Friday, December 31, 2010

When she isn’t racing…

So I have links and promos to all my sponsors here except for the biggest one who really makes all of this possible…so below is a song from my wife Lindsay.  Without her I would not be a fraction of the man I am today.  She truly is the strong pillar in the foundation of my life, she exemplifies Proverbs 31 and her commitment to me has sharpened my character like no one else.  I love you Lindsay and adore these last nine years of which I do not know what I wasted my time with before they came (Anniversary Dec. 29th).

We have been trying to put together an actual album for years, but we have only managed some good rough recordings…just no album…hopefully we can find the contracts for both Lindsay and I in the coming year Winking smile.  This one is by far my favorite from her, she played it at Kyle’s memorial.  It was written a couple years prior and was the product of one of the hardest times in her life.  One of those times when you ask God all the really hard questions, cool thing is, God answers.

Monday, December 27, 2010

How I spend November and December!

For those who want a race re-cap on the Iceman footage and have not already read it, you can check my re-cap here. Of course it is all fueled by Powerbar.  They make hands down the best all around nutritional performance products out there.

My favorite on the bike.

These seem to assimilate into the blood stream much smoother for the high intensity sprint-sports like hockey and are now my personal favorite on ice.  They also go over much better with the players on the bench.  What is with all the Raspberry?… I guess it is just on my radar lately.

Huge thanks to Marty Tank on the video edit!  I gave him very little quality content to work with…much more on the way for 2011.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gloria in excelsis Deo

I have written a big long Snooze about Christmas, but decided to let this speak for itself and simply sing a few  songs of remembrance.

Uncle Joe, my wife Lindsay, cousin Joelle and a few friends made these a couple years back.

The crescendos on this second one are amazing!

This is a racing blog so ummm update on that is simply…total training hours this week=19 hrs and rising…

Monday, December 13, 2010

Schools out, Training, and Enlightenment- Snooze (or Muse) 4

Finals are over, a couple of papers to write still, but the whirlwind is settling.  Training is starting to ramp up as I may be looking to March as the beginning of my Mountain Bike Season with the Pro XCT’s instead of the usual May start at WORS.  Waiting on feedback from a few sponsors, but I will train like I am going and trust the rest will grow up out of all the hard work I have been putting in.  It is so like farming, till the ground like a madman looking for a good place to sow, sow seed of ideas and wait, get a response and nurture it with more water and care growing a relationship. Hopefully I will be eating the fruit of all this hard work next season as I am still in that waiting stage with a lot of the seeds I have sown…

The Snooze

I think we will shift these to an “at least 1 a week” thing, but more if I can…I think this vid is a good intro though, classic and good.

The other day in my Foundations of Christianity class we were talking about the 12th and 13th century.  The topic involved trying to get our worldview to take a backseat and allow the worldview of a person in the medieval times to  drive our conclusions.  This was helpful because so often we bring a 20th and 21st century understanding of the world into a discussion or solution to a problem. 

One of the subjects was human nature and the understanding of what life is for a human.  A very interesting question came up.  What was gained and what was lost in the view of ourselves through the enlightenment? 

So often we think of the enlightenment as completely progress and only in a good sense, hence we use the word “enlightenment” which has no negative connotation at all.  Now please do not get me wrong, I think there is an enormous amount of good that came out of this period and I am in no way saying we should have the worldview of a medieval person or go back to what things were like.  What was discussed in class though was that human beings have a disconnection with their nature now.  I am very happy that life is so cushy and comfortable, but this also has created in us the ability for many vices and misunderstandings of what we are.  We think of ourselves as closer to masters of the universe and destiny, where the common medieval person had a much humbler point of view, although I am not them and cannot say it made them any more humble. 

Each individual wields so much power, has so much comfort, so much understanding now compared to someone then.  Each of these comes with loss as people are raised from birth in a different way of being.  It is almost like we have changed our nature in some ways.  But with any change something will be shed or lost from the nature of a thing.  There are a ton of bad things that were shed, hence Monty created the above skit, but can we think of any good thing that might have been was lost.  We are not actually medieval people so we don’t know their experience, but we can imagine.  I can think of a few off the top of my head. 

I already shared one thing lost above with our perceptions of our nature and self.  One more before I go…

We traded a good definition of “faith” for a bad one:  Through reading Luther recently and also from some of my own critiques of the modern definition of faith I came to this conclusion.  

It seems the general consensus today is faith equals “blindly believing in something you can’t see or verify”.  This is so far from matching my experience of faith that I have trouble even uttering the word when referencing the thing I experience in life.  I have found myself replacing it with the word trust so all the modern baggage gets left behind in my conversations.  I trust things everyday, therefore I have faith in things everyday.  I trust my wife in our relationship, I have faith in her character, it is a logical conclusion.  I trust a chair I sit in, I have faith in its quality to hold me up.  We use faith in so many ways.  It is the end point of a logical conclusion about what is right and trustworthy in the world.  The schism between faith and the enlightened happened when the Church fought with science and the scientific method won.  So they were seen as at odds with each other…it is just too bad cause the method involves faith, I come up with a hypotheses and test it to see if it is trustworthy, if I can have faith in it.  It is a part of our faculties, our nature and cannot be avoided, but why avoid it when it is one of the most precious and beautiful things we have.  It is one of the things that honors another most in a relationship when a person has our trust, if they have our faith we are saying a lot about their character and that they are worthy of our whole self in the context of that relationship.

