A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about independence

Rock & Roll - Sun & Snow

Juggling Balls & Dodging Needles

sunny 20 °F

December & January

Three Places. Three Take-A-Ways
1. Canada for Christmas.
Pepe: "How happy are you on a scale of 1-10?"
Me: " A 12" (When my Pepe asked me about RJ) I'd say that accurately sums up that trip.

2. Massachusetts. I'm thankful that no matter how long (or short) my visits back home are, Nick and I never fail to have a long run and a coffee together. This time around we had to forgo the quality of Mrs. Murphys and settle for a Dunks in the truck, but it was great. "Dunks in the truck" Hmm....I feel like I'm knocking on the door of an epic hip hop jam.

3. Bonaire. I don't get to spend nearly enough time with my mom & dad. The week was spent with lot's of time blowing bubbles, open water swimming and just one quick trip to the Emergency Room.
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Now that the summary is out of the way. Let's take a peak at the present.
And Yes, I know, that was not the most worthy summary to encompass these past couple months.

Balls.
I recently realized that I might have too many balls in the air.
Too much going on, too many responsibilities, too many people waiting on me for something....
So. I'm streamlining. Embracing the selfish and remembering that this year is about creating a career.

Needles
I was all prepared to go get my MRI on last week....going to the hospital with out my mom or a significant other was a new experience. After the mornings power test on the bike I was totally prepared to be tough. Then I found out that the contrast dye needed to be injected directly into my hip joint via the monster daddy of all syringes. Phew. That was a curve ball. With tears streaming down my face I made continuous jokes with the doctor in effort to diffuse my own anxiety. Ultimately, I survived unscathed.

Next, it was time to enter the 'waiting period' AKA call imaging department every 2 hours over the next 36 hours. You know what they say, the squeaky wheel gets the fastest radiologist reading.
Results: Not ideal but not the end of the world. Doing my best to stay on track until we figure out the next step....even though sometimes I just want to run away back to Bonaire and never look back.

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When we do have to be inside, thankful for the Apex crew.
Resources. Inspiration. Friendship. Goals

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Winter has finally arrived in Boulder but I am ready for summer.

Cheers to peace, overcoming obstacles and comfy clothes,
~Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 16:44 Archived in USA Tagged beaches snow home nature beach travel colorado new year family run swimming massachusetts living bike friendship cycling health running strength healthy independence dreams inspiration triathlon inspire motivation choices progress east_coast growing_up multisport. caffeine being_scared being_strong live_big trainining open_water_swimming swim_bike_run athlete_problems open_water Comments (0)

What happens in Key West stays in Key West.

Actually, No. These memories will last a lifetime.

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First: Little Tidbits Of Travel

Assorted airports and assorted quotes that sums up 6 flights. Yes, it took 6 different planes to get to and from Key West.

TEXAS:
“Name one food you can’t put bacon on and it will taste better”

Q: May I just have an omelet with all the veggie options you have?
A: Well, we can do onions and bacon.
Q: Umm…let’s skip the bacon, and how about some of the other options from other places on the menu…peppers,,,broccoli
A: Ok. onions, tomato and bacon
Thought: We aren’t in boulder anymore Toto.

DENVER:
“I’ve just found this to be a good use of time while I’m waiting to board….”
-Says the man who is (literally) bicep curling his carryon bag.

MIAMI:
“Awwwww hell no….I did not just only bring my short lashes” <crisis mode voice> Says the woman gluing eyelashes on in the public bathroom.

Shuttle 1 of 4:
“Insert Video Clip Here (If I had one)” Of the shuttle driver belting out some pretty intense ‘praise to the kingdom’ ‘amen’ ‘hallejuigh, love thy savior’ jams at 3:45am. #americanidolworthy #myfillofreligionfortheyear

SILLY LIFE OBSERVATIONS:

1. Dear You: Just take the entire cookie. Because you know when you break it in half, and leave one half behind….It is only a matter of time until you go back, break that half in half and….Seriously ¾ of a cookie!? Who does that. (Yeahh…you know you do…it’s ok, we all do)

2.Your ‘delicates’ and ‘tech clothes’ getting hung to dry is a direct reflection as to how much spare time you have on laundry day. AKA, I’ve got 90 seconds before I have to leave…screw it it’s all going in the dryer.

METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING….

