Sunday, January 22, 2012

Throw A Bone

I don't know where this one will go, but I feel like I might as well write a bit.

Today is a day off and with the weather the way it is, spending time indoors is just gonna happen. But I can say that, for me, spending time indoors pretty much has to happen.
You guys... I don't miss the snow. At least in the state that my feet have to be in anywhere I go. Sure, snow is pretty and I don't mind cold weather, provided I am smart about what I wear, but as far as footwear; I'm limited. But alright. we've been here before. John is stuck in his Sperry topsiders - we get it.

I am not, however, stuck with nothing to do. Aside from continuously developing my skills in hashtagging all things witty in my life, I am also working to figure out more of where I want to be in the future. If there ever was a more important homework assignment, my boss told me that I need to work to figure that out over the next few months.
Sleepy Sally.
Success is ambiguous and subjective.

My definition may be more muddled than some of yours, but I'm beginning to figure it out. I believe that for me, success is going to have to be a step-by-step thing. I have to accept that for now, I do not have a grand view of what five years ahead will be like for my life. Maybe the question to ask is where I don't see myself in five years; or even one year.

I mean, at one year from now, I do NOT see myself still living with my parents. I do NOT see myself with a bum nerve in my ankle/foot. I do NOT see myself still selling mens clothing at J. Crew. I do NOT see myself being anything but happy.

But don't get me wrong, now. I am a happy person. I have moments where I'm more tired than I would like to be - thus dragging my mood through a dreary, ghost-of-sappy-moods-past, blahblah drench of mud. But you all know I'm not one to enjoy any of that.

In a year, I see myself with an apartment of my own. I see myself with my bike so yearning for the race season to begin. I see myself working hard for something I may have never seen myself doing. I see myself watching my life shaping out well toward a balance of finding my direction and still being open for anything that comes my way. I see opportunities unfolding throughout this year ahead of me that will put me in a place where I can begin to see ahead 5 years and beyond.

That's what it is! I'm just not there yet. I am absolutely capable of seeing beyond the immediate to where I want to be, but I'm just not in the position to see that far ahead. Right now I sell clothes. Next year, who knows!?!
Opportunity is a stepladder to Success.

There is a wall of doubt, fear, and stress, that can build up in all of our lives when things just seem to not add up for what we want. Opportunity, as I see it for me now, will be a way to see over that wall. I don't know how it will come, and I cannot expect anything from it beyond a challenge, but I am excited and up for it.

I had really hoped that the people I met through cycling would be able to provide connections toward an opportunity for me to see over my "wall." Though some did offer their help and words of encouragement, nothing too much came of it as I decided to apply for the job I have now.

I do not see myself here years down the road, but I do see myself owing a lot to what I have learned here about the people I have been exposed to. I do not take my time and efforts at this job for granted even if it's not where I want to be. How can I when I don't even know where I want to be?

I know that I can be successful with almost any job that I am given. I have not worked in offices or regular day jobs that have come about through internships like so many seem destined to land and drive their careers in. Yet I am confident that I could do so much with an opportunity to make a real difference in places I work. I have a creative, personable, diligent manner about me and how I perform. I know that I do not need a masters degree and 7 years of experience to be able to handle a job that I want to get, but can't because on paper I'm inexperienced. I know that given the right opportunity, I can make the most of and thrive with almost any job or career that I choose to pursue. I know something will open up for me and I can't wait.

Ask me what I want to do, and all I may be able to answer back to you is a cheesy "I want to be given an opportunity." Maybe that's the wrong attitude to some of you, but there are people around me that see a lot in me that I have been so waiting for someone to notice. In a way, have struck gold with this job at J. Crew. The people I directly work for, I not only look up to, but consider my friends. Their tenacity, diversity, passions, and goofiness is amazing to me. They see a potential in me.

I now see a world that isn't so scary and I wanna get after it.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, January 6, 2012

No Woes

Happy New Year, friends. I have really enjoyed my time with family and some of you and I hope you all have enjoyed this crazy time of year as well. I do think there is a lot in store for this up coming year, but maybe that's just the positive thoughts I have seeping through my fingers on to this screen talking. Anyway, I figure I might as well focus on the positives; too difficult not to.

