Monday, August 31, 2009

Understanding Motivation - Dan Pink

Friday, August 28, 2009

Does Your Bike Have As Many Scars As Your Body?

Dear Mountain Biking,

Thank you for all the fun... I've really enjoyed riding through the open meadows at break-neck speeds. Pausing, at times, to sit in a field of wildflowers. Taking in the many scents is like a warm blanket for my spirit. The jumps, hips, log rides, those bring me to a special place, where my mind is empty, so thanks for those... But I have a special request: could you stop the crashing and scarring...?
Folks, I'm sure many of you are like me, and are just about over it. If I had a nickel for every scar, I'd have like $3.25 - yeeyah. Then I take a look at my bike, shake my head and add up some more nickels - $7.15. If I had to calculate the mental scarring, then that's when things get really interesting: $1,367,822.17. Yep, a lot of nickels... Seems to me that there is almost a direct correlation between the amount of scars on your bike, and the number on your body. Go ahead, think of your bike, look at your shins, elbows, knees, clavical (if you still have one), hips, etc. and start counting...

Now, if scars make the man, then I want to be a boy! I'll be honest with you all, I'm not proud of my scars. The internal ones too... When I get out of bed, I have to use my right arm to get up, because my left shoulder hurts needs a warm up before it gets moving. The middle of my back aches, so I can't arch backwards. I can't lift much over my head anymore. My right hand has this massive bump and it aches sometimes. When I sit in a chair, my right knee makes this awful cracking noise - it is really bad. Forget about turning my head to the right - no way! And I used to be such a together person, what happened...? Scars!

Me, in one piece, years ago...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Passionate People: How Do You Know If You're One?

What drives you? Is there something in your life you absolutely cannot live without? If you died tomorrow, what would people say about your mission in life? Is there a "most important" thing that gets you out of bed early, and often? Having thought a lot about this topic lately, I've decided to define it further to help us all answer the previous questions...

The Passion Flower - thought it was fitting in this post...

First, let's start with defining addiction: being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming. Let's think about this... From the outside perspective, what do people say about artists that focus solely on their craft? Probably something like, "They're so addicted..." or "My word, is that all the do?" Yet, is their passion, their joy, an addiction? Is there something, like passion, which is more powerful than addiction?

There is... And it is passion! Those of us with the chemical spark - the one that gives drive to our passion - will no doubt gravitate to something. Yes, I'm saying that the passionate are pre-disposed. The passionate have a NEED, you might say, a unbending desire to DO. This is stronger, and at times, might compete with an addiction. Yet, passion will be the basis for the individual - it will define them. Hopefully a negative addiction is just a short-term obsession. Based on this conclusion, a better definition of passion should be:

PASSION: having unending drive towards the pursuit of one's internal desires...

Your thoughts? Post a comment and let's get to the heart of this...

PS: my passion: OUTDOOR PURSUITS!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Master Collaborator, Is There Such A Thing?

Whether during a meeting, on a specialized project, group research, non-profit committees, you've witnessed it! He/she comes out of the woodwork and: engages, challenges, warms up the debate, cools it down, makes you think, stops you in your tracks, brings in an expert, makes a great point, tells you like it is, uses technology, teaches, mentors, arrives on time, makes people feel like their contributions matter, and, as always, more...


I'm describing a master collaborator; a focused participant that brings your project/meeting/ideas some life. Are they born with it? Is it taught? If we all have experienced this type of person, why aren't there more like 'em?



As we have learned, collaboration isn't an easy skill. We learn it... Sorry to say, but rarely are people born collaborators. Take one of our natural reactions: defensiveness. It is perfectly natural to get defensive, we are hard-wired to be. When challenged, our blood pressure rises and we get confrontational. Yet, this isn't collaborative - thus not natural. Instead, the master collaborator, will embrace the defensiveness, call it out, and determine how to improve the situation. Again, when was the last time you did this?


My point: when you experience a master collaborator, learn from them. Ask for mentorship! It is through direct experience that we learn the best, so be mindful and learn...


Thank you to http://www.flickr.com/photos/dharmaphotos/165361858/ for the awesome picture!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ahh, The Pros...


There are those in nice clothes
Who talk and show graphs
As you listen, and doodle, and think...
What if I burst out a laugh
After this meeting, when the air is refreshed
We are drinking coffee, tea and earning a mental rest
All of a sudden, the one with the graphs,
Who has the nice clothes,
Walks to the group, the big, big pro.
It tries to act personal,
Now, small talk again,
With Tea, Coffee and lots of half grins
Think: we don't really care, you're too pro for us
Think: if I see one more graph, I'll just have to throw up
Think: who is this stiff? What do they want?
And back to a fake laugh, you hurry your break
Then back to the meeting room for more graphical fun

Thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/fabrisalvetti/431625236/ for the pic...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Investment In The Spiritual Life

Is there ROI in the spiritual life? What do you get from meditation, mindfulness, introspection, etc.? Is it worth it? Who cares? I'm on the side of actually caring for things like this, but in practice, I'm not so good. Perhaps, because I can see the direct ROI from riding my bike, instead of meditating. So, instead of pretending I have the answers, I decided to look for them. First, I found a great source on the subject, here. Below are some excerpts you might want to read and learn more about...

