Joan and I spent 17 days in Colorado over the holiday break, and during that time I was reminded of some basic life lessons. To share with you:
1. Hold your friends close and your family closer.
Often, those two categories are the same. Especially when growing up in a small town like Gunnison, friends become family. When challenges face a community, people come together. Tragedy provides a powerful reminder of just how important the people in our lives truly are. Hold them close and tight, and enjoy the good times.
Living out of a suitcase is hard (but Joan and I already knew that.) Sometimes, it’s easier to let other people make the decisions and go with the flow. This was particularly true when people began to get holiday flus and colds. We have the most control over how we react to situations. We can have influence on the events that are going to happen, but awareness of our responses and understanding the circumstances makes adapting to those events much, much easier.
3. You can’t do everything…
My, what grand plans I had! I’ll back country ski with Jordan and Lani, we’ll hang out with John and Jackie in Denver, we’ll check out Ft. Collins as a possible next home base. Oh, let’s go to CB for New Years, too! These are all plans we had that didn’t quite pan out. High hopes fell short this time.
4. …But you can do a lot.
We got to see our nephews, go to the zoo with little ones, skied Crested Butte, Monarch and cross-country, saw TONS of friends, spent time with family, saw an incredibly creative dance show (directed by one of Joan’s old friends, ascendanceproject), stayed up till 12:02 New Years Eve and plenty more. We make our to-do lists long and difficult to complete but we fill those lists with great things, so those items we do get to check off are just as sweet. Quality and quantity.
5. Bringing joy is the best.
We had a top secret plan in the works for several months and executed it masterfully. Thanks to many individuals, one of Joan’s long-time dance friends received an aerial dance cube as a surprise present. And she flipped! It was so much fun to bring her out, blindfolded, and surprise her with this dance apparatus. Jess is going to have so much fun getting to know this piece of equipment and it was super cool to be a part of the gift giving.
6. Home is where we are.
Crested Butte, Gunnison, parts of the front range, and Flagstaff all represent a little bit of home to us. Wherever we were, we were able to enjoy it. Yes, we do keep all our possessions here in Flaggy-boy, but we still feel very connected with other places as well. With that said, Flagstaff has been a great home to us, and we were glad to get back after a long road trip.
What lessons did you learn over the holidays?
I’ve decided it would be a cool thing to start a new feature: Bro-files.
What is a Bro-file, you might ask? It’s a profile on one of my bros. Pretty straight forward. I’ll get a few out there to hopefully get my readers acquainted with some of the peeps I get into the great outdoors with. For this episode…
I first met JCarr at the entrance to Hartman Rocks. I think I made a good impression. You see, a few WSC bike team teammates and I were course marshaling at the turn into Hartmans. It was just past dinner time and we had imbibed on a few festy-bevs. And then a few more. We had just got the portable fireplace raging and started passing the whisky around when JCarr rolled up on his single-speed.
“Uh…hey. What are you guys doing?” he asked, suspiciously.
“Hey dude, you want a shot of whiskey?!” another member of the team asked (certainly not me, you guys) and offered up the bottle.
Nice to meet you, JCarr.
A bit later, we hired JCarr at the Tune Up (R.I.P.) as a mechanic. We rode together, skied together and worked together. We became friends pretty quickly, as most with such similar hobbies in a small town do.
What is JCarr known for?
Pretty simple. Cheesin’:
and Gettin’ wild:
We’ve had some good times together. He’s helped me train quite a bit for Kilimanjaro, while he trains for the Colorado Trail Race (something that I have little to a lot of interest in depending on the time of year. Typically, no interest before the race happens, lots of interest after it’s over.)
JCarr’s a super fast rider and always down for a new adventure. Sometimes they end up being misadventures, but there’s fun in that too. He’s always got something going on, and you can often hear him howl one of his catch-phrases:
“What’s going on YouTube? Changing tires??”
“I could be into that shit.”
He’s also a bit of a hillbilly.
Here’s to you, JCarr. Keep getting stoked. For America!