2017.06.03 – Wondering why I stopped being me for a bit.

Getting back to just being me

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.

I just feel like myself again.

2017.06.02 – Getting Back in to the Selfie Habbit

It’s been a while since I have done this

As I reflect back over the last three months, one of the reasons I cut back on the selfies was I started riding the motorcycle into the office. Since I was getting comfortable dealing with traffic, I shifted my schedule to be earlier. As a result, I didn’t even notice when that I stopped writing and cutting back on the selfies since I was trying to hit the road early. Now that I am comfortable in traffic I have been shifting my schedule more or less back to where it used to be. Now I am having time again to relax a bit and get back to this selfie addiction.

One of the goals I am giving myself for the month of June is I won’t commute to the office without taking at least a 5k run before throwing my legs over Matte. Caltrain has since redone the morning schedule and effectively added 10 minute to my morning train ride. I feel like I have less motivation to ride the bicycle into the office since riding Matte in is an hour quicker and just as fun. But I don’t get the same physical benefit, so I need to ensure that I continue to run every day that I commute to the office.

One of the advantages to doing a decent run is that I need time to cool down. This gives me time to take the selfies and write.

Yes, I tease Instagram with my ass every morning now.

As part of the selfie addiction, I have also been doing spandex clad ass shots before I go out for a run and I post them up on to Instagram. And I fully admit, I do this because I still have self doubt in myself. There is an endorphin rush when guys who I think are hot as hell like my photos on IG – it reminds myself that I really have made progress.

While there are still days I go, do I really look like that? But those thoughts are fading each month. And I have a good idea why – I have pushed myself in ways lately that literally require to have confidence in myself to survive.

There may be days I don’t think this is me, but they are becoming fewer and farther between.

2017.06.01 – Distracted

All protected to read my morning emails

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.

Let’s get back on track with the selfies.

 

Still confused on how I can truly enjoy coffee while in a helmet.

2017.05.20 – Backlog

The Men of the 2018 Bare Chest CalendarI just realized that I have a backlog of a lot of photos from the SF K9 Unit Woof Camp and now the 2018 Bare Chest Calendar Finals. I will get to to them in due time everyone – things in my life have just been crazy.

2017.05.11 – Change

Over the last few months I have not been writing as much. When I fractured my collarbone – it sent me into a lot of depression. However, after 4 weeks into the recovery my life was starting to get back to normal but I have not bounced back to my old normal. As I have mentioned before, when I fracture bones my life seems to change.

Right now I am sitting in one of my neighborhood Irish pubs watching the band setup while I write this. This pub was one of the first neighborhood bars I walked into after moving to SF four and a half years ago. In this time, my life has changed so much that it is hard to enumerate. Somehow sitting here with a pint of Guinness is making me really reflect hard on things. Over the last few months there have been a few defining moments. Buying the motorcycle, fracturing my collarbone, and getting called “The Cleaner” (Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction) at work.

I am going to leave the work stuff aside – since I personally don’t like taking about those issues openly on the internet. But in many ways, it is how I deal with things and is a very apt description of my personality. The fracture i have talked about before, and honestly, I really feel like it was a bump in the road for the changes that was caused by the primary catalyst – buying a motorcycle.

Matte looking all pretty at the office parking lot.

Over the last 2.5 months, I have put on over 2,500 miles on Matte. Yes – I named the motorcycle Matte after a suggestion from Diesel. Like my puppy name, my bike’s name is also from a friend and it just sounds right. And leads to a lot of S&M jokes. Given that for a month I was unable to ride Matte, It is very impressive that I have put on that much in 1.5 months of riding. In that short time frame, I am learning a lot about myself.

The big thing for me is that I have found a source of zen like no other. This is something you typically hear form many bikers. As soon as I put on the helmet, pull on the gloves, and start the motor up, I have to clear out everything from my head and focus on riding. This state of catharsis is like no other that I have felt, including various bondage scenes. Even on my 50 mile each way commute, I am in this state when I reach my destination.

Over the next few days I need to get these thoughts down on paper. While maybe they are not unique – they have been instrumental in understanding the evolution of myself.

 

2017.05.03 – Finding my limits.

I haven’t been posting in a while. Things have been busy for me in a many aspects of my life. Honestly spending time on the motorcycle has been a good chunk of that time. But today, I think pushed the limits of my self control.

After a really frustrating back and forth at the office, I had to take a walk and get some fresh air 10 minutes before my next meeting. I walked outside and my body ended up going on auto pilot ended up walking across the open area to the parking garage. At this point I just stared at my motorcycle with the key in hand. After about 30-45 seconds I put the key back in my pocket.

A few things went through my mind. The first was I had no gear on. Everything, including my helmet, were still at my desk. While I can break many promises to myself, this is one I was not going to break. I’ve seen too many accident videos, have first hand accounts from friends, and know doctors and nurses and know that the layer of dead cow and armor will help reduce the risk of injuries a lot. The other realization was if I stayed in this mind set, even if I had the gear on, I would probably do something stupid and should step back and calm down.

That’s when it hit me, I have formed a deep seeded respect for motorcycles and the vulnerability one faces when piloting it down the road.

I know if I drove the car in, none of these thoughts would have gone in my mind. There was a good chance that I would have burned out of the parking garage hitting triple digits going down the road leading to 101 without giving it a second thought.