Patricia Norris, Ph.D., Director of the Biofeedback and Psychophysiology Clinic at the Menninger Foundation, reports: "In our practice at Menninger we use meditative techniques to enhance immune functioning in cancer, AIDS, and autoimmune patients. We also use meditation in conjunction with neuro-feedback to normalize brain rhythms and chemistry in alcohol and drug addiction, as well as other addictive conditions. Almost all of our patients use meditative techniques in learning self-regulation for disorders such as anxiety and hypertension, and for stress management. We consider meditation a recommended practice for anyone seeking high-level wellness."
And, of course a bulleted list...
  • Deep rest-as measured by decreased metabolic rate, lower heart rate, and reduced work load of the heart.
  • Lowered levels of cortisol and lactate-two chemicals associated with stress.
  • Reduction of free radicals- unstable oxygen molecules that can cause tissue damage. They are now thought to be a major factor in aging and in many diseases.
  • Decreased high blood pressure.
  • Higher skin resistance. Low skin resistance is correlated with higher stress and anxiety levels.
  • Drop in cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease.
  • Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to asthma patients.
  • Younger biological age. On standard measures of aging, long-term Transcendental Meditation (TM) practitioners (more than five years) measured 12 years younger than their chronological age.
  • Higher levels of DHEAS in the elderly. An additional sign of youthfulness through Transcendental Meditation (TM); lower levels of DHEAS are associated with aging.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Klunkers - The History Of Mountain BIking



A great movie...

Friday, August 14, 2009

This Bike Looks Lovely

If you're into a fresh new bike... Check out Specialized Demo SX Trail II - I think I'm in love... The folks at MountainBike.com took out their measuring tapes and did a great write up on the ride, the glide and fly - this bike looks like it wants to get off the ground!

I've been considering an Ellsworth Moment, but when I'm faced with a Specialized ride like this, I get all emotional... OK, so I'm REALLY selling my 2008 Enduro, who wants to buy it?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Awesome!!!

The Little Boy That Lives In The Back Of Your Throat Is A Good Thing For Riders

Remember this wholesome kid from the movie - The Shining? Ahhh, what a lovely boy to have around - NOT! This young man was forced to live in the Rocky Mountains, near one of the most beautiful areas on the planet - tough life. His family was care taking a hotel and during the winter, dad, and son (the kid), go crazy.

The kid has a little boy that lives in the back of his throat that tells him things and makes him write murder backwards with lipstick - like that would ever happen. Well, don't we all have a little boy that lives in the back of our throats? We all have a little critic that comes out during our mountain bike ride saying: you should've hit that drop better; you know, you're faster than that; you're being a baby!


Like the kid in the movie, we should listen to this internal throat-centric little boy/critic. I'm sure you've heard people say, "oh, you need to ignore it and meditate it out..." WRONG! You need to embrace it!

First off, that little voice could save you from your crazy father. Secondly, that little voice is a motivator. Just because he isn't that positive; doesn't mean he's wrong. Your internal critic will get you over more stunts and terrain than the positive little fairy/angel - gauranteed! So keep that little voice around. Yes, sometimes he needs to shut up, but don't get rid of him; especially if your father is a little off his rocker...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is Durango, CO In Danger Of Losing Its "Epic Mountain Biking Status"

Ahhh, the good old days of mountain biking: sweet singletrack, friends and hard lung-busting riding. Wait... The good old days haven't really changed much in Durango. One can still find epic high-country rides; great town loops; some technical trails; but what you won't find (without knowing the right people is gaps, jumps, log rides... What am I talking about? FREERIDE!

Durango, CO is no doubt one of the best places to ride, but we haven't kept up with the evolution of the sport. Freeriding/slope-style combines advanced mountain bike technology with very technical trails. Typically, a freeriding experience will involve jumping over dirt jumps, specially made for mountain bikes, and riding over stunts like log rides and natural rock gardens. The sport is all about pushing the bike, and your style.

Durango, CO has some options, but they are illegally built and secret... However, not all is lost. Durango has the chance to improve; the chance to make it a real epic is slowly evolving!

This week the IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) trail crew came to visit with us to talk about making new trails. What's more, through our constant work, we actually got the city to OK some us of land - so we do have a location to start building. IMBA also took it a step further and met with the city and other land managers to educate them on the use of areas that have been already adopted by mountain bikers. Finally, they also suggested a jump/skills park for all levels. It was a great meeting with over 30 Trails2000 members attending!

In the end, and before the summer is out, we hope to have our first legal freeride trail! Stay tuned for more...

Monday, August 10, 2009

On The Mend, But Not In The Air... Yet...

Walker's back!!! A great riding weekend for sure... Awesome high country scenes, friends and ripping fast downhill, but no freeride (or I should say only the small stuff).

