A Travellerspoint blog

February 2014

I've Got A Bike & A Plane Ticket

...What more could a girl ask for?

sunny 45 °F

A brief summary of winter....

"It's only December....plenty of time"
"It's still just January, so early in the season"
"We're only at the beginning of February....still plenty of time"


It's wild how fast time flies. Every now and again I'll get all nostalgic about how much has happened, or how much has changed over X amount of time. It is something that just continuously blows my mind. That being said, I'm getting prepped for the first (and second) race of the 2014 season this upcoming weekend. (2014!?! What?!) This one kicks it all off. Clermont EDR is a good benchmark for me. It's a course I've done twice before, it's fiercely competitive and it gets me in a mind-space ready to crush people for all the races yet to come. This years race strategy is quite a bit different that last year and I'm feeling fired up to do some work.

But, Today We Take A Flash To The Past.


Let's rewind 10 years....ages 14-21? This period of my life my bestie Jess and I were river rats. We'd spend 4, 5, 6, days on the river, paddling hard, playing big, eating PB and J in an eddy while we fantasized about new rivers, waterfalls and well....of course the whitewater boys.

I still find some pride in not having a single 5 -day week of school my entire senior year....something about getting lots of rain, or having a big snow melt that seemed to result in a lot of 'doctor appointments' Jess and I would be off, fearlessly scouting some new section of the New Boston, dancing bluegrass in West Virginia after a day on the Cheat, hucking of an 18-footer in Maine, or just playing hard at the local play hole.

Some mornings weren't so easy....pounding headaches have a certain way of complicating thule straps.

But we would make it to the river, stay until it got dark....or a little bit after that because our "one more rides" just kept happening

Boating Was Life.

Now, this next chapter.
Same passion. Same hunger. Same fulfillment.
(Only a lot more work and a lot less tequila)

Quote of the moment:
Anyone you have danced in the rain with....are true friends. Keepers.
(*If you've done it in underwear, sober, on the side of the river....you'll be friends until nursing home status, where you will, of course, relentlessly harass the cute male nurses)

Countdown: 4 1/2 days. What?!?!

Here's to peace, flashing back and pedaling forward,

Posted by AubreyJ 19:41 Archived in USA Tagged kayaking tequila training competition whitewater paddling dreams triathlon best_friends growing_up agers_falls race_day Comments (1)

Mantra? Life Motto?

Call it what you will....but this one saved me.

sunny 50 °F

Cards. Guns. Paradise. Destiny.

It all started when I packed my life into two big bags (one of which was entirely my SCUBA & underwater photography equipment) about to head Honduras for one week and then straight to Ecuador for another 6 months. One of my final pieces of preparation for this next chapter was to go on a search for my "Quote Card". Maybe it's the high-school girl that will forever live in me a little bit, but I wanted to find something to hang on my mirror that would bring me strength, inspiration, serenity, comfort, excitement....whatever I needed.

Really just a series of words strung together, but there would be something about these words, in such an order that would just strike me - something that would become my 'go-to', my 'comfort blanket'. I remember spending over two hours roaming the card aisle of FACES in Northampton, MA....until I had the perfect one. In the card store that December day I had no idea how much this now tattered, coffee-stained, very-loved, eco-friendly greeting card cover would go through / see me through.


It's first big test was just three weeks in, after our hotel room was robbed at gun point by a group of men.

Supportive parents, a compassionate college community, a new best friend, the love of my life (well, then..), and lots of other factors contributed to being able to pick-up the pieces after that night and move forward. But, seriously. This little greeting card did empower me. It reminded me that I was in Ecuador to DO AMAZING THINGS, for myself, on my own. And nothing/nobody was going to take that away. It has taken a very, very long time but I am learning to embrace that experience as a pivotal moment that made me choose how I handle fear/trauma. I DIDN'T RUN AWAY, back home to Massachusetts.

