Saturday, July 9, 2011

Don't Blink or You'll Miss It

Tom Boonen and Bradley Wiggins both dropped out of the Tour de France Friday because of injuries. Those two are easily two of the top ten highest paid cyclists in the world. Betty Ford died Friday. I wasn't around when she was the First Lady, but her Betty Ford Clinic is very famous for helping people.

All of the sudden it's the middle of July and here I am in Dubuque. It's strange because I'm still working out what it all means to be employed in a "grown up job" and 25 years old and I suppose, life in general. As I get older, things seem to happen faster. For example, we (younger 20s I) imagine that life will continue for us with the state of fitness that we have, making money like we do, hanging out with friends like we do, and that things will not change, yet for some reason Bradley Wiggins dropping out of the tour yesterday kind of reinforced that life happens fast. He was one of the top contenders, then he had a crash and the doctors sent him to the hopsital and his tour, the highlight of his professional year, was over within two minutes from crash to ambulance before he even had the chance to get to the mountain stages.

The thing about bicycle racing is that you have to sit there for hours until there are seriously a few minutes that are decisive over the course of an entire grand tour. There is always the minute in the mountains of the Tour de France where the eventual winner does a few extra pedal strokes and pulls away from the other contenders. He doesn't even have to win the stage it is just about getting a few seconds ahead of the half dozen people who have a chance to win it. The thing is you can watch the 30 second clip of youtube of that happening, but it is not the same as watching 30 hours over two and a half weeks and learning the stories of all the riders and seeing the little mishaps that they all have leading up to the decisive moment. Of course, those 30 hours are very anticlimactic if you miss those decisive 30 seconds.

I suppose that what I am trying to communicate is that life happens and it happens quickly. I have been saying that a lot recently, and I think the reason is that turning 25 is another one of those birthdays when I kind of evaluate where I am in life and look at the next little bit and think where I want to be in a few years. From an athletic point of view I have the Olympic Trials and Everest on my mind. From a professional point of view I have my career, my massive student loans, and figuring out what I want to do with all of that. Professionally, I feel like I have arrived and that I could sit back and enjoy the ride for the next 45 years. I've never felt that I had the option of that kind of stability. To be honest, I don't think that I do have that kind of stability, but it feels like I do. After starting Janzen Gear, and more or less failing, I have to say that working for someone else is great. There is less pressure to perform at 100% on everything. If I make a mistake or am less productive than I would like on any given day, I still get paid. The downside is I am less likely to profit directly from my productive days. It is a sacrifice that for the foreseeable future I am happy to make. I am so fortunate.

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