May 15, 2016

Choosing the Inner Circle

I heard a loud crash outside our family room door a few weeks ago.  I went out to take a look and found that one of the HUGE pine trees that line the side of our house had fallen.    As I gazed skyward at the remaining cluster, I thought about the importance of mutual support, years of community and adjustment to change.

Our family made a well thought out move last summer. We had contemplated this relocation for years, but it had become apparent that waiting for the ideal moment was no longer an option.  With this decision came the need for Randy to say good bye to his much loved cycling community. He had witnessed many changes among the group during his years of tenure.  The team had acquired numerous medals, trophies and championship jerseys, along with wedding celebrations, graduations and expanding families.  Long lasting friendships were foraged and maintained.  When tragedy struck, the bonds of support tightened and the team held together.  It was and continues to be a well run organization with thoughtful leadership.

After our decision to move was finally made, we began the tedious task of sorting, purging and packing our belongings before heading south.  Once we arrived, Randy started the process of looking for a new cycling family.  He went on numerous group rides and got involved with the local community shortly after the moving van was unloaded.  During these months of exploration, Randy would often talk about a certain cyclist who went out of his way to introduce him to others, include him in conversations and brought him up to speed on the local race climate. Another member of this same team had helped us find a home prior to moving and then welcomed us to the neighborhood once we arrived.  Not surprising, Randy decided to join their team at the start of the New Year.

Change is rarely easy…….One afternoon I witnessed Randy take his new team jersey out of the washer.  He held it up, examined it for a few seconds and then looked at it as if he was betraying an old friend.  Letting go is a challenging task. So in Randy fashion, he dove into team time trial practice, shared rides and swapped stories with his new team mates and began the process of creating friendships.  This transition is a work in progress and building a new foundation takes time.

So, we prepare to send Randy off on yet another adventure.  The new team jersey is packed in a duffle, along with the old peppermint bark tin filled with homemade treats, tied with a Christmas bow and a notepaper heart message tucked underneath.  Some things change, but others remain the same.  Though this transition is ongoing, Randy’s inner circle is solid, so even when the winds blow, he remains strong, unlike the pine tree along the side of our house.

I wish you Peace in your Choices.

Kari Warren is a certified physician assistant, clinical research associate, former wellness guide and married to Randy Warren for 18 years.



April 15, 2016

Trust the Process

I saw Randy walk through the door the other day; cold and dripping wet after returning home from a long, rainy mountain ride.  There are no weather excuses at our house, because it’s that time of year again, spring training.  Time to assess the bike, the body, the excitement and the pangs of uncertainty.

Early every January, Randy writes down his well thought out small, medium and long-term goals, breaking the training process into manageable pieces.  He commits these goals to paper and then shares them with me, not only for accountability, but out of respect for our family calendar.  He refers to these goals on a regular basis. He uses them to set purpose for his day, whether a VO2 max interval challenge or an active recovery family ride.  When he starts to question his efforts, as do most people from time to time, he seeks guidance from past journal entries.  He compares current results with past performances and then adjusts his training accordingly.  Day after day he rides, fills his body with good food and sleeps well.  He is known to quote the Roman philosopher, Seneca saying, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”, and I can attest to his preparation.  I watch him lay the foundation for success one pedal stroke at a time.

I have been the backseat audience for many a travel conversation.  I have heard gifted athletes express self doubt about their abilities and readiness for a given season, only to hear the importance of trusting the process and revisiting those journal entries for affirmation.  One such incredible athlete would post his goals on his bathroom mirror.  The small pieces of paper would tether him to the moment; asking him to stay firm and not look too far ahead, to do the work and to trust that the results would follow, which they did.

Everyone struggles on occasion.  So when doubt enters in, Randy wakes to an early alarm, straps on his helmet and goes for a ride.  I admire the way he conducts himself during all of this and I long to see his hard work rewarded.  I envision him standing tall on that middle podium position.  His arms held high in triumphant celebration and smiling from ear to ear.  But, win, lose or somewhere in between, I am always proud of him, no matter what the outcome.

I wish you Peace in the Process.

Kari Warren is a certified physician assistant, clinical research associate, former wellness guide and married to Randy Warren for 18 years.

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