And good thing too. Because over the next few months on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos, I would get up each morning at 5am to run before the blazing, hot, sun-of-death would be beating down....that I truly feel in love with mulit-sport. It was where I gathered everything I needed to make the decision to pursue racing when I got home instead of grad school. My mom always says that 'things happen for a reason'.

And it's taken me twenty-something years to admit it, but "Damn...that lady is pretty much always right"

And so began the tradition of "Life Quote Card". This one that started it all has since traveled on various adventures to The Philippines, London, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Hungary before moving across the country to reside in Colorado with me. It hangs on my fridge, because ummmm......let's be real, as an athlete now, I see my fridge more often than I see the mirror.

I've had quite a few little mantras over the years...each seeming to serve their own purpose for that period of time and each coming to me in an unusually perfect way. With the exception of that first one, I have never gone out searching for one.

Not that there are "Rules" for the "Life Quote Card" but.....there are
1. I'm pretty sure you just need to make the jump and find your first one, the rest will find you in a 'pay it forward' kind of way.
2. Since you can't buy/search out cards for yourself beyond that first one, your job becomes to every so often find something for someone you care about....maybe you'll send the exact something someone you love needs at just the right time.

A Glimpse In The Archives

Random package from my little sister after living in CO for a while. She reminded me that family is close, roots are deep and home will always be there...no matter where I journey or for how long.

I have finally learned that when I get to this point, these feelings....it is time to go. Time to move forward. Move on. Start clean.

Helps me remember that goals are more than just desire.
They take action, and that action is in the form of 'a lot of freakin' work'

Reminds me that we're getting older every day,,,and everyday is a good day to do what makes you happy. And if what makes you happy is launching off a homemade jump with goggles on in a cardboard box plane....well. Shit, GET TO IT!

Sent from Montana from my brain twin, Amanda. We saved each others lives in Ecuador.....literally. This card and her amazing spirit are my reminder of what true friendship is and what kind of friend we should all strive to be.

There are countless choices we make each day, each minute....Choose Brightly.

Well. There it is.
If it makes me weird, that's fine.
It's just something that works for me.

Next time your out and about...why not spend some time browsing around the card shop?
A little inspiration never hurt anyone.

Here's to peace, opening up and honey almond butter,

Posted by AubreyJ 21:00 Archived in USA Tagged travel independence quotes living_abroad inspiration triathlon being_scared being_strong Comments (1)

I Can't Do It.

....maybe more accurately "I accept the fact that I just won't"

sunny 55 °F

There are some things that overtime I have finally come to realize / accept that just won't change.

Side Note: I was going to call this my "I Can Not / Will Not / Just Won't Ever" List but in the spirit of positivity I think I'll go with...

"I am learning to embrace the fact that....."

I am learning to embrace the fact that, I will never know how to fold a fitted sheet. More specifically, I won't even make an effort to try. Rolled up and plopped on the shelf is just fine.

I just won't ever act on the "you are running on reserve battery" alert on my lap-top. Every single time I think "OK, 5 minutes and I'll get up and plug it in...." But. I won't. Inevitably it will dwindle down to zero and die. That just won't ever change.

I am learning to embrace the fact that I will cumulatively spend 10-15 minutes every day searching for 1 if not all of the following three things.
1.) Car Keys
2.) Garmin
3.) Ipod Headphones
(*A close 4th place would be my Garmin ANT stick)

I will never stop trying to bring everything I need from the car inside in one trip. Even though by the time I finishing playing Tetris, have plastic bags cutting off circulation to my arms and ultimately drop everything when unlocking the door...it would have been faster to take two, maybe even three trips.

I won't ever learn that putting all the clean clothes on my bed as a reminder to put them away...really just results in me getting annoyed when I stumble in to go to bed, and there they all are. Fail.

I am learning to embrace the fact that after I push all the clean clothes off my bed (see above) those clothes will stay there until worn / they make it back into dirty laundry circulation. My dearest friend, Amanda deems these piles "clothes volcanoes" and it is exactly right. Slightly organized piles that have the potential of exploding and covering the floor like lava, but tend to stay relatively contained.


