Monday, March 30, 2009

busy last week

It was so good to sleep in my own bed last night!
Last week was our 15 year anniversary so Allison and I went to Estes Park, CO for a few days of R&R. Our new roommate (my 19 yr old niece) agreed to watch Isabella for us so we felt comfortable leaving knowing our little girl was in good hands. We stayed at the Stanley Hotel which is where Stephen King was inspired by, and wrote "The Shining" during his stay there. Contrary to common misunderstandings, it wasn't actually filmed there, but rather in some other gargantuan hotel somewhere in Oregon I think. Anyway, the hotel is not creepy, but it is old and beautiful and set in a spectacular landscape.
While there, CO got hit with a huge Spring snow storm and dumped between 1 to 3 feet of snow in various places over a 24 hour period. This made driving home Friday morning interesting and slow.

Once back home, I kissed my little girl, played in the snow, repacked the FJ, and got back on the road headed for Moab, UT to volunteer at the Adventures XStream Adventure Race.
I really wanted to do this race, but the knee just wasn't ready for it yet so I decided to help out.
Friday and Saturday night, I slept in the back of the FJ in some very chilly temps.
After a not-so-good night's sleep, Saturday morning came extra early when I headed out to Gemini Bridges where I would be assisting with the ropes section of the race. At this part, the racers leave their bikes at the top of the canyon, rappel down the ~300 feet vertical wall, then run 5 miles back up hill to the top to reclaim their bikes and carry on with the rest of the race.
I was at the bottom of the ropes helping to belay the racers' rappel.
At one point, some rocks came knocked free by one of the rappellers came down the cliff and hit me in the trapezius muscle on the right shoulder before I could react. My helmet couldn't protect from that and I now have a large bruise and a slight sunburn to show for my day's efforts. All in all it was a successful day with no major injuries and the racers had a good time.
My Sports Chiro/rehab Dr, Jeremy Rodgers took second place in the Men's solo division behind Pro Adventure Racer Travis Macy.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Sometimes I struggle with some things that I do in society. I work in the telecommunications industry and help to facilitate and propagate new technologies that make the world more and better connected. That has it's good and bad sides.
For one, I love technology. I play with it at home for fun and feel VERY fortunate to have a job that allows me to earn a living in something that I enjoy.
Another love of mine as most people know, is outdoor activities and in particular, adventure racing. These two interests of mine are very much at odds with each other and reconciling the nature of each in my life and mind is sometimes confusing.
Allow me to backtrack a little.
After leaving high-school, I joined the Army and did Satellite communications and Intelligence Analysis. This was not really that taxing mentally, but often, it was physically demanding being part of a rapid deployment airborne unit at Ft. Bragg. Basically, I was physically challenged, but not mentally.

Upon my honorable discharge and leaving the pride of serving my country behind me, I made the transition to a civilian job working with IBM Global Services in Tampa Florida. This job was the complete opposite of my previous life with the Army in the sense that it was mentally demanding, but offered no physical challenge. As is the case with many people in the corporate world, I needed both types of stimulus. Interestingly enough, Ted Kaczynski touched on this very thing in his "manifesto" and the effects of the industrial revolution on society. If you've never read it, please take the time to do so with an open mind and think about some of the implications of technology on our daily lives. (another similar and fascinating article here)
Back to the present.
One thing that technology does is the enablement of more multi-tasking (based on one's capacity for such) due to ever increasing computing power. This multi-tasking in the networking arena allows for more and faster communications via different mediums. The very definition of communication is the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs. ( Now that we're able to exchange thoughts and ideas instantaneously with anyone and everyone that wants to know, how much substantially relevant info is being communicated. Obviously the answer to that subjective question depends on the individual perspective, but I feel that the more access we have to entertainment and each other, the less originality there seems to be.
This leads me to wonder just how much ease of information access or communication is necessary.
This is also one of the conflicts that I see in my own life.
Yes, I twitter. I'm on Facebook and MySpace, and obviously, I blog. I love technology and I support my family through the use and furtherment of technology, but electronic communication is (IMO) impersonal and requires less human interaction. Of course face to face communication isn't always geographically possible, but those people who are regionally capable, still lean on electronic means of communicating due to convenience.
The conveniences that technology has created for us has led to more sedentary lifestyles for many. A sedentary lifestyle doesn't fit with my idea of "living." To me, there's a big difference between existing and actually living.
When I'm trail running or mountain biking, I can be alone with my thoughts while being physically challenged. During this time, I am being myself without feeling the need to check or update my electronic "status" with the world.
Don't get me wrong. Communication is essential and I feel that EFFECTIVE communication is falling by the wayside for many reasons. Ignorance and apathy to name a couple.
Perhaps if we as a society had less convenience, we might be better communicators. If we were forced to actually FACE those with whom we wished or needed to communicate with, there might be more empathy and understanding amongst our fellow humans.
Since I'm thinking out loud, I guess it all boils down to a matter of personal choice. This is a problem though because when given the chance, most people with choose the path of least resistance or perceived greatest pleasure instead of the road less traveled.

Are you making the most of life or are you letting life make the most of you before it uses you up and discards you?