Now, fortunately, there is no tragic event happening in my life that prompts me to be talking this way, but there is a rather bothersome annoyance that I am having to deal with. Surely you've all heard me discuss my foot/ankle situation before. At this point, it's still no different. I really do appreciate the well-wishes and suggestions on how to mend this ailment, but methinks time will have to be my mender. I have just come back from an appointment with a foot/ankle-specific doctor and we have diagnosed my condition and located the guilty party.

I have something called neuritis effecting the sural nerve in my right foot. Neuritis, in short (as I understand it), is a change in the state of the nerves that results in weakness, loss of reflexes, or changes in sensation. Causes and symptoms vary. Skipping to my situation specifically, the neuritis in my right foot was most likely caused by an injury at work (jumping down from a shelf that was a little too high for me to be jumping down from) and the symptoms, of course, are an excruciating stabbing pain on the top of my foot close to my smaller toes when any pressure is applied under my outside, right ankle. That's pretty much the best way that I can explain it for you all. I am not exaggerating when I say "excruciating." It is incredible how debilitating this can be considering that nothing of this magnitude has ever hit me before. As you know I have changed my shoe (the only pair I can wear) for work so I can still do all that I need to there, but you all know that's not what I'm worried about with this neuritis.

As it goes, I am still unable to ride my bike as I want to. Not being able to do something that I am so very passionate about is a certain blow. Not being able to ride is annoying, but allow me to explain, for those that may not know, how much of a blow this is to me. Not being able to ride means not being able to train. Not being able to train, means not only a setback to my racing schedule, but also my ability, my strength, my goals for the season, my aspirations for the sport overall (more on that in a sec), and my love of being able to push myself beyond words I can figure to say here. Cycling as a developmental sport is not one that a serious participator can take lightly if they are looking to continue success. I realized a lot about what I need be doing last season in order for me to stay competitive. In order to stay competitive, (or even be able to compete) I need to be able to train. It's a constant thing. Consistency is huge! I can feel my legs getting weaker. I can feel my body losing ground. I can feel myself getting dropped in every race I enter next year. At the level that I hope to compete at... I am being set back not only for this year, but years to come.. I am losing miles, hours, time, and everything I want to have to continue to build upon to be better and to win. When I think about how weak my legs must be getting, all this time lost... I feel a physical pain in my body. This means a lot to me. That is what this silly neuritis is costing me and this paragraph makes me want to puke.

But I'm not gong to puke. I might have to get an MRI. I might have to get poked with needles to shock my nerves. I might just decide to chop off my foot and call it a day (like someone seems to consider as the only rational solution...).

But let's get real here. Life isn't so bad. Yes, I am still able to work, and yes, I am surviving. This will eventually go away. Sure, it's frustrating that a doctor can't open me up - slip the nerve to a place where it won't be irritated - sow me back up - and say it's fixed. Sure it's frustrating to not know when this may actually go away. That's all well and annoying, but that's not worth me worrying about.

I will get back to my love of cycling (the way I love to do it) eventually and you know what!?! I decided that even though I couldn't train as I'd love to on a beautifully unexpected 60 degree day in January, I would ride the best way that I could.
Never taken for granted.
This is one of the things that made me smile today!
Sally is one that made me smile too!
It was a short ride, but I needed it. Cycling has taught me to be able to take everything that happens to me in the immediate physical world as well as emotionally as they happen; as life happens - as life goes on - because life does go on. I cannot waste time feeling sorry for myself, wallowing in woes, or worry about anything that I cannot control. I have learned to appreciate the successes, while taking the unexpected (good or not so good) and burdens of life with the knowledge that I am working for the best outcome and that eventually I will be better as I choose to be. Having time off the bike has allowed me to discover a few more passions and certain people that mean a lot to me. Life is busy for me and I want to keep it that way. I'm still a Colombian!

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and for teammates, competitors, and cyclists alike, I hope you all are having a successful, productive offseason and are looking forward to making the most of you and your bike this 2012 season. I'll be out there eventually. Don't allow me to make any excuses.
Again, thanks for reading, all.