Sunday, February 22, 2015

We're Not In Arizona Anymore

Public speaking can be a pretty daunting task for a lot of people. Imagine you’re standing in front of a crowd, the eyes and ears of each audience member fixated upon you—it’s understandably scary stuff. Now that I’ve started regularly updating this thing I’ve found myself in this weird state of mind like I’m giving a speech and, as such, I feel an odd need to say something poignant in each and every post. For the most part though, I don’t really have much to say—at least not anything profound—and, as a result, I have a creeping sense of Internet “stage fright.” Often, I find myself tediously drafting paragraph after paragraph about this or that only to realize the subject matter sucks and nobody will care. Lately though, I’ve had to remind myself why I’m doing this and what I’m looking to accomplish—mainly keep friends and family up-to-date with my whereabouts and what I’ve been up to. My public speaking teacher in high school once said “there is nothing to be nervous about because the honest truth is most people don’t listen to or care about what you’re saying.” While this very well may have been a lie used to calm the nerves of her students, I’m going to take it as gospel and run with it.

Anyway, to the (somewhat) more pressing matter of what have I been up to lately…

Well, most recently I just got back in the house after shoveling our driveway for the third time in less than twenty-four hours. Having returned to Boulder last thursday after spending the last five weeks in Tucson, AZ Mother Nature decided to send me a “welcome back” present in the form of a foot and a half of snow. Given my family back east is currently under several feet of snow, I'll bite my tongue and spare the internet any complaints. Just know I'm thinking them though…

 In a week I went from this:

To this:

Between these two polar opposite weather patterns though I did enjoy a bit of a "mini-vacation" as a means to unwind from a good bout of exercise in the desert. Given the bad weather in Colorado, I decided to take my time on the way back and check out the Grand Canyon--something I've always wanted to do. For those of you who haven't seen it, the Grand Canyon can only be described as…well…big. In all seriousness, I lack the vocabulary to adequately describe how incredibly vast it is so do yourself a favor and just go see it for yourself. You wont regret it.

On a more bizarre note, I also managed to feed a tiger upon visiting a safari-like zoo (although they claimed not to technically be a zoo) north of Phoenix. Not sure how PETA hasn't gotten this place shut down but, either way, I wasn't going to let the opportunity pass me by.

Other highlights of the last few weeks can be found below: 

Actually managed to take a relatively successful selfie while riding with Curtis on his birthday. Both Curtis and Stella served as awesome hosts (once again) on this trip. Like describing the Grand Canyon, it's hard to put into words how generous they were and how much I truly appreciated their help. 

Walking the dogs through the Wash in the morning became something of a routine. Each trip was a good reminder to just how harsh life in the desert can be. While it looks peaceful now, at night it was common to hear coyotes romping around these parts. To the day I left it still startled me to hear them suddenly shriek only a few hundred yards away. 

Sunset over the Catalina foothills. This never got old.

For Stella's birthday we had an adult dodgeball tournament. Given the occasion it was only fitting to go the whole nine yards and design custom uniforms for the event…and by "design" I mean use a sharpie to write "Happy Birthday Stella" on a pink tank-top. If this photo proves anything it's 1) real men wear pink and 2) Wal-Mart has an awesome selection of mens sporting apparel.

And on one final note, for those that missed the news, I’m going to be riding for the Alto Velo/Seasucker Racing Team in 2015. I strongly encourage you to follow them on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to do the same for all our awesome sponsors—most of who can be found on the sidebar of this blog.

That's the news for now!