Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kiss the Artist

Posing with Bugaboo Spire in the background, 2011.

I was forced to consider quitting recently. No shit, and pardon my French. It seems I have reached the end and a new beginning. I have not ridden a bicycle in months and don't know what the future of cycling will be for me.

Over-use, injuries, obsessions,,,, it all snuck up on me at once. To spare the gory details, and my personal drama, I can't sit on a bike seat and peddle a bicycle without getting painful, bloody, and pussy saddle sores. Hope that was gory enough, and I have consulted my doctors.

I've ridden a bicycle as my main source of transportation for decades (in Montana!),,,,,, I train as an athlete on a bicycle,,,,,, and,,,,,, I go on exodus on a bicycle, for months and years at a time on quasi ski and climbing expeditions to the most bad ass stuff in the US and Canada…..!  (anyways) Something had to give. Something had to break. It was to much, and I have reached the end of this period in my life.

Needless to say, dyeing sucks, and this year, I huge part of me died. I questioned myself, I questioned my future as an athlete, and as a human-powered mountaineer. Was it all in vain? It's not like I made a finical killing and can walk away fat and happy. I set out to make my world a more meaningful place by becoming human-powered, and maybe take a few other people with me. Now that chapter in my life is over, and I have to find a way to put meaning in my life again.

I spent months hating myself, hating my blog, and the name human-powered. I'd lost touch with myself, I had become obsessed. The cause I was fighting for betrayed me. I'd been fighting the good fight for so long I'd lost sight of what I was doing. Friends laughed at me, and quizzed me on how much I make. I couldn't handle it. I wanted to escape. I wanted to punch my friends in the face as they laughed at me. And mostly,,,, I wanted to go climb on some rocks, be in the mountains, and get my passion back.

I'm a professional I say, an artist. And if you ask me, you take the first dollar you make at what you love, and you nail that fucker on the wall, call it a career, and never look back. Riding a bicycle to the Bugaboos in 2011, and climbing the NE Ridge of Bugaboo Spire, and 13 other routes, (without a rope) was my form of artistic expression. Did I make much money yet? Why do I feel judged by the amount of money I make, and not my accomplishments?

Big deal right? It's not about the money. But we all know it's the one reason most artists quit, and the rest never try. It's called money.

"Big deal bro, you got pro-deals and free gear. Right???….. "

Yeah, but it gets harder every year. There's more competition. More spoiled college students at REI that can get a "pro-deal" from patagonia, and then posture up next to me like they got balls.

Then we act like posers on facebook. Some of the pros are the biggest posers, and the industry is pushing for pop culture heroes. We have image with no substance, and a ton of fluff to mask our real feelings. We act like heroes, but we are not heroes unless we are fighting for someone or something else.

The world is changing, some of it for the good and some of it for the worse, but the construct for success is the same. We can only change what we deem as success. Believe in yourself, kiss your inner artist, and remember, respect is sexy.

ps. Don't worry, I will ride a bicycle again. There's no rehab for people like me, only the fear of mediocrity.

Mount Moran posing behind Jackson Lake, Tetons 2002.
Posing with my lucky button, Rainier 2004.

The Poser, Yosemite 2006. 
Schlepp posing infront of Mount Robson, Canadian Rockies 2009.

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