Don't Make Change too Complicated: Just Begin!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Running in Heaven with Uptown Funk

This is Cece in her resurrection body! Perhaps in her heavenly life...if she makes it there...she will be a runner with a great physique, and a smile on!

But those of you who know Cece...know she does not run.  But confession..... she has been "trotting" here and there as her trainer pushes her to exhaustion and works her heart rate past threshold!  She is Chi running to the best of her ability.

But boy, was she mad today!  Run a 1/4 mile, do a grueling partner bootcamp (100 and 200s of things) ...then run 5 sprints and then finish the partner bootcamp section...AND THEN run a mile!

First of all Cece is 58.  Then she has been told not to run,...she has no knees left.  On top of all this, it was not long ago that was was barely able to walk across the room. And FINALLY, she is a cyclist...not a runner.

And so with a huge resentment, she began to run her mile.  Everyone passed her.  Even those walking ...passed her as she trotted along.  Thankfully she had "Uptown Funk" in her ears and busted a move here and there to make it more fun!

And so it is,  with her trainer, Cece always needs to watch what she prays for.  In her runners coma, she recalled telling him that she needed to be able to maintain her heart rate over 154 for  45 minutes.  In her  first half mile,  after all the above was accomplished,  her heart rate was .her second half mile her heart rate was 160-178. She thinks it's a  pretty good guess she met her goal! 

 If she had not been in a coma, she would know how long it took her to run that wasn't 45 minutes...not even close....but it was well on the way to much better cardio endurance...inch by inch.

Thanks to Cristen for running the back 1/2 mile with Cece!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Double Eagle Time Trial

It has become a tradition that Cece attends the time trials to support her friend and cycle buddy Stephanie.  This year was no different.

It was a beautiful day, Steph felt strong and Cece had music in her ears as she waited for Stephanie to come across the finish line.

Cece had climbed her personal sufferfest that morning...the infamous Tramway hill....repeating her personal mantra, "Its me, my bike and the road. " She had greeted the cows on 313 and thought of Ellie the Shark and her run ins with cows on her bike!  She had even laughed...but that was before she started climbing!  

 After all this, she had hurried home and changed and sped out  to the time trial.  She missed her friend take off  by 3 minutes.

But there are joys to waiting and watching!  Like seeing friends and seeing the bike porn...the beautiful bikes that the racers ride....the wheels...the in skin suits!

 Stephanie sent Cece the time trial results and Cece started calculating.  The overall winner rode the 12.7 mile course with an average speed of 30 mph!  For Cece who is just back on her bike after a long achilles injury, that is just remarkable!

And then there was that mustache!  Years ago, Cece read the"Cat Who" murder mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun.  The detective in the book had a mustache that turned heads wherever he went.  It was described as "luxurious."  Cece always wondered what a luxurious mustache looked liked...until the time trial...where she spotted that mustache!

She tried and tried to take a pic but the man on the other end of that mustache.....was too quick and was always on the move!  Finally Cece chased him down after his race and got that pic!

Gabe Aragon
He was very gracious and allowed the pic and they had a nice chat.  He joked that if he became famous from this blog that he would split the money with Cece...well unless he gets a modelling contract from this...but you never know!

It was a fun day in the sun, not a cloud in the sky on the high mesa!  What could be better?

Well , if you can imagine the friends then hoofed it up to the International Folk Art Festival in Santa Fe.... where they started to feel their quads screaming every set of stairs or ramps they had to walk up!  LOL.

Pics of the festival coming soon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Who Can Guess Where This is?

Doing hill repeats on this road.  Can you guess where it is located? 

See the coyotes?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Surprise Adventure on the Bike!

It looks so blissful doesn't it?  It was the beginning of my sufferfest of hill repeats on 4.6% grades.  The only good things about it was that when people see a big girl on the bike that is working hard, uphill, they have to be supportive!    "You go girl!" "You're awesome!"    "You're working hard!"  It really helped me keep my drive to do hill repeats during this suffer-o-rama!

In the midst of the repeats were flying downhills that were tremendously enjoyable!

After I finished, I decided that I would do what I most love...go on a surprise adventure on the explore!  So, I set off on the road to who knew where.

After a mile or two I saw a sign  for an air park.  Was that a hidden airport?  There was another hill to climb in to get to it...not too in I went. And then I saw this sign.

