Last night I attended yet another meetup related to work. Throughout the evening all I could think about was how fast the world is moving. In the last five years, the industry I work in has taken a completely new direction, and I am not sure if the fast pace of change is really a good thing. The reality of the world is that you have to embrace change. Change never stops and sometimes you just need to embrace it and dive in head first. When others are dragging their feet, all you can do is drag them along or let them sink on their own.
Embracing change means you also embrace failure. When things don’t work right, get up, figure out what the hell went wrong, and make things better. And looking back for too long just keeps you stuck in the past. You can step back for a minute, but the longer you wait to tackle the failure, the more the world will have changed around you.
This chain of thought was kicked off by InspiroBot. Yes – the joke AI that makes random quote images. It generated the image above last night, and it really got me thinking.
Every time I ride the motorcycle I do put myself at a very high risk of something bad happening to me. I have been viewing learning and buying a motorcycle as a birth of a new life – the life that I wish I had a few years ago, but kept on putting aside. I put aside nearly everything when my I am riding and in a way it is like I am stepping away from my former self. I now feel like a different person – there is this sense of confidence that I never had before when facing unknown situations. I feel like I can step into the unknown, not look back to the past, and embrace what is about to come at me be it good or bad.
Did InspiroBot really give me a self-revelation about my life? Talk about the rapid pace of change in the world.
At the same time, certain things stay the same. It is that time of the year – Up Your Alley is next weekend – so time to start figuring out all of my outfits for the various events I will be attending.
I think I am starting to ramble – time to take a quick shower and get my ass to the office.
Being comfortable in your own skin can sometimes be fragile. I am always amazed at what little things will set me back.
One of the things I have noticed is that I stop taking selfies when I am no longer comfortable in my own skin. Lately, I have noticed there is a direct correlation to this when I stop working out as much. Last week, I had to take a break for a bit since my left knee was bugging me a bit so I took a five or so days off from running. And what I noticed is that I felt awful at the end. It took dragging my ass out of bed a few days ago and going back out for a run to feel normal again.
Other than that, I have been having a busy week – I had a work related meetup last night and I have another one tonight. When you factor in these meetups, they make for 12-14 hour days. I am slowly getting my road trip thoughts up and published. My goal is for that to be all be done Saturday morning. Unfortunately, I am going to have to put on my corporate drag soon and head into the office.
I know it takes a while for people to accept physical changes to their bodies. Somehow I still have not accepted it. I still feel like I am much larger than I am. While it doesn’t really seem like the changes over the last six months have been big to me, they really are when put in comparison with the past. Even when that past was still good for me. Most people would still not say anything negative about my body then!
I am slowly starting to understand what changes caused these positive outcomes. And one of the things I am quickly learning is to not dwell on the past and look forward. Look at where you want to go, your body, mind, and spirit will follow. I really think this change in my personality came with the motorcycle.
When I look at myself from this angle, and compare to the past, it is clear that my body is following where I want to go. I told myself at the end of last year I need to make some physical changes and I have. It may be a little bit here and there, and I may get discouraged.
I think it has been a good thing that I have a narcissistic selfie addiction. It has been helping me document my life as I evolve. But now I need to get ready for work and deal with my long day today.
Earlier this week, I found a deal on the Dainese Aero Evo suit that was too hard to pass up as a gear head. So I jumped on it and it arrived this morning. During an all hands call I was listening to, I decided to try and get in. It was an experience getting the suit zipped up the first time. At first I feared that I would have to return it since it was not zipping up. Then I remembered you have to bend over like you are in a full tuck on the bike.
Got one side up, success! Now the other zip was fighting me. After finding some cord to use as a zipper pull, I got the it all zipped up. I was thinking to myself, I really hope this works since the next size up was out of stock and I would have to return and pass up on the deal if it didn’t fit. Next step was to zip up the calf zippers and put my boots on. Somehow I managed to get it on while the chatter of corporate goals and visions continued on in the background.
