I enjoy reading books immensely, but it seems like I haven’t really been doing it enough recently. Between the trials and tribulations everyday life and cramming as much fun as I possibly can into my days off. There just hasn’t been the time to sit still, have a stiff drink, and read a book. This week I made it a point to slow down and stay close to home long enough to sort through all of my half-read books and actually finish some of them. The first three books I grabbed off the shelf had come along with me on some pretty great trips. I found it comical that the pieces of paper marking where the reading stopped and I most likely fell asleep were either boarding passes or TSA pamphlets. If there was one place I sat still long enough to read a book this past year it was in an airplane and these bookmarks were the proof.
When I was younger, my biggest goal in life was to travel as many places as I could with my bike and “taste as much different dirt as possible” and I can honestly say that it’s what I am doing. It might not be quite the way my 17 year old self imagined it, but I’m getting it done. I don’t have have a lot of nice stuff and I rent a tiny, unimpressive apartment in a college town but I sure have ridden some amazing trails in some pretty interesting places.
I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and she said “you know you don’t really have a career, you are just sponsored by your job”. I had never really thought of it that way before but she hit the nail right on the head. It provides me with bikes, airfare, camping gear, whiskey, beer, and burritos. It really is one hell of a sponsor.
I hear it all the time: “Don’t you work? How do you have so much time to do all the things you do” and I just chuckle. I should just tell them it’s because I am sponsored. I work plenty and I work hard, but when I clock out I’m gone. It is the furthest thing from my mind and my employment doesn’t define me. You see, I learned a long time ago that my employer doesn’t really care about me. There is no loyalty in corporate America and I am just a tool to for them to make their widgets. That is totally fine, really it is, because I have zero loyalty in return. I go through the motions to make my sponsor happy and they give me the means collect my bookmarks.
I sat and stared at those three books for a while today and recalled each trip I took them on. The singletrack, the climbs, the descents, the people I met and the things I saw. It is a dream come true to be able to have those bookmarks and I am going to keep collecting them as long as I possibly can.
Keep it dirty…