This is an air park that has been around since 1955 so that people can fly radio controlled , gas or electric powered airplanes that they have made.  At the air park, I met Charlie and Robert who were happy to talk about the their planes and how they flew them.
Charlie told me that as a kid, he loved to make model plastic car kits that he put together with glue. Then he moved on to model airplanes .  He followed the directions and made the models.  He did the same thing with his plane only on a larger scale.
Charlie and his plane

At the Air Park, they fly their planes 7 days a week.  They have a covered "picnic" area to keep out of the heat and they can eat their lunches and have coffee too!  They can fly for 20 minutes at a time (their rule) and they wait their turn although I was told sometimes several people fly at once on busy days.

When I arrived, Robert was flying his plane.  I watched it taxi down the runway and take off....then I watched it climb high and do a loop de loop then fly down straight into a dive!
This is Robert

I asked Robert if he ever had been a pilot and he said no, that he just enjoys flying this plane. I asked if any women flew planes and he said there was one, but mostly only the men do it...he said,"....because men need their alone time and their own hobbies.  Of course women CAN fly, but they just don't."

The men were very patient with all my questions about the gas they use and how much.  Charlie's plane hold 12 ounces of gas and he used about 2 ounces per flight.  He likes to keep his tank filled and doesn't want to risk a crash.  He says it takes a lot of concentration to fly.

Robert showed me his radio control system and it was quite complex....this one is the landing gear, this one is the computer screen....and he went on and on over my head!  Here is a photo of Robert's control box.                               
Radio Control System
Up, up  up!

What a fun experience learning about something I knew nothing about that gives many people pleasure!   What a fun day out and about!  I discovered,  on my way out, that there were two other sections to the air for smaller "toy" remote controlled planes and one for  larger radio controlled helicopters.

You can bring your lunch and go sit in the shade and watch the planes go up and do their tricks...something different that I did not even know was available in ABQ.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Casting Out and Reeling in...the Memories

After yesterday's sufferfest, I took a leisurely ride to Tingley Beach.  It was a happy 18+ miles at a relaxed and social pace.

I really enjoy saying, "Good Morning" to people and chit chatting along the way.  It seems to go a long way these days and I invariably get a smile or a hello in return!

It was was of those rides I did not plan in advance ...I just kept pedaling and I ended up playing cat and mouse with a man who could not decide if he really wanted to pass me...because when he did, he could not keep up the pace.

It is so nice now that you can ride effortlessly into the beach now.  In the past you had to venture across a rough terrain and I would usually just get off the bike and walk it in.  Now you can just keep riding!  What a pleasure.  I rode over to the men fishing and asked if they were catching any fish?    It brought me back to my childhood walking on t he beach with my dad...and talking to all the men fishing on the Long Island Sound...casting out and reeling in...the memories.....

This man in the photo above was feeding that duck crackers and the duck kept biting his fingers....he kept say "ouch!  ouch!"    He reported that now that the city is asking people not to feed the ducks bread, that he switched to crackers....thus the duck biting his fingers.  We discussed the city's request to feed the ducks carrot shavings, oats, fruits and veggies and the man dismissed that by saying that he always fed the ducks now he switched to crackers...go figure!
Golden Trout
No one seemed to be catching any fish this man said that the other day, he packed up and went to Pecos and he caught several fish there and had a great supper that night!

 Well, I am eating fish this week...but they are from the fish store!  This is the golden trout I prepared for dinner!  Yummy!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Sounds of Silence- Except for My Cursing

I remembered why it took me so long to remember where the Hidden Trail was a trail that made me suffer and I had put it out of my mind.....but I digress.

After two days of trying to locate this ride, I finally did after spending way too much gas doing so.  And I discovered,  to my initial dismay,  that the trail was closed.

As I tried to drive in I saw a cyclist ride in and thought I would do that too!  So back I went a mile or so away to see if I could park at the Boca Negra Dam.  I saw a car parked on the side of the road and did not see any places to I did the same....but I was not comfortable doing so.  Suddenly I saw a cop and flagged him down and asked if there was an alternative place to  park.    He got out of his squad car and stood next to me and all I did was look up!  That man must have been 6 for 7!   He agreed that the place I parked was not ideal and suggested I pull to the curb in the neighborhood up the road a bit.

As I packed up my bike and gear,  he came back around and pulled a U Turn and told me that he thought I could drive in......even tho we  both saw cement pylons blocking the way in.  So drive in I did and sure enough... way down at the bottom of the dam was a black volcano rocked parking lot!

Off I went and took a ride around the damn...then went onto the highway to get to the Hidden Trail.  The barricades were still up so I went though them like only a walker or cyclist could...crossed the parking lot only to find the path was closed with yellow hazard tape.  It looked like the path was closed because they had just resurfaced the road.  No worries.  The paving was dry and off I went!  

