Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Its too cold!

I went on a bike ride on Monday out by the salt flats and nearly froze! Being my first time out on my bike in basically five years, I forgot how bitterly cold it can get when you're out there riding in January. I ended up having to layer my workout gear wearing a under armor thermal, skin suit, a jersey and a shell, two pair of tights, two pair of gloves, and I also wore wind resistant shoe covers! I got all the way out to where I was supposed to start my ride and realized I forgot a hat. So on top of the fact that the shoe covers didn't do dick and my toes nearly froze off (it took thirty minutes after my ride to get any feeling back in them) I rode in the icy cold with no hat to keep my ears warm...won't do that again!

Despite a few almost frostbitten extremities it felt good to get out there again and spin my legs! I totally forgot how amazing the the feeling is when I'm out in the middle of nowhere with just my breath and heartbeat. Something about it forces me into a state of mind that makes me forget all of life's petty problems and for at least a moment I am in awe of my body systems working in nearly perfect synergy.

However, that amazing feeling I had unfortunately wasn't enough to motivate me to get out there and freeze my ass off again today. Just walking out to my car in the cold was enough to chill me to the bone. I decided to make other arrangements for the rest of winter:

This is the 2010 model of the Cycleops Mag Plus Trainer! or in other words, something that makes your regular bike in to a stationary bike so you can ride inside instead of freezing your ass off outside. It's pretty awesome, you can watch movies while you ride your bike! I just found it on ebay for nearly half the retail price, so I hope I get it! Riding on a trainer inside is a great alternative to training when weather doesn't permit but anything more that two hours on this baby may result in death by complete boredom. Hopefully I can make it out on Saturdays when I am scheduled for my long rides.

On Sunday, I am doing a 30 minute TT (time trial) to figure out my heart rate zones. I hope the sun is out, and I hope Len yells loud when he is driving next to me telling me to put the hammer down!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year

After nearly a year of bitching, complaining, debilitating depression, medication for that depression, failed classes, an endless train of cigarette smoking, coffee, and more than a few people's share of alcohol, I have found myself standing at the beginning of yet another year. Because I am increasingly becoming more and more lazy, cynical, irritable and uninspired, I have decided to make resolutions. But that is the only time I will ever call them that. The whole concept of people making positive changes in their lives just because the calendar year changes seems more and more absurd to me with each passing year. I am making positive changes in my life because I want and need to do some things different in my life for my general health, happiness and accountability, and these changes just happen to coincide with the new year.

When I was younger, I was an athlete. I began as a swimmer and swam through most of my k-12 education on both club and school teams. Then I began road cycling after my very talented cousin took an interest in me and offered to coach me and give me a spot on his team. I was pretty good at both, but my favorite was by far cycling. Because I was a wavering angsty teenager I got burned out by the time I was 19 due to overall insecurity of my abilities as an athlete and inconsistent training (which didn't help the insecurity bit)...So long story short I went on a study abroad trip to London and did basically everything that was the opposite of training, and have lived that way pretty much ever since.

Thinking back on my life, the last time I felt special, truly inspired and passionate about something was when I riding my bike. The feeling of euphoria after putting my body through so much pain and agony on a hill climb and feeling the wind in my face on the descent is completely unparalleled by any other event I can remember. Until recently, I never thought I would have the desire to ride let alone train for something again. I thought that time had passed and now I had to just recognize the fact that I was not particularly gifted or talented at anything in life. I know I have done a considerable amount of damage with smoking, possibly even drinking, and living my relatively comfortable sedentary lifestyle, but for the first time in a long time I am feeling up for the challenge. I bought a book "The Cyclist's Training Bible" by Joe Friel which I will post a link to at the end of this entry, and decided to start training myself for this cycling season. I have had mixed reactions after telling people that I intend to start training again, some skepticism, and humoring but generally overall positive feed back.

So here is what I have planned. I decided to start with 400 annual training hours, due to the fact that I haven't been on a strict workout schedule for quite some time. This will make it so the highest amount of hours I will be training for in one week is 11.5. I have decided on what is called a "Periodization Training Plan" which breaks up the training year in to blocks of time. Each block of time focuses on a different element of fitness and eventually produces a "peak", meaning the point in the season where an athlete is at the highest level of fitness and is able to race well. Cyclists choose their most important races and plan their entire training year around them so they can be at this peak level of performance in time for their chosen races . The first block of training is called the base period which generally lasts 12 weeks. The base period is subsequently broken down in to four week sections called base 1, base 2, and base 3. Base 1, which is where I am beginning, is characterized by the "start of steady increases in volume to boost aerobic endurance and increase the body's resilience to large workloads" (Friel, 108). In other words, for the next three months I plan on spending A LOT of time sitting on my bike riding either in the freezing cold or for long insufferable hours on a trainer inside. This is only the beginning though, hours start increasing but they don't peak until base 3, where I will riding the most hours per week for the whole season.

