Want to gain confidence in mountain biking? Enter a race.

What? Enter a race to gain confidence in my ability? No way I’ll get crushed. "I’m too old, I’m not good enough and I’ll look foolish." That's what I thought when my buddy talked me into joining them last weekend at the “12 hours of Mesa Verde” race in Cortez, Colorado.

There were 750 riders signed up for the race. Riders could either compete solo or in teams of up to four riders per team. The race started at 7:00 am. The goal is to try to get as many laps in as possible in a 12 hour period. Each lap was 16 miles long.

As I was registering for the event, I took a look around it seemed as though I was woefully outclassed by elite athletes. I was convinced that my predictions of personal humiliation would come true. But I was committed to my team and determined to see this thing through.

An unexpected thing happened from the time of registration to the starting line, my perspective changed. It surprised me. As I looked around a little closer I began to observe something completely different from my unfounded fears of inadequacy. I experienced families, friends, and complete strangers all sharing in the joy of the sport and the day. Smiles everywhere, the good vibe was contagious. So, my fear was replaced by excitement. I couldn’t wait for my turn on the course.

When my turn came I peddled my ass off, I gasped for air, my legs burned, adrenaline flowed through my fingertips. I was only five miles into what would ultimately be 32 miles of riding for my two laps. But something happened along the way that inspired me. Instead of feeling humiliated by superior riders, I received nothing but support and encouragement from others and the crowd gathered along the trail. With every rider that passed me, I admired their skills at handling a bike and understood the commitment it takes to ride at a competitive level.

My team ended up with a respectable finish. But more importantly, a sense of accomplishment. I was able to learn from other riders. The experience has inspired me to ride more and improve my skills this summer. Will I be back next year? Definitely and with a completely different attitude. I will be looking forward to reconnecting with new friends I met this year and introducing more of my friends to the race.

Have a great spring no matter how you choose to get outside and enjoy being active.

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Two Healthy Smoothie Recipes

We all know the advantages of making shakes as a meal supplement when you don’t have the time or want to cook. Here are two recipes that you may enjoy. I don’t have official names for them, but since I got the recipe from my friend “Toph” I’ll simply use his nickname for the shakes. 

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Quick Tips for Winter Mountain Biking

Skiing, what used to be a regular weekly activity from December through March here in Colorado has been severely reduced during the age of COVID. I understand the need for social distancing, wearing face masks, and the other precautions we must all take to curb the spread of the virus. But as a result, the complications and hassles of making reservations with very limited availability have made a normal ski season pretty much impossible.

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Five Quick Tips for Winter Hiking

The “5 P’s”? — I forgot em’. What are the “5 P’s”? They stand for: Proper planning prevents poor performance. Simple enough.

So the other weekend my friend and my son decided to go for a winter hike. No big deal I guess living where we do. However, it’s a big deal at times to peel my kid away from his screen. I spent the drive up to the trailhead explaining in vain how great it will be to get outside today instead of playing video games online with his buddies.

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CBD and Sleep

Many people are benefiting from CBD as a recovery aid from the aches and pains that can accompany an active lifestyle. In addition to pain relief from reduced inflammation, a good night's rest is also essential for recovery. The cannabis plant has long been used for medical purposes and some studies are demonstrating that CBD may also be an effective sleep aid.

What current research suggests:

In the last decade, growing public interest in the benefits of marijuana, and CBD in particular, has encouraged researchers to study its effects. Early studies indicate that CBD may support sleep. One investigation found that, compared with a placebo, CBD increased sleep duration.

Typically, cortisol levels peak in the morning. Conversely, people with insomnia may have high cortisol levels at night which may negatively affect sleep.

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New to CBD… where to start?

The other day I was taking my bike off the rack in my garage when my neighbor came up and inquired about CBD. We both ride, and my neighbor still plays hoops regularly. Anyway, he inquired about CBD balms, and asked me what he should try? I asked him, “What kind of results are you looking for with the balm?”

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There’s nothing like a good scare to bring what’s important 
into focus.

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“Live now. Live well.” If you’ve been following Keola you’re probably familiar with our tagline and what it means to us. We believe in experiencing life one moment at a time. To be mindful of what we do today affects all of our tomorrows.

Although it may go without saying that the ability to be in the moment allows one to be present and in a better state of appreciation. This in turn can reveal opportunities we may not have otherwise seen. But in reality, it’s often much harder to put into practice day-to-day. When we are entrenched in life’s daily grind with demands and distractions coming from everywhere, it can be easy to lose focus on what inspires us.

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Stretching for pain relief

Many people incorporate stretching into their daily routine to reduce pain, allowing them to engage in daily activities including work. A consistent stretching program can increase your range of motion, relieve stiffness, therefore, improving how you feel. Best of all consistent stretching can provide effective, lasting pain relief for free!

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Igniting your passion to stay active

Sure, we would all like to stay active and healthy. We already know it’s great for our physical and mental well being. But let’s face it, sometimes finding the motivation can be a real challenge. I’m 53 years old (at least in years) — Wow! That looks like a big number seeing it in type. I have a 15-year-old son who I try to keep up with and plan on doing so for quite a while.

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Adventures in the West

When I think of the west, I think of wide-open spaces, big mountains, and the peaceful winding rivers that connect us all. One particular area of the west that embodies this all is Yellowstone National Park. This geographic marvel is full of geologic wonders, big mountains, vast valleys that seem to go on forever. Home to roaming buffalo, massive herds of elk and deer, the infamous wolf, and my favorite Yellowstone’s native cutthroat.

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