And this began my uphill odyssey!  Oh!  The memories came flooding back. As I rode up, up up I thought ...this is good practice for the Chile Harvest Triathlon!  Along the way I dealt with 3 and 4% grades that you climbed to and then flattened out...climbed to and then flattened out.  But up, up , up I went.

A man flagged me down to tell me there was an angry badger up ahead on the right.  I was in the middle of another climb that was getting steeper by the minute.  I looked up and told the man, "Well maybe that will prevent me from doing this climb!"  I waited a few moments to catch my breath and up I went.

This is how the whole ride went until I decided I had had enough...Obviously my map was wrong about the mileage because I had already ridden more than the map I turned around and rode back.

The rollers going out turned into short steep climbs back down and this turned out to be equally hard,  if not more so,  than the climb up.   This is when the cursing and the talking out loud began.  I was so glad I was on the high Mesa with only mean badgers around me!

First day climbing and all I could think of is how much more hard work I have to do!

Finally I got to the top of the initial climb and this became the best part of the ride...flying down hill!  Oh how I enjoyed that vs the misery I had endured...have I mentioned I do not like to  climb?  The wind in my face was a wonderful diversion from the suffering of the climbing and I was thankful  for this part of the ride.

Going back to my car, I had to be in traffic, cross highways, stop at red lights and cross over several lanes of highway to make a left the ride ended up having all the elements of a great and challenging day on the bike...where it was me, my bike and the road! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Speech We have Been Waiting 6 Years for the President to Give

Over the past week and a half I have been very emotional in regards to the shootings in South Carolina.  I was trying to make sense of something that did not make sense.  Then, the fact that the shooting happened in a church was like putting more acid on an open wound. I talked and talked and cried and cried about it....and then I heard that the President would eulogize the Reverend that was shot.  I wondered if he would play it safe or if he would let loose at last.  Well, I thought that maybe it was finally the right time for the President to speak from his heart about racism in America. I was hoping he would and I stayed home from work in that hope...and he did just that!

The moment occurred at the funeral of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney pastor of the AME Church in Charleston,  South Carolina as he gave the eulogy.  Here is a video of the full speech with its text to  follow.

OBAMA: Giving all praise and honor to God.
(APPLAUSE) The Bible calls us to hope, to persevere and have faith in things not seen. They were still living by faith when they died, the scripture tells us.
They did not receive the things promised. They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.

We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith, a man who believed in things not seen, a man who believed there were better days ahead off in the distance, a man of service, who persevered knowing full-well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would deliver a better life for those who followed, to Jennifer, his beloved wife, Eliana and Malana, his beautiful, wonderful daughters, to the Mother Emanuel family and the people of Charleston, the people of South Carolina.

I cannot claim to have had the good fortune to know Reverend Pinckney well, but I did have the pleasure of knowing him and meeting him here in South Carolina back when we were both a little bit younger…
… back when I didn’t have visible gray hair.
The first thing I noticed was his graciousness, his smile, his reassuring baritone, his deceptive sense of humor, all qualities that helped him wear so effortlessly a heavy burden of expectation.

Friends of his remarked this week that when Clementa Pinckney entered a room, it was like the future arrived, that even from a young age, folks knew he was special, anointed. He was the progeny of a long line of the faithful, a family of preachers who spread God’s words, a family of protesters who so changed to expand voting rights and desegregate the South.

Clem heard their instruction, and he did not forsake their teaching. He was in the pulpit by 13, pastor by 18, public servant by 23. He did not exhibit any of the cockiness of youth nor youth’s insecurities. Instead, he set an example worthy of his position, wise beyond his years in his speech, in his conduct, in his love, faith and purity.

As a senator, he represented a sprawling swathe of low country, a place that has long been one of the most neglected in America, a place still racked by poverty and inadequate schools, a place where children can still go hungry and the sick can go without treatment — a place that needed somebody like Clem.

(APPLAUSE) His position in the minority party meant the odds of winning more resources for his constituents were often long. His calls for greater equity were too-often unheeded. The votes he cast were sometimes lonely.

But he never gave up. He stayed true to his convictions. He would not grow discouraged. After a full day at the Capitol, he’d climb into his car and head to the church to draw sustenance from his family, from his ministry, from the community that loved and needed him. There, he would fortify his faith and imagine what might be.

Reverend Pinckney embodied a politics that was neither mean nor small. He conducted himself quietly and kindly and diligently. He encouraged progress not by pushing his ideas alone but by seeking out your ideas, partnering with you to make things happen. He was full of empathy and fellow feeling, able to walk in somebody else’s shoes and see through their eyes.

