Malibu Downwinder 2014 was an absolute blast. Perhaps it was because it was my first PB race for the season or glad to be back on Herbie since the shoulder injury, but it was a great day. 10-12 knot winds, a sizable number of fast prone and SUP paddlers, and a killer after-party made this a great race.
My performance was a respectable 1:39 for just under 8 miles, but it was the battle with four other Stock and 14′ prone guys that really had me smiling. For miles we surfed down bumps past one another, hooting encouragement when someone picked up a runner or came off their board, and laughed at dumb jokes when someone found a little energy to be a comedian.
The finish came down to a final gamble in the last mile — go outside and avoid the kelp or go inside and hope that you could pick your way around the speed- and energy-sapping beds of sea lettuce. Neck and neck with the other misery sticks, I decided to follow a few SUPs inside, figuring that they had better visibility on the best line. The choice paid off. I was able to hold off the lone prone that followed me in and the other two guys just got netted and lost multiple minutes into the finish. All-in-all, the shoulder held up pretty well, which was also a great feeling.
The racers enjoyed the rest of the afternoon eating good BBQ, enjoying a few beers, and picking up a few wins on the raffle (I won new set of shades and a nice shirt). Thanks again to Gary Fortune for a great event, as well as all of the volunteers, sponsors, and participants who made it happen. Definitely coming back next year!
I hate chickens; they freak me out. The jerky movements, the vacant eyes, the feet. No, no, and nope. The little hen above (the one with the jacket) hangs out all day with her two coopmates, who, under the cover of darkness, peck the hell out of her while she just sort of sits around and stares out of the cage — no noise, no fight…just chicken. So the good owners finally decide to get the hen a jacket, which is meant to protect her from the abuse of her buddies, who still occasionally walk by and peck at the piece of Kevlar.
Seriously, I could go on about the birds, but this post isn’t really about chickens, it’s about people…people acting like chickens. Every time I look at the chicken jacket I am reminded that some people just don’t have a vocabulary for helping others in need. Too busy to take a call, not enough time to hear out a friend who is swimming in pool of doubt or fear, or, perhaps, just bewildered about what to say to offer solace. It’s passive, and odd, and I find myself falling into this trap all the time.
Others, far better than myself, DO take the calls, DO make time to listen, and DO tend to rebalance the chicken shit-house in which we sometimes find ourselves living. Those people are like the chicken jacket. You’re not going to change the basic nature things, but even the smallest bit of help in the form of a good listener makes a huge difference in one’s quality of life. When I need ’em, I’m glad to know that I own a few jackets.
Okay, off for lunch — a hard boiled egg and a banana. Cheers.
Not sure why it is so hard to not make a creepy Easter Bunny outfit, but, well, apparently it is. A windy paddle to the sticks makes weird bunnies, crazy family get-togethers, and that extra slice of pie all go away.
Last week, I almost created a category for the blog entitled ‘Excuses’ because, hell, I’ve been coming up with a lot of them lately for putting off suffering time in the water: jacked up shoulder, too damn cold, too much work/too little work, wondering how to fix things that can’t be fixed…a dog that has serious anxiety about not finding a place for his favorite bone. All shite excuses, yes, but man how they can take on false importance. Bugbears, all of them.
It’s time to search out some suffer-time and realize there is no perfect place to hide — it’s your own goddamned bone so go out and enjoy it. People like you better when you enjoy it.
Oh, and go read Alain De Botton’s book Status Anxiety. He makes a compelling historical argument about how our notions of success or failure are bound up in an overly simplified binary: you either are or you aren’t. He notes that success and failure (words that have no inherent value) coexist…you can be one hell of squirrel chaser and totally suck at hiding bones. Give it a few days…if you don’t fine the perfect place, you’ll find one that works.
It wasn’t a race, and we were the only “prone” paddlers in the event, but this weekends MDR Poker Paddle and harbor clean up was a really fun little event. Took Daniel and his buddy Jack down to collect a poker hand at five different stations around the bay, along the way grabbing plastic crap that folks mindlessly toss into the water, and we had a blast.
The course was a respectable 3.5 miles and we collected a fairly strong hand (a pair of Jacks and a pair of Queens, Ace high). It was not to be, however, as someone came in holding four 8s. We did manage to win “Best Family Effort,” as my day was mostly spent pushing the kids forward like a tug. Lots of fun and good cause. Can’t wait for the next one.