Come ride with me

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not giving up on heroes

I was on a century ride yesterday and I overhead a few of my bike club teammates remark about how they no longer were 'investing' in heroes (related to Lance Armstrong and all the rest....). I wrote recently about how I'm feeling more cynical, more reluctant to be a 'fan' than ever before...but I'm not ready to give up having heroes.
But I think my appreciation of heroes and heroic actions is different now--if not better. It's more personal--vs. media-generated. Many of my heroes are actually people you've never heard of. For example:
My mother and father are long gone, but I continue to be inspired by their courage/work ethic.
My father was an illegal alien from Germany who boarded the Queen Elizabeth secretly and hid in cargo when it crossed from England to New York, after WWII. My mother was a green-card immigrant from England who came to California after the war to 'start a new life'. I'll tell you about how they met in another post--it didn't go so well at first.
Sometimes I have anxiety to travel by myself...what my mother and father did, in leaving their birth homes with practically nothing, is incredible. And my father didn't speak very much english either.
My wife, Karen, is a hero: heading off to teach a 5th grade class every day. Today the argument is that our teachers are failing our children....more like parents are failing their responsibilities.
My best friend, Irv, reinvented himself over 20 years ago, giving up a lucrative career as an executive in the food business to be a track coach, at considerably less money...but coaching was his passion, and he had the guts to follow his heart.
My former work colleague, Bonnie, lost her teenage daughter in a car accident...but instead of pulling in/giving up, she reinvented herself and went back to school and became a surgical tech. Bonnie is a hero.
So are the Marines in Afganistan and
U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers...
I'm not giving up on heroes.
Come ride with me.

Not celebrating or crying...

First, I'm not saying that Lance, Arnold or even Oscar are/or were my 'heroes' but at different times each inspired me to do things I may not have done--ethical stuff of course. With the impending fall of each of them I for one am not celebrating or crying--I think I'm just sorry for myself that I may becoming more cynical instead of inspired.
So, I can't help but wonder: who's next? I'm hoping I won't have to read some scandal involving Carl Edwards (NASCAR driver) or Gene Hackman or Denzel Washington. And if Penelope Cruz is really a terrorist and Willie Mays used steroids, please don't tell me...especially if you come ride with me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What I wouldn't give

A long ride on my bike in the sun, along a river and I start dreaming....

así, esto es para mi Querida:

"Everyone sees the long day through
Now what would I do without the nights and the phone
And the chance just to talk to you
Oh, what would I do now
Hey, just to talk to you, a thousand miles away, hey hey
What I wouldn't give for only one night, a little relief in sight....
When the sun sinks low all around
That's when I know I, I need you now
Yes you're what I miss, every little kiss..."

Come ride with me.

(and thanks Bruce Hornsby for "Every Little Kiss")

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I must be a Mayan

I've been feeling sorry for myself--sorry that winter has lasted into April here in Seattle...but more sure than ever that when I'm in the sun, my world changes for the better...

Two weeks ago I 'took myself' to Talladega to see a NASCAR race (no, Mrs. Schmidt doesn't do NASCAR), and I had a blast...Sweet Home Alabama....and 75 degrees/blue skies! And if you were wondering if NASCAR fans (those in the South) are a bunch of redneck hillbilly drunks, forget it: I was there--never saw a fracas, mostly met southern hospitality---NASCAR fans are far more civilized than soccer, hockey, college football fans; well, that's my experience. Go Carl Edwards! And now a week or so later, that area where the race was was hit by horrible tornadoes: I am blessed to have enjoyed the best of the south and to have avoided the worst of nature....

Last week I planned to go to San Diego to bodyboard (some folks refer to it as boogie boarding, but I prefer the more 'authentic' description) but foggy mornings and cold water led me to change my mind: so I went to Palm Springs and the Ace Hotel. And if you've never been to one of the Ace's properties, go!.. they have properties in Portland, Seattle, NYC and Palm Springs. They are a true reinvention of the hospitality industry, and are the brainchild of Alex Calderwood, a guy who started barber shops in Seattle, called Rudy's (no relation). The Ace in Palm Springs attracts 'Hollywood types'--code for creative people/fun people. I met an assistant director and a couple of costume buyers from Vancouver, Canada, and it's only coincidental that they were all very attractive and bright ladies. Each seemed to exude a 'work hard and play hard' attitude with real integrity that was so refreshing. And did I mention the sun: 85 degrees and blue skies, and misters! Love those misters. Freaky looking pool attendants who brought drinks efficiently, and who looked like they were members of Pearl Jam.
This past weekend in Seattle was mostly sun on Saturday and all sun on Sunday...and I did over 100 miles of cycling--Saturday with my club, Eastgate, and then on Sunday with my buddy, Chris, who is training for a big ride next weekend in California.

I must be a Mayan; I love the sun, it changes me--it makes me feel optimistic, energized...and if reinvention is my goal, it's going to have some kind of sunshine as part of it....

And now that the sun is out, come ride with me!