Yet Another Cold

Day’s Verse:
Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”
Matthew 9:12-13

Zillah turned out as challenging as I expected, with the added bonus of having Ian’s cold hit me on Wednesday. This is my second cold this spring, and I’m getting really tired of blowing my nose and having only about 60% of my normal amount of energy. So, Zillah: The summary is it was really difficult, and I’d rate it overall a mixed bag. Click below the fold for details.

Today, despite having a cold, I rode the basic Ramrod Training Series ride. It was only 67 miles and 3800′ of climbing, which I rode at an average pace of 17.2 mph. I took some decongestant before I left, hoping to avoid having to blow my nose constantly on the ride. The plus side of this was that decongestants make me hyper and I felt unnaturally good almost the entire way. I kept up with the fastest-paced group fairly easily and my legs felt great. About mile 45 my head started hurting again and I was ready for the ride to end. I didn’t ride up the Montreaux hill, which some people did as an extender, figuring that that’s the biggest, hardest hill around and I should probably let my body focus on beating this cold rather than dragging up a humongous hill mountain. Also I had a hard time breathing, thanks to congestion in my chest, and I think I’ll need my lungs functioning at 100% before I attempt Montreaux. Also I may need to get even lower gearing on my bike, or get a lot stronger. The down side of the decongestants was that I knew it was an artificial energy boost, not how I actually felt, so I didn’t really feel a sense of achievement at the end of the ride; and I still had to blow my nose all the time anyway.

Tonight Ian and I are joining my parents and some friends of theirs at a flamenco show. Should be interesting, assuming I can stay awake.

Continue reading “Yet Another Cold”

Zillah-Bound, and My Future

Day’s Verse:
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Matthew 6:34

This is the last training I’m scheduled to do for the foreseeable future: Thursday and Friday in Zillah. Right now I’m comfortable with that. After last week in the Pomeroy/Dayton region and the prospect of an extremely challenging class in Zillah (more on that in a moment), I’m ready for a break from these trainings.

Zillah’s looking challenging because of the six participants, one tore her ACL last year and can’t pedal a bicycle and another may not even know how to ride a bike. When I spoke to the organizer on Monday, he expressed some surprise at our need for a classroom that we could use for the duration of the training. And, last but not least, all the participants have to leave by 3:00 pm both days. My challenges:

  1. Including and making the training meaningful for participants who cannot ride a bicycle at all.
  2. Adapting to the classroom space available.
  3. Covering all the material in an hour less than allotted while not making it feel rushed and providing time for people to absorb the information.

After I finish the training, I have another interesting challenge: What do I do with myself? The trainings are expected to resume in mid- to late August and go through October. Between now and then I’ll have a number of open months. After the trainings finish, I really have to give some serious consideration to my long-term future.

Do I want to continue teaching bicycle classes? That could go a couple ways: I could resume teaching for Cascade Bicycle Club, which always needs LCIs; or I could try to start my own small business teaching bicycle classes. I’ve thought in the past about focusing on bicycle commute classes for businesses, since larger companies all have commute trip reduction responsibilities. When I think about starting my own small business, I immediately start feeling overwhelmed, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t do it. It’s a fairly nerve-wracking, high-commitment prospect.

Do I want to stay with nonprofits or go back to the corporate world? I’m enjoying the flexibility I have right now, but that looks an awful lot like uncertainty in a different light. Nonprofits so often depend on unstable funding sources (as I’m coming to understand); also, working for nonprofits always involves a certain amount of ambiguity and multiple hat-wearing. I don’t know if I want to stay in that world. To some extent, I’m ready for a more cut-and-dried “this is your job, now do it” approach taken in most corporate environments.

Do I want to volunteer and bide my time for a few years? Ian’s job can provide for us, although the extra income I bring in will help pay for things like the new roof we’ll be purchasing in the next 5 years. I have my $4,750 AmeriCorps education award, which is good for 5 years from last November; I could go back to school, take a long trip, or who knows what.

All I really know is that I’m not cut out to sit around the house by myself all day. People are meant to use their skills, and not doing that just leads to misery. What that’ll look like for me remains to be seen. In years past, that uncertainty about the future would have unnerved me. Now I’m learning to let Future Katie worry about that stuff while I, Present Katie, focus on living the moments I have right now to their fullest.