I think it is time to get some sleep and reflect more tomorrow.

2017.04.15 – Nightmares

I haven’t been posting much lately – there has been a lot going on in my life and things have been a bit crazy for me. Things are starting to calm down for me personally, they get more insane globally. Last night my mind wandered while eating sushi and paralyzed me for the evening.

As some of you may know, I bought a motorcycle. I have been commuting on it when possible and I am finding that has been a very positive mental benefits to me. If I take 280 home – I possibly ride on one of the most scenic freeways in the US. Shortly after I merge on the road from Cupertino, I am quickly in the hills and surrounded by the cows and horses in Palo Alto, descending on Crystal Springs Reservoir, and passing over the San Andres fault. But instead of taking the freeway all of the way up to the city, I have been getting off at Highway 35 just after Millbrae ave and taking Great Highway. It might be a bit longer – but it’s way less stressful than lane splitting past the Daly City traffic.

By taking Highway 35, I get to see a view of SF that just mind blowing. After you pass the Highway 1 intersection, there is a view of the skyline from SFO all of the way over to the beach. And something about my ride home last night with the slowly changing colors, the tobacco tint of the blue mirrored visor, the wind going through my beard, and the scent of the clean ocean air just put me in a great mood. I felt like somehow despite all of the issues I see and face, I made the right decisions with my life. I wish I had a GoPro since I would love to have shown an image of what I saw.

But take this peaceful scene – but imagine you heard a missile fly over head and watch this perfect scene go up in a mushroom cloud. This is where this nightmare starts, downtown SF get bombed by the North Koreans. After seeing the initial flash, everyone slams on the brakes. I put the bike on the kickstand, and just stare at the skyline in shock. Look around, and realize that even though we were not hit directly by the blast, that we all have been exposed to the fallout and don’t know how long we all have.

If something like this came to me a year ago, I would laugh it off. But with the recent escalation from 45 – it seems like this could occur. After getting sleep – I am doing better this morning. It just reiterates that I need to live my life for what I want since we don’t know how long we have left on this planet.

2017.03.28 – Nothing lasts forever

15 years for a compression shirt is a good run.

On Monday at the gym I noticed that the shirt I packed looked like it wasn’t washed right. But upon closer look, the Lycra on it is starting to disintegrate. In the end I shouldn’t feel bad for getting 15 years out of a shirt.

While this shirt is not the start of my spandex fetish but it does mark a one of the transformations in my life. I bought this shirt after doing a tough arm, chest, and back workout and I was really sore the next day. I already knew from cycling that a bit of compression made my legs feel good, so why not try these new fanged compression shirts that started appearing everywhere at the time in 2001 or 2002. This was the around the first time in my life that I dropped a lot of weight.

In the end, this shirt got often used for lifting, recovery, and to add a bit of a minor base layer on cool days. I have been scraped up and cut while wearing it, yet somehow it never tore the shirt. They really don’t make them as they used to. The only hole in this shirt after 15 years is from when I had a stripped bolt head and I needed something to make the hex key a fit while on the side of the road.

I have yet to have any other Under Armour gear hold up as well – there was something about the real early stuff they sold that just lasted forever.

But I am not content with just throwing it away – given how much literal sweat and blood this shirt has absorbed in that time. While fidgeting with it, I noticed it could make a good gag. I tried it out, and it sure did. Not it will get nicely tied up so that it is ready to use and hang it next to the rope in the bedroom.

Finding a some new uses for the old compression shirt.

2017.03.20 – Spirits lifting

Two weeks after the fracture – I am feeling more like my shiny self.

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.

2017.03.14 – Recovering

Starting to feel more normal again

Last week, I had an accident. It is not what you think. It did not happen on the motorcycle, but rather right here in my own kitchen. I slipped and fell into the corner (where the camera is at) of the granite countertop and fractured my shoulder.

Yep – It’s fractured!

It looks like the recovery for me will be fairly quick. They want me out of the sling next week and want to start adding weight again in a few more weeks. I will be seeing a physical therapist soon and will go from there.

But the last week was hard for me – I was really starting to enjoy the motorcycle. Didn’t hurt that it made my commute much faster and cheaper. During the afternoon last Tuesday I was planning on making a trip down to Monterey for Sunday. On top of that, everyone around me noticed that my mood was just getting better. Since I had to focus on the road and bike – I would get to the office or home with a completely clear head. I honestly was feeling great.

So I went from that, plus getting around 8-12 hours of athletic activity in a week to basically having to sit back and do nearly nothing! I was fairly depressed over the last week. It is the reason why I haven’t posted up much. But that all changed this morning.

I attempted to go out for a run this morning. While within literally 10 steps I knew that my shoulder wasn’t ready for it, just the attempt changed my mood around. The reason why I attempted is because I woke up with no stiffness or soreness. I thought to myself, if I can do a 1 mile run, that would really help me. Sometimes just the failed attempt is enough to make you go, yes – things will be better.

Instead I’ll just make coffee and enjoy the morning

I need to start preparing for my trip to San Diego over the weekend. Can’t take my big lenses for the zoo, so I will have to make due with the RX100IV for the trip. But I am sure I will still enjoy it and meet plenty of interesting people at SD Leather Pride.