We continue our series of posts expressing gratitude for 2016. Next up: Andrea Cohen. -Kid
I have so much to be grateful for. Really. It's overwhelming. It's so overwhelming that all I could muster is a list. Top 5 things I am grateful for. They are in no particular order and all stand out for different reasons.
1. Patience. My understanding of myself and others has grown so much this year. Probably because I actually took the time to pay a little more attention. For example, this year's Dirty Kanza was my longest finish yet, but one of the most enjoyable. I rode with Don Buttram, Jim Phillips, and Jamie Wynn. We took our time, waited for each other, smiled, then crushed the last 40 miles or so. Granted we had a different crew at that point (Bobby, Shawn, Seth), but that was how the race progressed. Not trying to force anything or try to outwit myself, I am proud of that finish.
Photo courtesy of Linda Guerrette...
2. Going to the Salsa RideCamp. If I have one regret from 2015 it's not going.
3. Growing opportunities to teach people. I get to lead flat clinics, basic maintenance clinics, camping clinics...really anything I want out of World of Bikes in Iowa City. This bike shop where I work, they are my family. They help me get to races with functioning bicycles, sometimes the Boss Man's car, always some last minute piece of gear, and the never-ending high-fives and encouragement. I literally would not be at most of my events without World of Bikes.
4. I am grateful for Lelan Dains. There are really countless people to be grateful for, but I am calling out Lelan. I have had a lot of coaches throughout the years, a couple of them leaving a long-lasting impact that has made me the athlete and person I am today. Lelan is turning into one of those people. He has been coaching me off and on for the past year or so, all the while paying attention to my needs on and off the bike. I cannot wait to see what we can do in 2017.
5. This year's TransIowa. The moment that has stuck with me the most is the person who I ended up riding with for probably 15 hours. Collin Little? We rode a pace that kept us both pretty happy. Granted it was slower than everyone else, but we waited for each other. During the night the company was needed, the next morning as well. I was more comfortable at night, talking non-stop to keep myself awake, words directed at Collin whether he heard them or not. In the morning Collin would wait for me as I cursed every single hill, shaking my fist. It will stick with me, that TransIowa. And I bet my midnight renditions of Adele will stick with Collin.
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I live, work, and play in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa may not have epic mountains or vast skylines, but it boasts hundreds of miles of gravel. That is where I found my true calling. In 2012 I attempted my first Trans-Iowa, got lost, and was instantly hooked. I have been there every year since. I am constantly looking for that next adventure to keep me teetering on the line between insanity and clarity. Bring it on! andreafromiowa.wordpress.com.