So this is now the purpose of my wayward blog, to tell the story of a former athlete who for the last five years has had no regard whatsoever for athletic fitness, who at least for one year is going to diligently follow a training plan to see how it affects his life. I will post at least once a week with a list of my workouts and updates on my progress.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Every year I see fall as the signifier that the death of many things is imminent: laying by the pool on one maddeningly hot summer day, walking across green grass with bare feet, summer concerts, camping trips, shorts and tank tops, freckles, etc. The weight and palpable sensuality of existence seems to ripen and swell in August before the switch happens in September, sometimes more drastically than others. I find myself introverting, licking my proverbial wounds before wrapping them in cashmere and wool hoping and praying to god they don't freeze. This fall seems to sting a little worse than the rest, I am wrestling with demons bigger than those that come with the change of the seasons. like so many other times in life I have found myself at a threshold and feel inadequate. Certain recent failures have bruised my ego and have left me feeling sleepy and sedated in my day to day dealings. With every fall my life seems to become more and more complex and I almost begrudgingly revaluate, reorganize, compromise and move forward a little more tired and aged than the year before.

Tonight, things were different. I took my dogs for a night walk in the park near my house and witnessed one of those rare November moments which almost, ALMOST make winter worth it. It was raining the way which makes street lights have those misty halos, the kind that begs for big knit sweaters, hot drinks and Red House Painters. Walking tonight took me back to London, where my adult life, or at least post-adolescent, life began. I remembered curiosity, simplicity, and that electric, raw and sometimes terrifying path of self discovery I found myself on. Juxtaposing that memory to my relatively comfortable uneventful life I am leading now left me nostalgic for things and dreams not obtained. It reminded me how I wanted everything, how I always knew I would be something great; even if I didn't know what that was I knew it would be fantastic. It reminded me that I still do want those things, but somehow I have lost that part of me walking through life's leafy interior. I want to see and do things that many ordinarily wouldn't want or choose for themselves. I want adventure, passion and so desperately to feel that uncomfortable, seedy feeling of the new, the now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thoughts and Suggestions for Equality

Equality Utah has posted this message on their site in light of the LDS church's statement regarding gay rights vs marriage:

Throughout the recent election cycle, the LDS Church has demonstrated its willingness to participate in political issues by asking its members to do all they can do, including donating their means and their time, to support California’s Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution and eliminated gay couples right to marry by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The LDS Church has articulated it is not “anti-gay” but rather pro-marriage and it “does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.” On November 5th, Elder L. Whitney Clayton stated the LDS Church does not oppose “civil unions or domestic partnerships.” In response to these statements, Equality Utah is drafting legislation for the 2009 General Session of the Utah Legislature to address each of the issues mentioned by the LDS Church.

At a noon Press Conference today, Equality Utah is asking the LDS Church to keep its word and to demonstrate its conviction on these issues. Will you join us in this effort and be part of our work for a fair & just Utah?

Read the Press Release

Read the transcript from our Press Conference

You can be a part of this effort by:

Talking to your LDS family and friends. Encourage them to ask their church leaders to support rights for gay couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, probate rights and domestic partnerships.

Sign our petition and join the growing number of people working for a fair & just Utah.

For those who wish to support this effort and who understand the important role these rights play in the lives of gay and transgender people - rights that do not threaten traditional marriage - they may access this petition of support at

Please forward this message to your friends and family – let’s build a statewide coalition of support!

For those of you who are growing weary of my gay rights tirade, fear not. I promise to lay off of it here in a little while. But with the passing of Prop 8 in California, the banning of Gay adoption in Arkansas, and the further legislation passed on denying same sex couples rights in Florida, the situation begs the question: What are we doing wrong? What needs to be done for the queer community to obtain civil rights in America and stop being treated as second class citizens?

Recently I attended a protest at the LDS temple in Salt Lake City protesting the church's involvement in the passing of prop 8, but with a few reservations. I understand that the Mormon church was a part of a coalition of other Christian churches that also supported Prop 8, however, those churches and their members didn't donate roughly twenty two million dollars to the cause. It frustrates me so much that this organization, which I have no attachment to can have such an impact on my future and the future of millions of other citizens in my same place.

So assimilation or liberation? Should the GLBT community try to show the heteronormative community that we are just like them? "I'm gay as a mongoose but I love to play golf!" Gorgeous muscular jocks or feminine women in skirts and lipstick spokes models posing as doctors and lawyers AND being gay as well? A collective group of people desperately mimicking the "normal" relationship model? Or take the approach that the gay community shouldn't have to prove themselves to acquire the same equal rights as the next "joe six pack" with his wife and 2.5 children? It is a hard question without a definite answer.

