Smoke and Mirrors

The reality you see to what you don't

Don’t Allow The Mirrors To Fool You

It’s 2024, good news is you’re still here. Even if you’re going through a struggle right now, it’s still good to see you.

While you’re here though, let’s not make this another 2024 note to go along with the 1,203,189 other 2024 new years posts, K?

Instead, let’s chat about a couple things. It’s like a choose your own adventure letter.

1: Not falling for the smoke and mirrors.

2: Quitting

3: Go quietly

4: Bikes

You ready to jump in?

Smoke & Mirrors

And I’m not talking about smoke from a joint and bathroom selfies.

Instead, the reality of what you see and what the truth is. Especially compared to what they share. As we all know, life isn’t always what it seems.

A short story:

When I was traveling a handful of years back, I was sitting in the desert overlooking Tucson, a place I would call home for the next handful of days. The sun was close to setting. The dogs laying at my feet. The air was still - with a warmth that had the ability to gracefully touch your soul. A van pulled up, cute couple got out and we all chatted for a bit. They parked with the rear of the van facing the sunset. Then it happened, they climbed into the van, opened the rear doors, laid down, got a couple photos if their lower halves and the sunset in the background. Then they got out and closed up the van. “you guys aren’t spending the night?" I ask. To which they responded - “Nah, we have a house we are staying in the next couple days but needed photos for our socials”. And a quick as they arrived, they left. No hikes, no moments of quiet. Just a quick photo grab.

Thing is, they just needed to show that they were “living on the road in the “van life” movement”. Reality though, they were not living out of their van at all. They were instead, living a curated life they had control over.

The reality I shared just yesterday.

The mountain, Okemo. With words about how calm the mountain is, how freeing it is to ski down the slopes. Easy to think “he must be on his way to go skiing, or is skiing right now”. Reality though, I was dealing with this.

That’s how guests left the kitchen at one of our rentals. It’s all good, this is just part of what we have to deal with at times. Guests that may not be the best guests.

That kitchen was the reality of this weeks Vermont trip. Bet you wouldn’t have guessed that because instead, I curated the day to be about the mountain and the slopes.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. 2023 came to an end, so many posts about all the things done in 2023. All the laughs, the accomplishments, the travels. Everyone forgot to share the tears, the lonely times, the dark argument, the goals that didn’t get got.

Heck, if all you did was make it through 2023, I’m proud of you because that in itself is, was, an accomplishment.

This was the longest way of asking you to remind yourself that when you see that family photo of everyone smiling, you don’t know about the screaming that was going on moments prior, or the tears that flowed directly after. To remind yourself that when you see posts of someone’s travels, those travels may have been from 3 years ago. To remind yourself that the selfie posts, may be one of 87 photos they took to get.

To remind yourself that most of what you see shared on social media is curated with a capital C. And may indeed be… Smoke and mirrors.

Live the life YOU want. Go after what YOU want. Be who YOU Want. Or else you may just catch yourself chasing someone else’s false narrative.

Please Don’t Quit

Listen, I’m not talking about your job. If you’re not happy and thinking about quitting, go about yourself and quit. (maybe have what you want instead lined up prior, but do what you need because tomorrow isn’t promised).

We are really talking about that dream you are chasing, that goal you are going to reach!

Quitting is such a hard stop of a choice. Moving forward, before you call it quits. Before you give up. Let’s hit the pause button.

Let’s sit with that for a moment.

Let’s rest, be still, and then come back and try again. Let’s be determined together to overcome whatever it is you are stuck in right now.

After all, one of my favorite quotes is

“courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow””

All I know is that you can get it.

The one piece of advice I can share is to look at your systems. If you’re stuck, if you’re having a hard time figuring out how to get through the road block toward your goal. Check your systems to get there. Sounds like another note is coming next time around. “All systems go”

Go Quietly

Now that you got it, now that you reached your goal or didn’t. There are two simple things you can do to be an incredible light to those around you.

“Keep your head up in failure and your head down in success. 

Don’t try to blind those around you with your wins, use that energy instead, to light up their lives toward the successes they deserve. Together your circle will shine all on its own.

Cycling 2024 -

We’re cyclists not biclists HAH! (sorry, that’s an inside joke)

Another short story:

Once upon a time I raced XC (cross country) Mountain Bikes in the National and World Cup Races as well as locals. It’s what my life was. Pedal, eat carbs, pedal some more, eat more carbs. Train out west in the winter where it was warm. Pedal, eat more carbs. A few bad accidents, a TBI or two, and now, after years of on again off again riding, I hit the reset button. It actually wasn’t until recently that I have begun the fall again. The falling of back into love with riding, especially with the best of riding partners. Now, now that small pilot light for racing that has been in my soul for years has been reignited.

And with the purchase of a new XC race bike, I find myself planning out the 2024 race season. Starting at the bottom and planning on working my way back up. It’s a new world, I mean, I’m not 22 anymore. I can still pedal though. And pedal I shall.

One of the races I’m looking most forward to: Little (and maybe Big) sugar. Two different races. One mountain one gravel. And in 2025, Leadville. That’s a post all in itself. For the mountain bike race, the 100K is the choice for me.

Anyway, for now, this whole post has become a novel in itself. I’ll leave you with a recap of ‘23 Little Sugar from the event.

Till next time - I believe in you,


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