No wonder one of his Senate colleagues remembered Senator Pinckney as “the most gentle of the 46 of us, the best of the 46 of us.”

Clem was often asked why he chose to be a pastor and a public servant. But the person who asked probably didn’t know the history of AME Church.

As our brothers and sisters in the AME Church, we don’t make those distinctions. “Our calling,” Clem once said, “is not just within the walls of the congregation but the life and community in which our congregation resides.”
He embodied the idea that our Christian faith demands deeds and not just words, that the sweet hour of prayer actually lasts the whole week long, that to put our faith in action is more than just individual salvation, it’s about our collective salvation, that to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and house the homeless is not just a call for isolated charity but the imperative of a just society.

What a good man. Sometimes I think that’s the best thing to hope for when you’re eulogized, after all the words and recitations and resumes are read, to just say somebody was a good man.
You don’t have to be of high distinction to be a good man.
Preacher by 13, pastor by 18, public servant by 23. What a life Clementa Pinckney lived. What an example he set. What a model for his faith.

And then to lose him at 41, slain in his sanctuary with eight wonderful members of his flock, each at different stages in life but bound together by a common commitment to God — Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, DePayne Middleton Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel L. Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Thompson.
Good people. Decent people. God-fearing people.
People so full of life and so full of kindness, people who ran the race, who persevered, people of great faith.
To the families of the fallen, the nation shares in your grief.

Our pain cuts that much deeper because it happened in a church.

The church is and always has been the center of African American life
… a place to call our own in a too-often hostile world, a sanctuary from so many hardships.
Over the course of centuries, black churches served as hush harbors, where slaves could worship in safety, praise houses, where their free descendants could gather and shout “Hallelujah…”
… rest stops for the weary along the Underground Railroad, bunkers for the foot soldiers of the civil-rights movement.
They have been and continue to community centers, where we organize for jobs and justice, places of scholarship and network, places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harms way and told that they are beautiful and smart and taught that they matter.
That’s what happens in church. That’s what the black church means — our beating heart, the place where our dignity as a people in inviolate.
There’s no better example of this tradition than Mother Emanuel, a church…
… a church built by blacks seeking liberty, burned to the ground because its founders sought to end slavery only to rise up again, a phoenix from these ashes. (APPLAUSE)
When there were laws banning all-black church gatherers, services happened here anyway in defiance of unjust laws. When there was a righteous movement to dismantle Jim Crow, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached from its pulpit, and marches began from its steps.
A sacred place, this church, not just for blacks, not just for Christians but for every American who cares about the steady expansion…
… of human rights and human dignity in this country, a foundation stone for liberty and justice for all.
That’s what the church meant.
We do not know whether the killer of Reverend Pinckney and eight others knew all of this history, but he surely sensed the meaning of his violent act. It was an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…
… an act that he imagined would incite fear and recrimination, violence and suspicion, an act that he presumed would deepen divisions that trace back to our nation’s original sin.
Oh, but God works in mysterious ways.
God has different ideas.
He didn’t know he was being used by God.
Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer would not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group, the light of love that shown as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle.
The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness. He couldn’t imagine that.
The alleged killer could not imagine how the city of Charleston under the good and wise leadership of Mayor Riley, how the state of South Carolina, how the United States of America would respond not merely with revulsion at his evil acts, but with (inaudible) generosity. And more importantly, with a thoughtful introspection and self-examination that we so rarely see in public life. Blinded by hatred, he failed to comprehend what Reverend Pinckney so well understood — the power of God’s grace.
This whole week, I’ve been reflecting on this idea of grace.
The grace of the families who lost loved ones; the grace that Reverend Pinckney would preach about in his sermons; the grace described in one of my favorite hymnals, the one we all know — Amazing Grace.
How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.
According to the Christian tradition, grace is not earned. Grace is not merited. It’s not something we deserve. Rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of God.
As manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. Grace — as a nation out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us for he has allowed us to see where we’ve been blind.
He’s given us the chance where we’ve been lost to find out best selves. We may not have earned this grace with our rancor and complacency and short-sightedness and fear of each other, but we got it all the same. He gave it to us anyway. He’s once more given us grace.
But it is up to us now to make the most of it, to receive it with gratitude and to prove ourselves worthy of this gift.
For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate Flag stirred into many of our citizens.
It’s true a flag did not cause these murders. But as people from all walks of life, Republicans and Democrats, now acknowledge, including Governor Haley, whose recent eloquence on the subject is worthy of praise…
… as we all have to acknowledge, the flag has always represented more than just ancestral pride.
For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression…
… and racial subjugation.
We see that now.
Removing the flag from this state’s capital would not be an act of political correctness. It would not an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be acknowledgement that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong.
The imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights for all people was wrong.
It would be one step in an honest accounting of America’s history, a modest but meaningful balm for so many unhealed wounds.
It would be an expression of the amazing changes that have transformed this state and this country for the better because of the work of so many people of goodwill, people of all races, striving to form a more perfect union.
By taking down that flag, we express adds grace God’s grace.
But I don’t think God wants us to stop there.
For too long, we’ve been blind to be way past injustices continue to shape the present.
Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty…
… or attend dilapidated schools or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career.
Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate.
Perhaps it softens hearts towards those lost young men, tens and tens of thousands caught up in the criminal-justice system and lead us to make sure that that system’s not infected with bias.
… that we embrace changes in how we train and equip our police so that the bonds of trust between law enforcement…
… and the communities they serve make us all safer and more secure.
Maybe we now realize the way a racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal…
… so that we search our hearts when we consider laws to make it harder for some of our fellow citizens to vote…
… by recognizing our common humanity, by treating every child as important, regardless of the color of their skin…
… or the station into which they were born and to do what’s necessary to make opportunity real for every American. By doing that, we express God’s grace.
For too long…
For too long, we’ve been blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts upon this nation.
Sporadically, our eyes are open when eight of our brothers and sisters are cut down in a church basement, 12 in a movie theater, 26 in an elementary school. But I hope we also see the 30 precious lives cut short by gun violence in this country every single day…
… the countless more whose lives are forever changed, the survivors crippled, the children traumatized and fearful every day as they walk to school, the husband who will never feel his wife’s warm touch, the entire communities whose grief overflows every time they have to watch what happened to them happening to some other place.
The vast majority of Americans, the majority of gun owners want to do something about this. We see that now.
And I’m convinced that by acknowledging the pain and loss of others, even as we respect the traditions, ways of life that make up this beloved country, by making the moral choice to change, we express God’s grace.
We don’t earn grace. We’re all sinners. We don’t deserve it.
But God gives it to us anyway.
And we choose how to receive it. It’s our decision how to honor it.

