Don’t give up.

I just received a photocopy of a letter I wrote to a friend a couple months ago, by a complete stranger (how they got my address I will never know), but with two words “Thank you” written on the back of the letter. As honest as it is about who I am, I thought, if you are going through a rough period in your life, please, know this: it gets better.

Dearest X,

It’s taken me awhile to figure out what to say, and I’ve finally found the right words to scribble with this mere pen and blank piece of paper staring in front of me. I could not not write to you, knowing you are going through a tough time. I do pray with these simple words you may find comfort, peace, and hope.

I’ve experienced first hand how cruel people can be–how hateful they are, corrupt, evil, and mean, and wondered how it’s possible to be so thoughtless, uncaring, and brutal to another individual. I’d never wish for what has happened in my past to occur to my worst enemy, and it’s hard for me to comprehend the thought processes of mankind sometimes, or why they do what they do. I’ve felt hate, been afraid, endured heartbreak, battled feelings of self doubt, overcome addiction, and have questioned if my life is really worth living. There is nothing scarier than when you question your own life. Nothing.

But, I’ve also felt compassion, witnessed the tears of joy streaming from the eyes of parents after their first child was delivered; experienced the heartfelt, unfailing love of friends and family; held the hand of a complete stranger in need; laughed over mindless matters; and was blessed with the ability to sense the rays of sun on my skin, and hear the beauty of an amazing song. I’ve felt victory. I’ve rocked an orphaned infant who lost his parents from AIDS to sleep, and hugged a wife the moment after her husband passed away. I’ve sat down and cried with parents of a daughter who was my patient, and hearing the mother tell me I was a light in her present darkness, and gave her hope that things would be okay, far surpasses all the negatives I have experienced.

How you decide to live your life is your choice.  You can choose to give up, or you can choose to fight. You asked how I do it. It’s all about your perspective. I’ve decided to focus on the positives. There is pain in my past, but hope in my future, as there is in yours, even though you may not see it now.

You were given the chance to live. Do it. Live life to its fullest, everyday, each day. Yes, tomorrow matters, and no doubt about it: your past is important–what you’ve experienced, endured, the challenges you’ve faced, the happiness you have felt in your heart, are all factors in the person you have become. There’s no other way to put it: life is fucking hard. And I’m not going to lie, times will continue to be tough. I’m convinced whoever says life is easy has not experienced what it is all about. I could not agree more with the lyrics to a certain band: the grass is greener on the other side, but just as hard to mow. I admit it, I need to remind myself of that sometimes.

But today is now. You were blessed with an amazing gift, as corny as it sounds: the gift of life.

My friend, you are cherished by more people than you may ever realize. You have touched the lives of troubled individuals, and are truly, deeply, loved by so, so many. Never forget that.

Don’t give up on today.

Please, don’t ever, ever give up.

My love always.


Bicycle Dreams and Bicycle Rides

I’m not much of a sleeper; it’s not that I dislike sleeping, I just don’t for some odd reason, which makes working at night, and training during the day/night, exhausting. My colleague so eloquently brought it to my attention last night as she said, “You look like sh-t, you need to sleep more.” But after years of this, my body has somewhat learnt how to function on short amounts of sleep. When I do doze off, I rarely dream. And,  I think I was slightly alarmed waking up today after having the most vivid dreams I’ve had in a very long time. Undoubtably, you could guess what the dreams were about: biking. I have a feeling this sport has been on my mind too much. Okay,  the constant looking at Cervélo’s and Scott’s new bikes, and possibly the next addition to the Geuss household probably had something to do with why bicycles were present in my REM sleep.

The last dream I about biking involved Tim Robbins and Lance Armstrong. Why I remember that, well, first of all, who dreams of those two people together on a ride in Luxembourg? Second of all, who dreams of Tim Robbins getting mad at Lance for his amazingly awesome ride, and Armstrong who has cycled in Luxembourg, needing directions from an already directionally challenged individual like myself? I do.

This dream, however, took place in New Paltz/ Kingston, and involved: my coach, iPhones, my bike, bike stores (pretty much a combination of the store where I got my bike from, the Bicycle Depot in New Paltz, and a store back home), Shimano Tri cycling shoes (obviously if my coach says I need them in my dream, I need them in real life), and fellow crazy cyclists. I think it is safe to say I’m somewhat scared/nervous/terrified of this race in June after being out for a couple long rides and realizing my workouts on the trainer did squat for me. Well, maybe cardiovascular wise, it kept me in shape. But, in terms of hills which Mooseman is known to have on its bike course (and came up in a conversation with my coach the night before the dream of mine), the trainer did nothing for me.

Ohh the things I learn.

Somewhere in Columbia County, looking at the Catskill Mountains

I did, however, get out for a fantastic ride today–all thanks to my coach of course, who suggested the route to me. After three nights of hell at work (remember that post I wrote about what I love and hate about my profession? I think I’ve come up with more things I hate about it), I woke up today excited because the snow is melting and I think spring is approaching the tundra of New York, finally. And, I can honestly say, the ride made up for the crappy nights at work.

47 Mile Route

It was perfect. No chain issues. No flat. There were hills (what you go down you need to go back up), and my thighs were angry at me. But it was sunny. Grass could be seen. I had feeling in my hands and feet for the majority of the ride. I didn’t get lost. Endorphins were released, and much appreciated. The last couple rides I’ve had have been miserable, because I was so cold. This, I enjoyed.

There is no better feeling than just being and riding in the present. Not being consumed with the past, or what happened hours ago, or concerned about what the future will bring. Concentrated on the stretch of road lying before your bike and only that; breathing in the crisp, fresh air; the world around you ceases to exist for those few precious hours you are out. You’re at peace. You have the ability to be out there. And when you return, fatigued, with that grin across your face, you are reminded of how awesome life is.

When was the last crazy post written?

March 2011

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