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Mental Health

Flow/ Happiness/ Love & Relationships/ Zesty Adventures

Zesty Sidekick: Life lessons from my furry friend

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A girls best friend

I sat on the floor gazing out the window, a tear rolled down my cheek. Suddenly Kula perked up from her plushy pillow and wiggled across the hardwood to give me a slurpy lick; and then two, three, four, until I couldn’t help but smile.

I’m not sure how I got so lucky to have been graced by the presence of this extraordinary dog, but I’m grateful every day. Kula is two-and-a-half-years-old now, a red fox lab with an insatiable passion for mountain biking—kinda like me. Maybe it’s cliche, but my dog truly is my best friend. She’s my riding sidekick, snuggle buddy, sous chef, and she’s always there for me. I believe we can learn a lot from dogs, they teach us about gratitude, love, friendship, compassion, presence and joy. Continue Reading…

Flow/ Happiness/ Love & Relationships/ Zesty Adventures

Abundance: Relax to Receive

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Adopt the pace of nature

Riding down the trail with a white-knuckle death grip will do nothing but cause you to fatigue sooner, make it harder to control and absorb bumps and increase your chances of a crash. This is especially common with new riders; they’re nervous of how the bike is moving underneath them—they either freak out or force it. It’s important to realize that the bike will naturally cruise forward, roll over things and find a smooth line. The trick is to have a little faith, relax and allow the bike do its thing. Continue Reading…

Bravery/ Perseverance/ Zesty Adventures

Intestinal Fortitude: Staying strong when mother nature gives you a spanking

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The sting of injury

Being able to ride my bike regularly has saved me. I’m sure many of you can relate to the way biking declutters the mind and takes the edge off life’s struggles. I don’t know what I’d do without biking.

…and then mother nature gives you a major spanking!

As mother nature banishes you to your room for six weeks with an injury, the news of a long road to recovery can leave you feeling raw and disconnected from the world. Your mind shifts from problem to problem and from past to future, and the fears begin to overwhelm you. You’re consumed in the uncertainty, you feel lost, unsure and powerless. This cycle of thinking is the pathway to endless exhaustion, constant frustration and absolute illusion. Continue Reading…

Bravery/ Love & Relationships/ Meaning & Passion/ Zesty Adventures

Freeing your soul through creativity

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Lose your fear of being not good enough

Remember when you were young and fearless with the crayons or fingerpaints? You were so bold. Some of you even drew all over your walls. As the years passed, you became shy and afraid of getting creative because of the belief you’re not good enough.

It’s a shame that not more of us utilize the therapeutic benefits of art. Art is a way to convey things that words cannot, and it’s a way to heal ourselves. When we’re being creative, our brains release the natural antidepressant, dopamine. Creativity can also can calm our “monkey mind”, bring on a meditative state and get us into flow. Continue Reading…

Health Tips/ Wellness/ Zesty Adventures

Get dirty, it makes you happy

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The dirtier the ride, the better

I always feel better once my tires hit the gravel and I set off into the woods. The further I go, the dirtier the ride, the happier I am at the end. But is this increasing ease and pleasure we experience in nature simply coming from escaping reality to de-stress?

Nope. Scientists have discovered that bacteria living in mosses on tree branches and in the dirt are floating through the air and interacting with us—in particular, with the bacteria in our gut. And this dirt bacteria has been proven to enhance our well-being and have antidepressant effects. Microbes like bacteria and fungi are often associated with disease, however most microbes are beneficial.  Continue Reading…

Bravery/ Love & Relationships/ Zesty Adventures

Sending it into forgiveness

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Riding in circles of animosity

You’re riding down a trail and you get a flat tire, what’s your next move? Do you stop and take a moment to fix it or do you get angry, keep riding and blame whatever gave you the puncture for slowing you down, ruining your ride and destroying your rim?

So often in life people hurt each other, and then carry a heavy burden of bitterness that consumes their heart. And if forgiveness does cross their mind, they often say the offender deserves it, I’m not apologizing until they do or I can’t let them win.
Continue Reading…

Love & Relationships/ Meaning & Passion/ Zesty Adventures

Ride your own ride: The authentic path

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Ride your own ride

If you’ve ever tried to keep up with someone beyond your skill level or who’s style is different from yours, than you understand how it can deplete your confidence or cause you to crash. This happens because you’re not being present in your mind—and you start to become careless and reckless.

It’s important to take responsibility for yourself, and this fact is the same in all aspects of your life. When you’re mindful of your needs and feelings, you become a much better versions of yourself— you can focus on the right things, and everything gets better. Continue Reading…