None of us can or should expect a transformation in race relations overnight. Every time something like this happens, somebody says, “We have to have a conversation about race.” We talk a lot about race.
There’s no shortcut. We don’t need more talk.
None of us should believe that a handful of gun safety measures will prevent every tragedy.
It will not. People of good will will continue to debate the merits of various policies as our democracy requires — the big, raucous place, America is. And there are good people on both sides of these debates.
Whatever solutions we find will necessarily be incomplete. But it would be a betrayal of everything Reverend Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allow ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again.
Once the eulogies have been delivered, once the TV cameras move on, to go back to business as usual. That’s what we so often do to avoid uncomfortable truths about the prejudice that still infects our society.
To settle for symbolic gestures without following up with the hard work of more lasting change, that’s how we lose our way again. It would be a refutation of the forgiveness expressed by those families if we merely slipped into old habits whereby those who disagree with us are not merely wrong, but bad; where we shout instead of listen; where we barricade ourselves behind preconceived notions or well-practiced cynicism.
Reverend Pinckney once said, “Across the south, we have a deep appreciation of history. We haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history.”

(APPLAUSE) Clem understood that justice grows out of recognition of ourselves in each other; that my liberty depends
What is true in the south is true for America.on you being free, too.
That — that history can’t be a sword to justify injustice or a shield against progress. It must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, how to break the cycle, a roadway toward a better world. He knew that the path of grace involves an open mind. But more importantly, an open heart.
That’s what I felt this week — an open heart. That more than any particular policy or analysis is what’s called upon right now, I think. It’s what a friend of mine, the writer Marilyn Robinson, calls “that reservoir of goodness beyond and of another kind, that we are able to do each other in the ordinary cause of things.”
That reservoir of goodness. If we can find that grace, anything is possible.
If we can tap that grace, everything can change. Amazing grace, amazing grace.
Amazing grace…
… how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now, I see.
Clementa Pinckney found that grace…
… Cynthia Hurd found that grace…
… Susie Jackson found that grace…
… Ethel Lance found that grace…
… DePayne Middleton Doctor found that grace…
… Tywanza Sanders found that grace…
… Daniel L. Simmons, Sr. found that grace…
(APPLAUSE) … Sharonda Coleman-Singleton found that grace…
… Myra Thompson found that grace…
… through the example of their lives. They’ve now passed it onto us. May we find ourselves worthy of that precious and extraordinary gift as long as our lives endure.
May grace now lead them home. May God continue to shed His Grace on the United States of America.