Like many other people, I think that though rights for the GLBT community took a hit in recent elections, it could be conceived as a positive thing. All across the country hundreds of thousands of people are standing up and saying enough. Assimilation and "separate but equal" policies haven't worked and rather than just signing a petition while shopping online, or letting the HRC fight our battles, each person needs to stand up and use their voice, and tell our leaders that we deserve rights just as much as anyone else.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prop 8 Spokesman in California Compares Gay People To Hitler and his Regime

Regardless of what you think of the GLBT community, do you really think comparing gay people to Hitler and his regime is the best way for Christians in California to go? In my opinion, Prop 8 is a message of hate that is working to promote discrimination towards members of the GLBT community and to continue denying those "inalienable rights" of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" that supposedly everyone in America are afforded.

It's a curious time we live in, I was told the other day when discussing Prop 8 with a someone from high school that gay people aren't discriminated against, and they do have the same right as anyone else to marry someone of the opposite sex. But don't you think it would have been appropriate in the sixties for the same argument to be made about marrying someone of a different race (and even still in some places in the US today)? Homophobia is the last great socially acceptable way to hate someone because of the minority they belong to, and approving Prop 8 will only send the message that the government approves of such hate, and that people are right in discriminating against them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I just ran across this and couldn't help but post it.

Have a nice day!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Everyone and their dog has a blog, so I got one too.

This blog was formed basically out of pure jealousy that my family and friends get to correspond with each other with blogs and I am left out. So I made one, and now all of you can come and read what I have written, bragging about my life.

I'm kidding, lately it has felt that things have gotten more complicated (in a good way) and I haven't been able to keep in touch as much as I would like to with friends and family. So here's what's been going on.

Heather and Luke got Married!
After fearing that it would rain, a couple panick attacks and a very busy morning, Heather and Luke's wedding went off without a hitch at Southfork Park up Provo canyon. The fall colors were contrasted beautifully against Heather and Luke's color choices of black, white and red. They were married between two lovely trees whos leaves were yellow from the fall weather. The wedding officiant didn't really get that I was Heather's bridesmaid and so I ended up standing next to Luke during the wedding, ha. At any rate, Heather looked absolutely stunning in her dress and Luke, looking sharp in his tux, showed everyone how much he loves my best friend. This picture says it all, they were made for each other.

Ever since Len and I have been together, I have been heckling him to let me get a dog. For as long as I could remember, I have always wanted a big dog named Bentley. When I say big dog, I mean BIG, like a St. Bernard, a Great Dane or something like that. Since Len is allergic to basically everything on the planet, talking about pet ownership was always a sore subject in terms of talking about our future together. Mostly due to the fact that I'm pretty much a selfish brat and think I should get my way all of the time and I did (well, sort of). Playing around on one night we saw this picture:

After a days worth of debating we finally broke down and bought him, and he was the best thing we have ever spent our money on. He has the funniest personality, and seems to like living with us very much.

This semester of school for me is probably one of the hardest since I started back to school. Over the last few weeks, I have been plagued with thoughts of Post-Structuralist theory, drag queens, lesbian feminist theory, lesbian transsexual feminist theory, queer theory, radical gender movements, gender theory etc. infiltrating every thought that goes through my head changing my view of society and how it functions. Post-Structuralist theory is defined by theorists as everything about one's identity being constructed by society. There are no essential attributes that existed about your personality, your sexuality or your gender before you were born. In my queer theory class, I am learning that post structuralists believe that the idea of "gender" is a social construction hundreds of years old.

The ideas that boys should like the color blue and trucks and dirt and that girls should like pink and babies and dresses are arguably constructed in our psyche by learning from birth how to "Perform" one's gender. Theorists then go on to explain that gender, sexuality, or more importantly "sexual object choice" are much more fluid than anyone would like to admit, and creating categories creates and othering effect on those who do not fit in to this social construction. Furthermore if gender is a social construction, then people who do not neccessarily fit into the binary strucure of "boy" or "girl" ,or sexually speaking, "heterosexual" or "homosexual" are not in fact deviants in society but people existing or performing outside of this imaginary powerstructure. It's totally interesting but sometimes my head hurts from thinking in these terms.

Drag queens are particularly interesting because they, too are performing the gender "woman" much like many other women do. They are influential in proving the groundlessness and plasticity of gender.

It is completely demantalizing to think of what were previously concieved notions (at least post structurally thinking) of essential, natural things merely being social constructions created out of thin air with completely arbitrary titles slapped on them is enough to make one's head swim, but I love it. I'm pretty sure I am going to major in Gender Studies.

In addition to Queer Theory, I am also in an Americanization Class where I am studying different ethnic groups and their entrance into America over the course of history; a communications class, and another and much less daunting Human Sexuality class.