Other Things:
I talk during movies.
My salt to pepper ratio is at least 80:1
Always 10+ minutes late for everything (except training stuff)
Compulsive radio station changer.

It's important to know who you are. Accept the little, silly things that make you unique. They might drive some people crazy, but hey, nobody is perfect. And how boring would life be if we all operated the same!

Training Updates

The past three months have been the most solid & consistent training I have ever had. I'm responding well to new work loads and feel hungry for challenge and fulfilled by marked progress. I'm learning so much about why I'm doing what I'm doing and that just feels damn good. Race day(s) are within the two week window now. Kind of crazy to think about. It hasn't clicked yet but I can feel the momentum and excitement building.

Then it's hitting the ground running time with lots of races, hopefully lots of 'Best Evers' and certainly new memories.

I recently learned where my bike saddles were manufactured (see below) Which really explained a lot. So, I had a great bike fit with Ryan @ Colorado MultiSport, got two new saddles and riding has taken on an entirely new level of enjoyment!

Quote of the Moment:

Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee).

Here's to peace, not having 15'' of snow and track workouts,

Posted by AubreyJ 09:34 Archived in USA Tagged colorado training triathlon bad_habits Comments (1)

What's In A Goal?

snow 20 °F

It doesn't have to be the start of a new year to make commitments to yourself, dedicate some energy to change or take steps towards something you want. Setting goals and following your dreams can start right now. All you need is a plan.

First things first...Goals & Dreams are Different.

Dreams are just that, dreams. Intangible thoughts that motivate us, they give us something to yearn for, to desire. Goals on the other hand are all about action. Goals are what turn those dreams into reality. Goals change you and can change your life.


Let's talk strategy:

Numero Uno: What do you want? You gotta define it. Write it down. It can be a scribbled sentence, it can be a long rambling memoir of where you want to be and why. Whatever your goal is, define it so you understand it and write that shit down!

Numero Dos: Big goals require hard work over an extended period and you can't not do the work. Often times people think they can work toward their goal for a few days and that will be it. Depending on what your goals are it could take months, even years to accomplish them. Goals are dreams with a deadline. So. Next. What's your deadline? Be realistic and honest with yourself.

For me, I am not going to be racing ITU this season. Duh. I know that. But, if that is THE GOAL I need to be able to truthfully evaluate where I am today. And then, can I understand how long it is going to take me to steadily persist to where I need to be? With quite an obscene amount of work, some ambition, and a little luck....2016.

Numero Tres: You've got the goal, you've got the timeline, now back track. Fill in the gaps from there to here or here to there. What small things need to happen BEFORE you get to your Mecca? Here's the cool part, those things serve as your check-ins, your successes, bits of fulfillment along your path.

Numero Quatro: Remember. No one is going to do it for you. And that my dear friends, is an unwavering fact.

So. ASK YOURSELF....What is your dream? What is your goal? Don't be afraid to list out those steps and start climbing. Don't be afraid to get started. The worst that can happen is you will be one step, one day closer to what you want.

Other Things Life:

The hunt for a Condo has officially begun. Step #2 is underway and hopefully I will be getting approved for a mortgage loan this up-coming week.

Spent a lot of time at the Breeze Bar kitchen over the past couple weeks. Breeze Bars will be hitting the shelves Nation-Wide of SPROUTS in just a couple weeks. So amazing to see other people work so hard toward their dream, their goal and get to a big, new, exciting benchmark. Congrats to the Breeze Bar family. Many more exciting steps to come.

Winter has finally arrived in Boulder. Which means lots of time in the APEX studio, lots of time on the treadmills and some scattered bits of paradise running out in the snow and sunshine.

Saturday was fabulous. Casino Royale in the bike studio with a totally full house. Then got to see 'Second City Improv' @ the Boulder Theater. Freakin' hilarious...the company was pretty great also ; )

Continuing the tradition of Sunday Brunch with good people. Loved spending some time with Hayley, Charles & Laura. "Dirty Chai" now might have to be on my list of top ten favorite things ever.