I kept it somewhat mellow as I still have my stitches in. However, I was able to shred Blackhawk pass to Hotel Draw, Kennebec Pass to Durango, CO, Jones Creek and back and some small freeride stuff. My concern is that I slam my foot down and bust a stitch. I think these damn things can come out now - the leg feels great!

But my crash was a big one, and I'm still somewhat timid... So what does one do to mend the mental breakdown after a big crash? Well, you watch freeride porn... Check out this latest I found on youtube.



One of the best freeride videos I've ever seen...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Osprey Hydration Pack Review

Subject: Osprey Pack Review
Tester: Walker Thompson
Ride: log chutes free ride trail, Durango, CO



I really liked the mesh back here... The small distance really kept if off my back. The internal bladder backing also makes it feel like lumbar support.


This little pouch kept my camera in the whole ride! Easily fits keys too...


It was a freeride trail. I was able to attach on my knee pads. Worked really well...


Close up of the knee attachment...


THIS WAS AWESOME!!! Having a handle was just killer. What's more, I could easily take off the bladder cover - no struggle!!!


Just looks easy - again, no struggle...


video

Here is a quick video of some of my comments while riding...

Changes to consider...

1. Make the magnet larger on the bite value/chest strap...
2. Tighten up the hose exit area - seems like water could get down there...
3. I'm not sure of the fabric. Will it catch and rip?

Mate Shots? From the HeyHeyMate.com Blog

Ever have one of those days when a shot makes more sense than a glass? What is it about concentrated beverages that makes us so wild? What about something a little more practical (and healthier), like a shot of mate? Sure, why not, I thought to myself and figured out a little trick shot recipe to make it possible...



To start, I learned it is all about the looseleaf type. I'm sure you could make something wonderful with tea bags, but the loose stuff is easier to concentrate. Next, you'll need a french press or some sort of container and strainer. Yes, the system isn't that complex and you probably know where I'm going with this, but there is one more element. Go here and buy one of your favorite mate concentrates. This is the most, super secret ingredient - it is the drop in the lemon drop. Now that you have all the ingredients, it is time to start the process...


1. Add A LOT of scoops of mate to the french press - 5 or 8 tablespoons


2. Boil water


3. Add hot water to mate


4. Let steep for a long time - about 15 minutes


5. Strain


6. Add mate concentrate - about 1 cup to average french press


7. Stir


8. Serve, with honey or other for flavor

9. Shoot


10. WATCH OUT!!!


Thank you to http://www.flickr.com/photos/dabinsi/3211934412/ for all great saki shot glass picture!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

It Is HARD To Collaborate - The Small Business Challenge

There are three types of group collaborations that can take the soul out of you, and give you the most rewards, and they are:

1.
Being in a band
2.
Working on a committee
3.
Working for a small company

My list comes completely from experience... And yet, I want to focus on the small company collaboration. Trust me, it is harder than the others...

A small company is the most challenging in my opinion. You can walk away from a band, and you have your passion/talent driving you here. On a committee, many times, you aren't paid so you can tell everyone to F%&K themselves and walk away. In a small company, you can't leave without damaging the company. Telling people to F%&K off will hurt you in the long run. But, nail it with a small company that is doing something unique and you have something no one else has - real opportunity!


Yet, it can feel as though you're walking closer to the end of the plank... In a small company, the next step can be your last, which is why collaboration is so important. This is a lesson I'm learning every single day! I'm not master at collaboration, believe me. It is hard. Keeping you ego out of everything sucks. Listening to people - F%&K that! Working jointly on tasks - F%&K that too! However, when was the last time a small company succeeded without multiple people and great talent?

Collaboration is central to growing an organization! Here are a few lessons I'm learning in a small company, which is focused on collaboration...

1. SHUT YOUR MOUTH - unless you have a positive contribution
2. Not every great idea will move forward, even though it is a great idea - you have to push on it
3. Embrace as many talents as possible - it might take longer, but things will get done
4. Be upfront about goals and objectives - and build in accountability
5. Let go - just let it go

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Looks Like A Good Video - Climbing Galore



Can't wait until my leg heals...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Check Out My New Widget

LOOK BELOW!!!

My Top Five Gear POTENTIAL Purchases For Fall/Winter

I've been thinking about my Christmas list, and I'm checking it twice. I want to make sure the gear is twice as nice. With all that I do, which includes skiing too, the gear had better be the shit so I made this list...


The Mammut Veglass - breathable, lightweight and orange/yellowish - does it get any better than this?

The Montrail Mountain Masochist - winter running/hiking is mandatory during those after work hours. Time for a show that can hug the trail, so I don't hug trees in the dark!


ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! One of the coolest coffee/tea makers I've seen - perfect for car camping...

A sick pair of Troy Lee Design moto shorts... RAD!

I'm itching for a new Ellsworth Moment with the freeride set up... SOMEONE, PLEASE BUY MY SPECIALIZED ENDURO!!!