The sensation of the skin tight leather and armor was just amazing. I knew it would be a tight fit, but I felt like I could take anything that could happen to me. But walking and standing was hard. I know this is an aggressively cut motorcycle race suit, but it really was starting to feel like a bondage experience just trying to move around. But once I sat down and put myself in a position that I would be in on the bike, and it started to feel better.
I know from my other Dainese gear that it will break in a bit and the leather will stretch. The bottom half feels like the Delta Pro pants I bought after losing weight, and those were nearly impossible to get on at first. Now, they fit just perfectly. So my fear in ordering the wrong size was misplaced. Now I just sat around listening in to the corporate chatter while covered in this.
Eventually I decided I needed to make sure things fit with the back protector in, and had to get out. And this is were panic strikes, I didn’t think I could wiggle my way out alone. Uhoh. My left arm is stuck and I am just trying to shake it free. I wish I had a camera running since it must have looked funny, but then my left arm frees up and I am out! I realized I will need to wear some compression gear under it until it breaks in.
Once the call ends, I take care of some odds and ends for work, install the back protector, put on some leggings and a compression shirt, and get back in. It was much easier the second time after spending an hour in it. It was clear that it was starting to mould to my body. At this point I take some selfies. I know, a shock, right?
I head downstairs, setup the camera to take some shots with me on the bike to make sure things fit right when used for it it was meant for. The literal second after my leg was thrown over Matte, everything just hit right and felt natural. Then I put myself in a tuck. Even though this is an aggressive suit, any normal position on my bike was at home for it. While it may be a bondage like experience off the bike, it was worth it. And looking at the selfies of myself, I really felt like me.
Now it is lunch time, so I get out of it, change into jeans, then head out to hunt and kill something. While thinking about it over lunch, it feels like I have gotten both a physical and spiritual second skin. I know over time it will physically form around my body. I can’t explain why, but this piece of gear was already starting to make a spiritual connection with me and I want to explore it more.
I really want to know, what is different about this one piece suit vs my pants and jacket that zip together to form a two piece suit?
Now I can’t wait until Saturday when I am going to ride around the North Bay and break in the suit along Highway 1 and other twisty roads. Let’s start forming these connections close and expand them further. I bought Matte to go explore, I didn’t think it was going to make me start exploring my spiritual side again – that will be a topic of a different post.
There is a part of me wondering why I stopped being myself for a bit. After the fracture, I stopped being myself for a bit and didn’t wear leggings or my other gear out and about as I normally do. Even once I recovered, I noticed I tended to be wearing jeans instead of leggings. Subconsciously, I think this was leading me to a state of disassociation since I no longer felt like who I was.
Last night I said fuck it and let’s get back on track with life. Once I got home and changed out of my leathers I put on the Blackmilk coffee bean leggings and then headed out to Trader Joe’s to grab stuff for dinner. As I was walking up, I was thinking to myself, why was I hiding form the world?
It took me walking past a group of stereotypical hipsters looking all awkward tight skinny jeans, plaid, and the fur hats to realize a big thing. I feel like myself and I am confident dressed the way I am. I never want to be that person who is not comfortable in their own skin, even if it is just walking up the road to grab groceries.
However, Leggings and Motorcycles don’t mix. I’d like to keep my skin intact, thank you very much. It is going to be interesting to see how my wardrobe evolves from here. While I never have issue wearing leather out and about, I did break down and buy a pair of Bull-It SR6 Riding Jeans to avoid looking like a complete alien for short trips around town. On the other hand, I have found walking into a store in a two piece race suit does get you the quickest service.
Over the past three months I have made a lot of changes to my life. Between buying a motorcycle and fracturing my clavicle, my life has reshaped. And these new experiences are distracting me from other healthy habits that I was starting to form last year. One of the unfortunate things has been that I have not been writing as much, which is something I really didn’t want to drop off.
