December in A Nutshell, 2012 Edition

Snow!

Snow!

December, like most other Decembers, came and went too quickly. The holiday season was a joyous one, spent with family and friends. What happened this Holiday season?

I continued making Martha proud with my projects …

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My first ever wreath

While my man decided a kitchen is a better place for bike projects than the basement…

A winter mountain bike

A winter mountain bike

I decided to steer clear of gingerbread sleighs after last years mishaps, and thought St. Nicholas Day would be celebrated by building a gingerbread house instead….Kevin was in charge of character placement.

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I was surprised by awesome cycling related gifts.

Trail Love jersey

 IMBA Trail Love jersey

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Ornament

I took part in my second Fats in the Cats Christmas Ride. There were over 36 cyclists riding down the streets of Kingston, stopping traffic, and bringing cheer to those in need. This year, I was a Christmas Tree.

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Riding Tree, and Santa

Riding Tree, and Santa

The camera was used for awkward family pictures…

Sisters

Sisters

What happens when your crown is too big

What happens when your crown is too big

…And snap shots of loved ones.

Kevin joining in on a Geuss family Christmas.

Kevin joining in on a Geuss family Christmas.

Lucky and the lucky cat mug

Lucky and the lucky cat mug

Lastly, we welcomed Snow, bringing forth opportunities to dabble in cross country skiing…Both in the day time

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Ductchess county skiing

Skiing at Springbrook Farm

Skiing at Springbrook Farm

I'm a pro, can't you tell?

I’m a pro, can’t you tell?

…And Night.

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December in a Nutshell part 1

I cannot believe how quickly december flew by, and the fact I did not even write one post during this whole month. And, the New Year is soon approaching. Lots has happened this past month and every time I told myself I’d write, something would happen. So, instead of writing, I’m going to sum up the month in pictures.

I had a glass/glittery/silver themed Christmas Tree that would make Martha proud

I participated in Fats in the Cats Annual Christmas Bike ride, where all the riders wore santa costumes and decorated their bikes with lights and bells, delivering gifts to the children’s shelter and other gifts along the way. Not only was I the only reindeer, I was rudolph.

reindeer bike

tour of the lights of Kingston

trying to have my hands look like hooves

I had my first ever dinner party which, I think, was a success. Even though I might have made a mess. Wonderful Thea from Thea Sphere Sweets brought dessert.

Thea's magical creations

I made gingerbread sleighs, or attempted to.

my sleigh fell apart

I managed to pull off my first surprise congratulations dinner for a friend. And, he was indeed surprised. We ate at Terrapin then ate brownies in S’s van (also known as the mobile party van)–six grown-ups and a dog.

next time ill remember napkins and a knife

I was able to see my whole family for Christmas–the last Christmas we had together was in 2009.

I started training again for triathlons, and think I’ll do a couple road races in the spring if possible.

I realized right now I need to focus on me first, job second. And I need to find a day job. Which, I’ve learned, isn’t a selfish thing to do, but a vital thing for me to do now.

I was in a car accident which totaled my little favorite blue Honda Fit that brought me on my first vacations and road trips to Burlington and Kingdom Trails, drove me to the pool and served as a changing stall at Onteora Lake before OWSs. Both my new bikes- the Scott and the Giant- were brought home in that car, and would travel with the car to races and rides. It carried water bottles, extra goggles, hiking boots, my stethoscope. It will be missed.

Seat belts save lives, trust me on that

I was able to spend time with my sisters and the men in their life, which was fun. Seeing them happy makes me happy.

I realized that life is hard–I’ve known this in the past. But in order to get through those tough times, you  just have to keep going.

Instructions to life are two simple words: inhale and exhale. Breathe. You can climb and conquer mountains, slay dragons, fight your enemies, overcome fears and go full force towards your dreams and be completely at peace with yourself. If. you. simply. breathe. – Molly Geuss

All About Attitude

We’re approaching July 2011. Can you believe it? Can you remember what you were doing, or where you were a year ago? Take a minute and think….And then take a minute to breathe. Deep inhale in…and out. I have a feeling most people, myself including, forget to take that time out to stop doing, doing, doing, and just be. Now if you’re at your kitchen table, desk, sitting on the couch, or wherever you might be reading this, how does it feel to just be?

View of the Catskills from Snyderville

At first when I did that, I was sitting outside on the deck, drenched with sweat after my 37mile bike ride ( Milan Hill-> Snyderville->Elizaville->Red Hook route) . Having swam earlier in the afternoon, the bike ride zapped me of the remaining energy I had, but it did not matter. Evening was turning into the night. Fireflies were out. I just sat, and was. I did not think about how crazy my next couple of weeks at work are going to be, nor lament the fact I do not have a normal job thus making tri training more difficult. I didn’t think about recent events, or future events. I simply closed my eyes and listened to the breeze and frogs and nocturnal bugs.

You should do that. It takes two minutes. And it feels fantastic to for those few moments not to be worrying about jobs, families, races, relationships, training…Etc.

I’m looking at life differently now, perhaps it was an eppiphany I had. Who knows. But I realized (again), how you live your life, and the value you bestow upon it, are all about your attitude and perspective on it.

My first attempt at Mooseman was a disaster. Yes, I got 2/3 of it done. But mentally I went into it fearing I would be unable to complete it (and, yes, there was that fear of my first open water swim in a competition setting). I learned a lot from that race–and now I know more and how better to train for my next one.

