Went home and ripped around the backyard a few times in your honor - button down and work shoes still on. The ground is already getting hard, fast and slippery - crashed into the back fence and pulled my groin, but then totally redeemed myself with a flaired-out floater over the little hip.
I love the inspirational words...

Aunt Judy said...

Hi Spence -Spent the afternoon with Peter and our foster dog, "Ariel" out at Isabel Point, she was diggin' for gophers and we were taking in the beautiful view of San Fran from there. The city rose in the distance out of fog on the water, very dream like image. The sky was bluest blue with just a few clouds warm enough and delightful walking and enjoying being alive. Thanks for the wise counsel! Lots of Love,
Aunt Judy

Judi said...

Hey Spence, you read my blog so you know what I am up to. :)

You are amazing and strong, keep fighting buddy.

Judi

P.S. Thanks for your 'humble' comment regarding my tt bike. I have to ride it to get used to it, don't ya think? I will hit the trail next time though....

jeanne said...

what a great post! Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

spencer-i hung a nickle on the treadmill and then re-visited my old haunts-the basketball court-for three games. sore knees and ankles never felt so good. keep your chin up,
freer

Anonymous said...

Spencer,

I have never met you but know of you via the extended rafting and Voyages clan.

I spent yesterday with my son and watched him pick wildflowers with his cousin before he splashed around in the hot tub with his mom and other cousin. I sat back and relaxed and marveled.

I marvel at you as well and wish you oh so well. Thanks for making a difference in my life.

Ken Streater

Anonymous said...

I just returned from a 2 day trip to Yosemite Valley with 16 members of my family and 3 good friends. Yosemite is a special family place for us. When I was a kid, we went every year. My sister drove my parents, who are getting on in years. It was awesome to watch the next generation (and a few of mine) scrambling over the rocks at Lower Yosemite Falls. The best part was watching my dad's beaming face and hearing him say "I didn't think I would get here again". That was priceless; I'm so glad I didn't miss it. Love is what it's all about (and maybe the hokey-pokey, too:-)
Thanks for reminding us what is really important.

Margrit

Traci said...

glad you're online again!

after watching the color of Murphy turn orange, a few of us decided to hike up and see just a bit closer. we had a wonderful sunday afternoon looking at wildflowers, green hills, and the poofy clouds. a perfect day!

Traci