First off, lets be very clear that my writing skills are sub-par at best so grammar is likely to take a big hit over the next few months, if that bothers you, read no further.
I want to quickly look at how I got to this point, and why exactly I felt it was important to do an extensive write up of my journey over the next few months.
As you can easily read in the “about me” section, I was raised in alaska, raced motocross from about 13 up to 21 at which time gave it all up and headed for Colorado seeking education and new surroundings. From about the age of 13, behind the scenes I had become a fitness fanatic and took my self from the weak pudgy kid into a total gym rat. The difference between most gym rats and I, was that beyond the olympic lifting, I was training for a sport (motocross) that require great endurance so running was a staple of my training. While my love for fitness was real, I was also very individual and avoided any team sport throughout my school years like the plague.
Fast forward a few years, I left CSU with a degree in health and exercise science, I had successfully competed and made the podium at nationals with the CSU cycling team, and I was off to find my way in the world of road cycling. While it did take me around the U.S and once over to belgium where I missed an amateur worlds title by one spot, it was cut short just after signing my first pro contract.
In my case an unexplained discomfort and nerve sensation in the left side of my body. I spent a year and countless dollars trying to figure out what the problem was. In the end there was no explanation and after taking a long time to come to terms, I set aside any ambitions of competing at the highest level on the road. For a year, I worked, educated myself, and found other ways to fill my time.
At the conclusion of 2013, my buddy Tom, put my on a mtn bike for a few days and, while still uncomfortable, I found the love for riding and dirt bikes all in one with no expectation to be fast or meet a certain standard. Of course me being me, I bought a mtn bike, and set a goal of qualifying for the leadville 100 mtb race. Was that enough? of course not. I also said I wasn’t leaving without the big buckle, which is a finish of less than 9 hours. After qualifying with a podium in my first race back, and a good showing at the leadville 50, I ended up finishing the leadville 100 in 29th place with a time of 7 hours and 26 minutes. Mission accomplished. The atmosphere of this race was unreal and I swore to return as often as I could.
Two weeks later I took my amazing mother to flagstaff arizona for a leadville qualifying race that would carry over to the next season. I went out and won my first race in many many years. The 2014 barnburner 104 will always a very important races, as it was my first win on a mtn bike, and the first time my mother has ever seen me race a bike. It was an epic day, and damn they gave us a lot of free beer…
Wait..back up one weekend and this is how it REALLY started. My friend Russell Herbert, decided that I should race an xterra at buffalo creek the week after the leadville. I said, eh, give me a week to swim. Long story short, this little race bagged me a spot to xterra nationals, and after a 2nd place at nationals, it sent me over to maui for worlds. My journey ended with a 5th place in my age group and the 13th amateur to finish. After my near miss in belgium, this was possibly my chance to make amends and get that world championship…
This year started with high hopes and things faded with a painful knee (brought on typically by major compensation on my right side due to my chronic left leg injury),which lead to a string of missed races, and nearly made me can the whole season. Luckily things turned around slightly and I was able to train normally for a couple weeks in order for russell to drag me up to beaver creek for the xterra mtn championships. After enduring a shit ton of pain, and going through many different states of hate for Russell, I ended up 4th and was able to secure my nationals and worlds slot.
I will leave out the details on how I contracted his kids puking sickness and laid in bed for the next week..
That how I got to this point. Training has resumed as of a week ago and I will start posting details on how I got about it.
My goal is to get that championship within the next two years.
If anyone wants to support the cause, it is always appreciated. I have had many great individuals help me out over the years. I am fortunate enough to have the backing of Breck bike guides bike shop as well as pearl izumi to keep me clothed and on two wheels.