Yes, it's been quite - and I mean QUITE - a while since I've been back on the blogging trail, let alone thought about it. I suppose you're wondering why? Do I hate you all? Am I still Vegan? Have I regressed to pre-vegan fatty-ism? Is this even Alex typing this blog or his evil meat-eating twin? Or maybe you're wondering, will employment ever be the same again? What's with Occupy Cal? Will I step into the throne in Syria? No doubt, you've got the questions. Lucky for you though, I got the answers. At least, I hope I do.
Dearest readers, I apologize for my long overdue apology and post. I had some significant things happen in my life, traumatizing things, wonderful things and even delicious things. We've got a lot to catch you up on (refers to self in third person) so let's make haste. I'll take a moment so you can blend that vegan smoothie...don't worry, I'll wait.
Okay, glad you're back. In these past months, I have made some pretty cool discoveries. One of which being: I feel totally happy and in my element riding my bike. Needless to say, I've hung the running shoes and my aspirations of making the elite kenyan runners eat my dust a fantasy for now. Instead, I turn to riding my bike and riding my bike as hard as possible with my gimpy legs. There's a discipline in the sport called 'time trialing' which is basically: YOU + Bike + really cool helmet and clothing + painful legs = time trialing. There's no one else around you..just you, the elements and your heart pumping at 194 bpm. Yea, it's brutal and yet so justifying. There's a reason they call it the test of truth - there's no hiding behind anything, no 'saving until the last moment' just a competition of YOU vs. YOUR WILL.
When I think about the challenges that I have faced over the past few months, I realize much of it can be described as interpersonal battles between me and my will. Sometimes I win, sometimes my will wins - and that's just the way the cookie crumbles. In these past few months I yearned for alone time on my bike - eschewing from riding with groups and racing, I opted instead for time trialing because of the places I would go. Not physically but internally. Imagine for a moment that you're legs are on fire, that you're breathing is audible and you're eyes are bloodshot. You wonder in your head 'why, oh why the f*ck am I doing this!?' In all the times I have asked myself this question, the answer has been the same: "because this is what I'm about." Resiliency, humility and hunger for more have become my motto as of late.
In all of this, I have learned that the greatest highs I've felt have sprung from the deepest lows I've experienced. Finding the heart and will power to push the pedals harder has inspired me like none other. So much so, I took 4 weeks off the bike and have since been in the gym, killing the weights and cycling hard on weekends. I crave that point where pain meets unbearable because I know that if I hold out a bit longer, I'll be stronger in the end. As cliche as it sounds, I believe that's a lot like life (ESPECIALLY after college!). It's easy to be happy when times are good...but it's when times go wrong that we see the personal integrity of people. That we see the difference between folding and focusing.
So consider this blog my vow to you all to bring you along my journey. Where it leads, I have no clue...I just know that my feet are moving forward and my head is in a good place. To answer your biggest question, "No, I don't plan on running for the King of Syria." To answer your second question: "Yes, I'm still vegan...and yes I'm motherf*cking back!"
Next blog will delve more into what's gone on and the music that pulled me through. But for now, sit back, rejoice and meet me at the intersection of pleasure and pain. :-)