Fun Facts for Y-O-U

It takes 17 muscles to smile --- 43 to frown.
Sometimes using less muscle is good. Choice wisely.

The human brain is about 85% water.
On that note, go ahead. Grab a glass of water....I'll wait.

In 2011, 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics were sold to the US for meat and poultry production. In 2011 7.7 million pounds were sold in the US to treat sick people.
It's OK to be a picky eater. As our grandmothers used to tell us, "You are what you eat"

The oldest person to ever set a record in Kona was 75-year-old Jim Ward. His 15:51:46 record for the 75-79 age group set in 1992 still stands.
It's never to late to set, work toward and achieve your goals. No Excuses.

9 in 10 Americans are not getting enough potassium.
Ummm....I've eaten 3 bananas today, so far. Not me!

Alright ladies and gents, that's all for today.

Leave some comments on what YOUR goals are.

I'd love to follow your story as you put in the work to get there.

As always...rest up and hit Monday H-A-R-D!

Here's to peace, laughing loud and blueberry cornbread,

Posted by AubreyJ 18:37 Archived in USA Tagged training quotes dreams goals triathlon motivation random_facts Comments (1)

Monkey Brain

snow 20 °F

New Developments & Random Things

1. EVOL RACING took on 3 new riders for this spring/summer season! I've already started having dreams about road racing. This blog certainly cannot capture my excitement for what is in store for this year.

2. This evening I was told by a four-year old that my lego structure ''Looked precarious, and I might want to rethink my foundation...." #failingatLegos?!

3. Always check the pockets of your sweats before doing laundry. Headphones went for a swim.....and drowned.

4. Always check the pockets of your jeans before doing laundry. Credit card went for a steam.....and melted.

5. Apparently, I suck at laundry this week. (See #3, 4 and 7)

6. The same four year old later covered every single inch of my face with kisses so I can "save some for tomorrow" Sometimes I think his level of coolness blended with sweetness will seriously ruin having my own kiddo some day.

7. Ink pens are sneaky little suckers..
Which also do not belong in a dryer.

8. People who do not enjoy brunch, cannot be trusted.

9. Clermont EDR is in exactly one month. Well, technically race 1 will be done and we'll be waking up for #2 shortly. Getting stoked for some early season fun.

10. Dear Coloradans: You should really consider reaching out to some New Englanders to acquire some proper snow-driving etiquette. Or just stay home.

11. People keep asking if I'm watching the game tomorrow. I continuously find myself being really confused thinking "Why are you calling CX Worlds a 'game' "....then I realize they are referring to the Super Bowl. Needless to say Football is not my ride. I will also be avoiding facebook and all social media like the plague. I just won't be requiring those minute-by-minute emotional update posts of the latest play.

12. Spending some quality time in the new Apex Cycling Studio - nothing like killer quality rides with fantastic athletes to keep you honest and working hard. To achieve greatness you need to surround yourself with greatness...which is easily done with the Apex Family.

13. Got some pretty solid advice the other day. It was particularly refreshing because it was so direct. Often times it seems like there is a lot of fluffy cushion added to the thoughtful urgings we receive from dear friends. This was short, sweet and hit it right on the head.
"Your single. Be selfish. Race Fast. "
And on that note....Welcome 2014!

You Gotta Try This

Stirfry together 2 Carrots and 1/2 Sweet Potato, diced up.
Add 3 Baby Bella Mushrooms and a handful or two of Kale (after carrots and potatoes start to soften/crisp up)
Cover cast iron with lid to stem the kale.
Add 1/2 cup spicy pasta sauce.
Season with salt and pepper and throw a littttttle bit o' feta on top.
DONE. Fantastic.

Quote of the Day:

I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises. I know I am.” ―Elizabeth Gilbert

Some Wisdom, Just Because:


Here's to peace, sneakers and crazy good espresso,

Posted by AubreyJ 21:26 Archived in USA Tagged colorado brunch laundry legos bike_racing healthy_cooking Comments (1)

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