Painful awareness

Well, this is unexpected.  My next blog post was all planned out, to share with you the tools I used over the past year to get my Positive Mental Attitude in check.  
But, I feel compelled to share a few thoughts that have been on the front of my mind for the past week.  
As a triathlete/cyclist, I spend countless hours on the open road, daily risking my life to hazards beyond my control.  Some days I don't think twice about it, for whatever reason, my thoughts have been weighing heavy on me this week.  Then, with the news of Amy Dombroski yesterday, my thoughts seem even heavier.
There is no question that Amy lived an exemplary life, admirably and unapologetically pursuing her dreams and appreciating and loving every minute of it.
As quoted from a news article, "She didn't mess around with what people thought of her," Mara Abbott said. "She was passionate and she was happy and she was really able to live from a place that I think very few of us can."
Even if you didn't know Amy, I don't know how this wouldn't break your heart. It hurts.
Though it could be said, she was doing what she loved up until the very last second, I think this notion is overly romanticized in adventure/endurance sports. Do we let fear dictate what we choose to do, no, and for that I don't ever apologize.  That doesn't mean it's easy, and that doesn't mean we don't crave a full, rich, long and healthy life.  No one wants to go out early, no matter how big the bang is.  Our active/endurance sport/outdoor adventure community, though vast, is well connected and tragic events ripple quickly, serving as a reminder of how fortunate we are for making it through all those close calls and the fragility and scarcity of every moment.
Funny thing is, it seems the difference between us and everyone else isn't that we face these close calls, the difference is how painfully aware we are of them.  Our lifestyle does not allow us to forget not only how incredible this world is, as diverse geographically as there are ways to explore it, but also how incredible life is in the same way.
With a heavy heart, I rode yesterday.  I rode to remember and to also forget.  I was afraid and it was invigorating. I rode for joy. I rode for heartbreak. I rode for freedom.  I rode to appreciate the scarcity of every moment and how abundantly lived each one should be.  I rode to appreciate my body and what it has led me to accomplish. I rode for hours. I rode hard. It was brisk, my body was tired, my mind was exhausted and I was hungry.  But just as every time before, I didn't want it to end. I love to ride. Every.Time.
Please let this be a reminder to do what you love and love what you can do.  Spend your time with those you love.  Smile with all your heart.  Appreciate the moment. Don't worry about things that might happen, for that time may never come.

Train hard. Live well.