Back to Fun Stuff...

Ok, I promise not to get too serious again anytime soon.  Back to fun stuff...
Here are some fun events to do this year...

    They're all over the country/globe and almost always is gorgeous locations!

XTERRA Trail Run Series
     Various distances.  It's much mo funner to stay off the pavement!

Leadville 100 MTB
     Which mortals will be allowed in this year?

Whiskey 50 MTB Race
      Be there or be square!

An Inevitable Implosion...?

It was inevitable I suppose.

The news out of the Middle East is wild, and I have to say, a little exciting.  From the youth twittering like mad, to Libyan pilots defecting with the multi-billion dollar fighter jets, to even Qadafi, with his "high-fashion" (tacky) ensemble declaring his dedication to martyrdom if need be, it's compelling to keep up w/it all  -- even though I, you, we, they,... will never fully grasp it.   Am trying not to be too swayed by the media images, as I personally know how they can be misconstrued.

With such the huge and disproportionate youth population in the Middle East who has now grown-up, matured and tried to become educated, along with the underlying electricity of the movement, being fed-up w/socioeconomic challenges, and a load of issues that non-residents will ever understand, the time has come.  It was inevitable.  Can only imagine how this might trigger a (another?) spark in Iraq.  Whatever does happen there, yep, it is inevitable.

It's difficult impossible for anyone to describe it all accurately, even for those living there and personally experiencing these protests, and what many would consider a revolution(s).  It's a wave -- based of fundamental desires of the people, likely with the dynamics of a mass movement.

And it's inevitable that the US will also evolve/change/degrade/pick-the-verb at some point.  Personally, I don't see it happening in the near future.  While we have some of the brightest and most motivated citizens, en masse, we are mainly a big lot of relatively content citizens (and perhaps sorta too lazy/complacent/spoiled) for any such uprising for change these days.  Yes, things are rough in the US for many.  And some elements of our government, such as health care, the frustrating tax system maze and education system, are embarrassingly inept.  However, overall, it seems the general population is content with the luxury and freedom to eat crap from fast food restaurants and sit around watching overpaid athletes play professional sports.  I won't even get into our youth's general lack of duty-to-country urges. 

I still think that everyone, yep EVERYONE, should have to serve our country (maybe state)  for at least one year.  It doesn't have to be for the military.  It COULD for be the postal service, the forest service, etc..   Defend your country, clean up litter in your country, etc...DO SOMETHING to...
   (a) contribute to your country and your fellow citizens;
   (b) appreciate the complexities, the luxuries and the career employees; and
   (c) learn the processes. 
From there, one can later be more versed on their gripes and complaints.  But most importantly, it would provide a stronger bonding and a sharper degree of nationalism to Americans.  We'll never all agree on everything.  Why would we want to? 

So, while it's compelling to watch the waves of movement, our limited peeks into the protests rising from under the veils of these long-time regimes, and unfortunately some of the violence that's involved, I can't help but to overlay some of it on our country.  What would we do differently?  How bad would it have to be for Americans to ever uprise like this?  What will happen next?  Whatever it is, we can't forecast it nor think we understand it. 

Whatever it is, it is.  It is inevitable.  Insha Allah!

Stick a fork in it...

Although I'm terribly outta shape (thx to, hrmmm, winter? lingering knee issues? no training plan for, um er, over a year????...yeah, probably mainly that one), I still partook in 4 races over the past 4 weeks.  Three of those were in the past mere 8 days.  Two MTB races, one desert trail race and one hilly hilly hilly (paved) half-marathon.  The two running races were totally last-minute...probably mainly in spite of that certain doc in Flagstaff who dismissively told me I'd never run again and to "go find a new hobby". I podium'd in both, so...take that doc!   (And thanks thanks thanks thanks to the best doc...Dr. Amit...who was honest, patient, and apparently pretty darn good!)   All in all, the knee is ok. Calves are screaming, but that's soft tissue, so I deserve that pain, considering I didn't train at all. 

That said, the races weren't exactly pretty.  And the MTB race...yikes...definitely not pretty.  Very technical course.  But I'll keep on keeping on; if anything, 'racing' on the technical crap will hopefully just push me to be a stronger rider.  (BTW, I'm not bothered at all though that the Cat 1 winner of one of the MTB races is actually a pro XTERRAn and world-class athlete.  And she's super nice, so...can't really complain about that one :-)  Not every day a nomad like me gets to share a podium w/that caliber, so...coolio.

As it was winter this trip home, there wasn't much sweating nor dirtbiking going on, altho we did let "Donkey" out of his stall a few times.  I did try out a hot yoga class which was the best non-hokey yoga class I've ever attended (definitely sweated in there:-)   

And CB and I became temporarily obsessed w/trying to 'capture' one of the area mountain lions on film, via our new motion sensor wildlife cameras.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stand to wait more than a few days to go see what the cameras caught (who me? impatient? b'lash!).  So, there wasn't much more than a deer (actually, just its butt), a stray hiker, lots of wind (trees a'blowin), and me and CB who imitated a herd of wild javelina in front of the camera to test if the motion sensor was working.  So, there's that.

So, am now tired.  Stick a fork in it.  Am ready to take a break for a few days and to make the most of forced rest while travelling.  Might even read a book or get back in the pool or something.  Next up is a 50-mile MTB race, some more MTB ego-crushers, and of course some XTERRAs.  Come play!!

Some random shots...

Snack break.

Cool shot.

Shwag (another XL for CB).

Just more technical crap for me to make me go 'uggh'.

"Javelinas" testing out the camera.

Parting shot.

Happy trails...