In the past three months, even with the fact that I not on Matte (the motorcycle) for over a month while the fracture recovered, I put on 4,000 miles on him. As I put on the miles on the bike, I continue to learn more about myself. But getting this on paper has been really hard for me, since I have not been able to come up with the right words to explain the changes and feelings I have. All I know is that I feel more or less myself when on Matte and I arrive at my destination refreshed.
I also stopped taking as many selfies despite my continued weight loss from my diet changes. Part of this has been a crunch for time in my day. But it really started to wane while I was recovering from the fracture. The strange thing is I kept my weight loss on track during that period, and I am down nearly 30 lbs since the beginning of the year.
This brings me to what my goals are for June. I want to get back in the habit of posting gear selfies and thoughts on a regular basis – and today seems like a good way to start it back up. I also want to write down all of the thoughts that I have been failing to get down on paper or online.
Still confused on how I can truly enjoy coffee while in a helmet.
I never got around to posting the morning selfies today, but there is always time to do that before the day ends. But the news here should be that I actually wanted to pose and do my morning coffee selfies.
Since fracturing my collarbone – I have been in a funk and have not been feeling well about myself. But over the past week, my spirits have been lifting. I know this is not permanent and I will be back to my normal self shortly.
I am slowly getting around to processing the photos from my trip to San Diego for SD Leather Pride. While I was crippled I had a good time down there. It is interesting to see other communities at work. Maybe sometime over the next year I will spend a few weeks down there, work remotely, and check out what daily life is like. I will say I did enjoy the warm weather.
It doesn’t seem to me like my body has transformed over the last year. A lot of friends and even coworkers have noticed that I have lost significant weight recently. While my close friends say it has been gradual over the last few months, it really seems like it has just accelerated over the last few months.
It took digging up a selfie in the same outfit I took a year ago and putting it side by side with this mornings selfie to see my transformation. While going through selfies from around this time last year, I really wasn’t looking good. But even then, the selfies of me when I was doing a lot of cycling didn’t look much different. I really credit the new diet I am doing for this transformation.
I am happy that I became a selfie whore a few years ago – it helps keep me honest about what my life was like.
A few weeks ago, I picked up a new scale and I was shocked that I was only 210 – and just a few weeks later, I am at 207! 210 was roughly were I was before my old scale broke about 18 months ago – which coincided with my the reduction in my cycling. Even as of 5 months ago with my visit to the cardiologist, I was still hovering in the 225 range.
This morning I realized that my body has no issue running 10k now. This afternoon, I wish I went longer this morning before it started raining. Even as of a year ago, this was unheard of for me – a 5k run was long then.
Today, I am looking forward to actually running Bay to Breakers as a serious runner in May. I will have to figure out a outfit for it. But I have made a goal of doing it in 1 hour, which would be an 8:05 minute mile pace.
I am still getting used to being highly active again. I woke up and my legs were protesting even doing a quick 5k run this morning. So I listened to it and said it’s a rest day. While running helped keep a low level base it didn’t use the same muscles as cycling did. Over the last few months, I went from having about 2-3 hours of active time a week to 6-10 hours of active time a week.
These changes have really kickstarted changes in my body. Between my new diet and being back to a normal activity level – the fat is starting to come right off. I am feeling good both physically and mentally. Riding in the rain has gone from being annoying to something I look forward.
This time spent on my bike puts me into a cathartic state and many of my worries just fall off. I didn’t use to get this deep into a relaxed state before on my old bike and I have an idea why – the new bicycle I bought is a full on race bike and the way it responds has a lot to do with it. While I would not say it is twitchy, it is very responsive to any input I give it. This has resulted in something very similar to the bikers (as in motorcycles) I know say to me, you have to clear your mind and just focus on the road and bike.
This is the type of pain I enjoy. I decided last night that I am going to start training to do a Triathlon or two in 2018. Good thing the office has a nice outdoor pool.
2017 is sure shaping up to be a transformational year for me.
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