Life is a river...It is not a straight line.
Don't take yourself too seriously. Have fun. Be silly.
Being scared is ok, it means you care.
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In kayaking we would rate rivers by class, but not just the rapid itself. A section could be “Class IV” for example, but with “class V” consequences. Meaning there was something about the rapid that if you were to get into a bad spot the repercussions were more dangerous than the technical skills required to get through. Maybe there were under cut rocks, or some strainers (downed trees) Before putting in it all comes down to, “Is it worth it?” ”Is it worth the risk”. You would make that decision knowing that once you dropped in, you were committed to paddle your little butt to the best of your ability, and have an intense amount of fun while doing it….because something about the sport brings you great joy.
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Maybe it’s inexplicable. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to you all the time. Perhaps when you think about it you can’t pin point the how or the why it makes you so happy. Why are you wiling to devote so much time to the river?

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I've been thinking about how scary and confusing it can be to begin to let someone into your life, and into your heart…..like on the river, there is a similar level of uncertainty..of risk. It is something that takes time, energy and commitment to make forward progress. Maybe sometimes in life we need to stop all the calculating and just drop into the river, not knowing exactly what each rapid ahead holds…but knowing that at the end of the day it is worth it…because being there brings you great joy and that is enough.
#LifeIsARiver #GoGetWet

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Quote Of The Moment

"We are all afraid to say too much, to feel too deeply, to let people know what they mean to us. Caring is not synonymous with crazy. Expressing to someone how special they are to you will make you vulnerable. There is no denying that. However, that is nothing to be ashamed of. There is something breathtakingly beautiful in the moments of smaller magic that occur when you strip down and are honest with those who are important to you. Let that someone know that they inspire you. Tell your mother you love her in front of your friends. Express, express, express. Open yourself up, do not harden yourself to the world, and be bold in who, and how, you love. There is courage in that." #MakeYourOwnPath #BeBold #BeBrilliant #NeverSettle

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Key West Tri

I created a roller-coaster for myself the week leading into this trip. Understatement. Debating on whether I want to race, whether I wanted to go, dreading travel, totally fighting getting sick, and just feeling 'off'.

When push came to shove / it came time for the aircraft doors to close….I stayed in my seat, found a big smile and got ready for a 12 hour travel adventure.

My hesitations about traveling were quickly resolved as soon as I found myself in RJs arms at the Miami airport. Feeling sick lingered, and not wanting to race hung around even longer…essentially right up until the gun went off.

I told myself that there are going to be days where my mind just doesn’t want to show up, and you need to make yourself race well and get over it. So, the day became about finding focus, finding good form and having fun. 3 successful missions. I had the 2nd fastest swim out of the men and women, 14th fastest bike and 3rd fasted run. Playing catch up to the boys and placing 3rd overall , 1st out of the women. It was a tiny race, 500 people total but just like all the races I’ve done this year it became a good learning / building block for next season.
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In some ways it was a confidence boost and in many others a reality check…..I realize the amount of work, progress and improvement that needs to happen. I also realize that I am on a time sensitive path, and with how high I am reaching I can’t afford to waste time, energy or resources. I feel pretty lucky to be surrounded by such a supportive network at home and abroad….

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That night we tore it up in the streets as a band played downtown Key West,. A couple of lone dancers we were as everyone else stood on the curb, head bobbing and foot-tapping with enthusiasm along to the music. Super lame. They were missing out, not us ; ) We were (per usual) just a couple of crazy kids, out to have a good time and make the most of our time together.

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The next day I woke up early to ride and then the four of us (RJ & his folks) spent the day snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, and playing in the ocean. Oh and we went para-sailing, no big deal ; ) It was the “ultimate adventure day” – literally. That is what the package was called….and appropriately named for sure. Saw a turtle and reef shark while snorkeling, got me excited to do some diving in Bonaire next month.

I suppose that is enough for today…since my battery is about kicked.

Quote of the Moment:
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Cheers to sunrise rides, caring deeply and laughing until it hurts,
Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 06:04 Archived in USA Tagged me mountains beaches home beach travel vacation colorado airport sunrise friends kayaking fun family run share men living bike friendship cycling airports traveling training competition boulder fitness action running strength racing laughter independence whitewater baggage races quotes dreams flor learning goals inspiration triathlon fantasy motivation choices multisport. caffeine being_scared being_strong random_facts bike_racing instincts live_big race_day emotional_wellbeing open_water_swimming self_reflection swim_bike_run athlete_problems open_water funny_story Comments (1)

I'm Officially Going Nuts..

..with a little help from an amazing new sponsor!