Yes, my job isn’t ideal for training for these types of events, especially when working overtime or picking up extra shifts in the week. And, i’m jealous of those who have normal 9-5 jobs and weekends off, which can make training easier. By no means am I saying those types of jobs don’t have their stress! My job itself can leave me physically and sometimes emotionally drained. And mustering up energy to go for training rides/runs is difficult. But, it’s possible, as seen by yours truly.

But I’m looking at the next race, Timberman, with a different light. I’m actually looking at life with a different perspective. I’ve come a far way from my fear of swimming in open water (now, open water in large lakes is another thing, and swimming with lots of other people, is also different). As in my last post, yy time in the lake is time for me. Where I don’t need to think about everything else that is going on in my life. I can just concentrate on swimming.

Sun setting behind the Catskills, taken somewhere along route 19

For Mooseman, I did a couple brick workouts, but not alot. Now, I’ll do them more. On my long rides and runs, I never thought to bring fuel with me, or adequately nourish my body with the important nutrients needed for both significant training, and for work. Scratch that thought, I just ate poorly. I lived off of peanut butter and graham crackers at work. Now, I’m trying to look at food as a way of nourishing my body so that I do have the strength to train with my hectic schedule, and not it being simply food. You can eat anything, but it’s amazing the affect it can have on your system. More protein, more whole fruits and veggies, gluten-free foods, less sugar, more water.I’m pretty sure I’ll feel some improvement in how my body feels with these modifications, which might even help sleep and I know help with energy levels and performance.

A healthy dinner of a Molly's twist on a two bean salad,fresh lettuce from the garden, and herbed couscous

Also, to stop comparing myself to others who do have more time to train, and to get rid of any  (silly) feelings of jealousy

Men. Ahh, that’s a topic I’m not too fond of. Especially with the complications of my last “friendship.” But, you need to be completely at peace with yourself, be able to take care of you, and actually love yourself before you can love another person. And even though I might look like I have my shit together, I really don’t. And as somewhat heartbroken as I am about what happened, I’m not going to go crawl into a ball and weep to sleep (cause, I’ve already done that haha). Whoever coined the term “heartbreak” was dead on–I did feel like my heart was actually cracking in my chest.  But, I’m not going to dwell on the fact it did not work out, even though I was hoping it would. This opens up opportunities that I have for my future. Like travel nursing. I’m young, single, have great work experience under my belt, have no family or mortgage to worry about. It’s the perfect time to go out and try new things while I still can. Travel, and see different places. And, if the travel positions do not work out, well, I go somewhere else. I don’t want to look back at my life and think, “Man, why didn’t I do that?”

That’s one good thing I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

Give Thanks

I cannot believe it is already Thanksgiving. Soon, it will be Christmas, and then, a whole New Year.

This post is not about biking, running, nursing, or swimming, although those activities may peak through.

It’s about thanksgiving, and being thankful.

This past year, or most of ’09 and ’10, were a couple of the most grueling years of my life–both physically and emotionally. It seemed as if one thing after another happened; feelings of being overwhelmed and as if I was never getting “a break.” I constantly found myself thinking, “Okay, God, give it to me, I can take it. What’s one more thing added to my plate going to do?” I felt like I was going to crack at any moment.

But I’ve learned over the years, without struggles, without pain, without tears– you cannot grow as an individual. If you make no mistakes, there’s no room for improvement. Making no wrong turns gives you no elbow room for right turns.

And, for that, I’m thankful. (In the midst of it, maybe I wasn’t.) I’m a stronger person now than I was a year ago.

I’m thankful I was able to spend my grandmother’s last days by her side, even if at the time I was jobless and physically worn down, unable to finish a 30minute jog without feeling out of breath.

I’m thankful for the job I have now–my wonderful coworkers–who have turned into friends and teachers.

I’m thankful for my family here, and overseas. I don’t know what I would have done without their unfailing love, guidance, and wisdom. Phone calls at 0200, teary eyed over life. Hour long talks over tea in the kitchen on 51 S. Chestnut Street in New Paltz. I’m thankful for being given the opportunity to spend more time with a cousin I never really knew growing up, who now has become the brother I never had.

My family is far from being a perfect family, but I know they’ll always be there.

I’m thankful for my wonderful friends who I’ve met along my journey–their advice on issues that only friends can give, their spare moments to listen to me ramble on about nothing. I’m thankful for  Thea’s birthday dinner, flowers from friends. I’m thankful for five hour long hikes, and friends not having either allergic reactions to or dying from the energybar I’m giving them for their hypoglycemic attacks. I’m thankful for all hikes, runs, rides, nights out.

I’m thankful that my friends can come to me for anything, at any time, and know I’m there for them, willing to listen and help as much as I can.

I’m thankful for my health. That I can breathe in the sweet, crisp autumn air, hear the leaves rustling in the wind, smell wood burning from fireplaces, feel the jagged edges of rocks when climbing. I’m thankful that I have the ability to run  and ride again, and now swim.

And I’m thankful for the little things:

  • the guys at the shop who fixed my tire and spent time teaching me how to use clip in pedals
  • my crazy cat who picks fights with her reflection in the window
  • State Troopers and friendly Dutchess County Sheriffs who are there to help when bad things go awry on rides
  • an elderly man who helped me find my car in the dark, packed, Walmart parking lot (yes, I once lost my car)
  • a friend, willing to help put up lights around my house.

This holiday today isn’t just about the turkey and trimmings, like Christmas is not simply about the gifts.  It’s about being thankful for what you have in your life,  and where you are right now.  It’s about family, friends. It’s about how far you’ve come, and how much there is in store for you in the future.

What are you thankful for this season?

I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving!

When was the last crazy post written?

July 2019
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