Wednesday, 26 March 2014

SOFT SIDE OF MINE: la famiglia, grandi emozioni e una bicicletta

I haven't been writing for a while, not that someone complained about it (pause), but I wanted to explain myself. A lot happened lately. First and most of all I got a second child, a son: Stanislaw. For international purposes let's call him Stanley, Stan :D Not that much to say about it. Then I had plenty of work and I learned loads of new things about architectural visualizations, but that came at a price of a nervous breakdown. Fortunately I have a great and strong wife, I have strong daughter and I am taking an integrity training program with Ryan Leech. Then I had the articles for Pinkbike, and I had to squeeze in some time for redesigning my frame. All that piled up in 3 months, has woken up so many emotions, freaking hell, it's hard to believe as I write this. Anyways, I realized that I arrived somewhere. In the last three years I have been on an emotional roller coaster. I had at least two "revelations" of who I am, what is this world around, kind of existentional stuff, but it wasn't until now that I found some meaning of "one-ness". After one of latest rides it came to me that I could incantate that fine line from the movie with Will Smith "In the pursuit of happiness". That line is: "that new chapter in my life, I call happiness". I felt it, for the first time, that everything fell into place, even though three years ago I would not call such situation as living a dream.

I heard it many times: biking is an escape, you just ride your bike and for a moment you forget about all problems, the only thing that matters is the trail, and harder you ride, more you get away. I think I believed that a lot, but lately I understood that it isn't really true, at least for me. We can't get away, because all we do in our lives, makes us who we are and all of it is with us all the time. Escape is just pretending, it is futile, because one of the elements of reality is going to get us at the bottom of the trail anyways. I understood that we have to appreciate and honor all those things that we may want to leave at the trail head.

I was going for a ride lately and I had a huge mindstorm in my head. On the way to the woods, still riding on asphalt I was bombarderd by shoulds of all kind; maybe you should be with your new born son, maybe you should write an article, maybe you should finish designing your bike. I noticed that either listening to those voices or trying to fight them is draining me from energy and doesn't do any good. I realized that I can't just drop into the trail, because they will return to me during the ride at any moment of relaxation or loosing focus. I decided to meet those feelings and pack them to my back pack, put them there with care, I appreciated them; damn how great it is that I have a family to worry about, that I have a job that I want to keep, that I have dreams of traveling to distant places. It really helped, instead of treating those feelings as annoying thoughts ruining my ride I had them with me, just being there. At one moment, when I could not make one of the uphills, I thought, damn I should have been training during the winter. But then I remembered that I had so much to do, I was working real hard but deliberately, I was helping my wife to prepare for the coming of the new baby. It's not an excuse, I felt great I dedicated the time to such great things, and well I had no more left for training. I will have it now. I never felt about myself this way before, I always had that Colonel in the back of my head yelling: push harder you pussy! Why the hell did you brake?! He wasn't there this time.

Myself, just as probably anyone reading this post, has three main things in their lives: job/school, family/girlfriend and biking. Those things can easily be in conflict, but they don't have to and I don't mean a situation where one works for the bike industry and his wife ride bikes too. I always had those against each other, but lately thanks to the own research and work with a integrity coach I am getting them together by having all of them with me all the time. No more escaping. Neglected life issues are like neglected family members, they will always come at the least fortunate moment and ask for money and place to stay over night. So let's take care of them instead. They usualy don't need much care, they just can't stand denial of their existence.

Two weeks later after that ride I went riding with my friends who are apparently one of the fastest if not the fastest people in my town and one of the fastest in Sweden. To my surprise I did not suck so bad, it was all in my head... now I'm back working out two, three times a week, I feel that every pedal stroke generates that bit more power. I guess the ultimate lesson is: I don't have to balance on the edge of killing myself to be happy, I don't have to try to be a god damn hero everyday. The level of ambition can be deadly and it is easy to forget that in order to eat an elephant I have to cut it into pieces, and every single piece is a step ahead. So thumbs up baby!!!

Arguably Yours
Wacek Kipszak