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Changing of seasons is a great time to take a step back and do some self reflection. As the landscape around you changes, look at how you have changed and GROWN over the past weeks, months, years. One of the greatest gifts of life is that we are constantly presented with new opportunities. Opportunities to change, or stay the same. Opportunities to embrace your own successes and share in those successes of others.

A few months ago I stumbled upon a companies "mission statement" - I had tried their product before (courtesy of good friend and amazingly talented swimmer, Christine Jennings) so I already knew they were 'to die for delicious'....but what really got me hooked was reading about their values and outlook on life. I thought "YES! This is what it is all about!"

So. If you like nut butter...hang on to your boots because you have no idea how good it can really be.
With that warm introduction, I introduce you to KOLAT SUPERFOODS! #boom

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Five for Friday

My fav 5 from KOLATs Manifesto...and of course my little ramblings as to why they are my favorite.

BE UNCOMFORTABLE
take risks and find comfort in the discomfort, for this is the only way you grow. *As an athlete this place of discomfort in a strange way almost brings comfort. Push yourself to new places, you might like the view.

BE TRUSTING
all is perfect as it is, everything happens in its own time when the conditions are right, trust in this; of yourself, you are capable of handling anything that comes your way; of life–happiness does not depend on anything outside of yourself. *This one reminds me of my moms advice 'listen to your gut, trust your instincts' Our body has a way of knowing perhaps more than our mind allows us to see...trust your heart, and create the life you have imagined.

BE CURIOUS
seek knowledge, seek truth; view others as if they were a gift, waiting to be discovered and listen intently. *Family is family, they are your number one, your backbone. Friends are the family you choose. Strangers could become your newest friends. Be thankful for those in your life, and open to those who might walk in when you least expect it.

BE DETERMINED
never settle, never give up, setbacks are just a universal test to see how badly you truly want it and how far you are willing to go to make it happen;
success comes to those who are willing to fail many times & adjust their strategy along the way; when told you cannot, let that be a driving force to prove that you can; have an unshakable belief in yourself. *I have a quote taped to my fridge that says 'When she undoubtedly believed, everything became possible'. You are your own CEO, with limitless potential...and it's up to you to realize that.

BE EXTRAORDINARY
dream big, you have the power to create what ever it is you truly desire; do the impossible and when you are told it is, know that there is always a way, it just hasn’t been done yet; be the exception, be a visionary, be a pioneer. *There is nothing better than hearing "you can't do it" or "you won't make it"....it's all fuel for the fire baby. Whatever 'it' is, you should do it.

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In Other News...

At The Gym. WTF

There are certain things that just baffle the hell out of me.
Maybe you can share some insight as to why people do the things they do.

1. Why is there a huge population of older women who choose to put body lotion on while in the sauna? I feel like this would be nothing but the most unpleasant and sweaty experience.

2. In an entirely empty locker room, as I have my 3-sport life sprawled over the bench and the floor....why would you choose the locker immediately next to mine? I get that we are creatures of habit...but seriously, live on the edge. #StopSteppingOnMyShit

3. The things I have seen people doing with free weights as of late has grown scary. Literally doing the YMCA with dumbells. #wtf

4. Dear Crossfit Man: You are still my favorite. Please continue to walk around with your gallon of water, ripped t-shirt (because your biceps are clearly too big for sleeves) and do some of those kipping pull-ups. So hot. #sarcasm.

Training and Such

Getting back to the grind this month. AND LOVING IT! It certainly doesn't feel good to realize the loss of fitness that occurred after season end....or the affect of one (or nine) too many icecream and wine nights....but here we are, October, and with a serious sense of direction! #patience #progress #potential.

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Well. Folks. There you have it.
Grab a spoonful of KOLAT Superfood (I am digging the Blueberry Cinnamon Walnut these days) and do whatever it is you do...and do it well!

And because sometimes you just need to eat some sushi and watch a whole lot of zombies.
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Cheers to peace, the icing on the cake and big visions for 2015,
Aubs

Posted by AubreyJ 15:06 Archived in Canada Tagged home travel colorado friends fruit fun family share bike friendship cycling coffee training competition resting boulder fitness action nutrition laughter independence dreams goals inspiration recovery triathlon stretch inspire motivation choices best_friends people_watching progress almonds priorities bike_racing live_big self_reflection swim_bike_run athlete_problems nut_butter sponsorship healthy_fats Comments (0)

Mantra? Life Motto?

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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'

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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!

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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.

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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,
Aubs

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

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