OK, pedestal slowing forming beneath me…just excited about some of Luther’s ideas on this subject, but you can read about it in “Freedom of a Christian” if you wanted.

Anyways, I would love to see what any of you actually reading these snoozes think, feel free to respond anytime!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

End of Semester

With the end of the semester here finals are in full swing.  My “daily” muse has now turned into a daily snooze as I try and find any extra sleep I can. Staying up till 6:30 A.M. writing papers is more tiring and taxing on life than any training I have done.  So all I got for you today is this sweet video you have probably already seen…since it has been circulating like crazy for the last few weeks.  Topeak-Ergon produces some high quality stuff!  Here is looking forward to race day as training also started this week…I must have a strain of masochism in me…

Monday, December 6, 2010

Brand- Muse 3

This word is a part of life for anyone in marketing, heck anyone driving down the highway...  It runs off the tips of my fingers many a times when writing to potential sponsors this time of year.  The practice of branding goes back to burning a mark or a symbol onto whatever you own so that people know you own it, cattle, slaves, stuff etc...

Today we have mental images marked into us, we are marked by “brands” to make sure an association occurs in our heads with a type of product we desire and the brand who provides it.  This is not a criticism in anyway, I especially like it when a brand is known for delivering desirable and quality products.  The knee-jerk reaction of emotion or feeling that images can bring along with them, when the association is good, is something I enjoy and is a part of human sentimentality.  If people can make money off of quality products and attach the experience of those products to an image that sells it, way to go!

What begins to bother us is when we feel we have been duped by an image/brand on our minds.  There is this mental reaction that does not match the products experience.  Eventually the truth comes out and the brand loses its appeal, or people lie to themselves to continue an allegiance to the image rather than adjust their mind to the experience.  What does the brand actually lose though?  Faith and Trust.  This is at the center of every brand association we have, our faith and trust in that image to represent a quality product we desire.  Sure faith and trust can be built by seeing an image over and over again and there can be a general consensus that this image represents a good product, but eventually an experience or result of that product needs to happen when a certain type of product is desired.  If it fails miserably to deliver, the brand loses faith and trust. 

So what the heck does this have to do with Christmas?  So many people I know are disillusioned about Jesus, God, and the Church.  Faith and Trust has been lost.  Now the Brand (“Jesus”, “God”, “Christianity”) we have etched in our minds is so far from the desired product, it is like calling McDonald’s French Fries “Potatoes”.  Vice Versa, the product we produce fails to deliver so often, whether it be real “right-now” encounters with God, or happy families with wholesome marriages, love that lays it life down for another, Joy, Peace, Self-Control, the product so often is just missing.  This analogy is always good too…

Christmas is incarnation, “makes His dwelling among us” Claiming a Brand to a Product we just don’t have, we create religion with its brands and religious products that will fade and lose faith and trust, being perishable man made artifacts.  They make us feel good for a while, but they will not last.  The actual desired Product has a Brand written in God’s “eternal qualities and divine nature, being seen in that which has been made”  it has a product that lives, breathes, and acts as He did when He came to earth to show us how to live.  No wonder the first command was not to make images/brands of god, we screw it up so often, we tend to make it after our own image for superficial products we desire. 

Letting go of my products and images in exchange for God’s can be tough, that is why Christmas is holistic, it is incarnation to an entire life…but as anyone who knows me personally can tell you, I rarely eat McDonald’s French Fries….I really try to and like to stick with Potatoes…

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rhythm-Muse 2


I play the hand drum, the djembe specifically.  When I first started it was sooo hard…I kept trying to make rhythm happen with my hands and the more I tried the harder it was.  As I progressed I found that rhythm is not made by us, rather we find it.  Sure the sound comes from me banging my hand on the drum, but the rhythm is something I step into, it is discovered…once you start into it your body and mind become a part of the rhythm and you can pause the hands but the beat continues in you and so you syncopate with it as silence and sound begin to mix causing a swirling of variations to this discovery


I think life has a rhythm.  There is an order set before us we merely need to step into and allow ourselves to jive with the beat.  We feel the discord, when we get off-beat, although we know the beat in our heads and hearts we hit harder and harder to a non-existent rhythm till we fall over from exhaustion and stress of fighting the tune and we are stilled to listen in the silence for that beautiful discovery again…

Behind all the discord I hear, both human and natural, there is a beat and it is to a song, at first it was faint, but it grows louder as I listen, becoming a part of me like the rhythm of my drum and it’s the greatest love song ever written…

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Muse 1 (day late)- Creation


This word is so incredibly loaded with crazy facets, opening to endless tangents, all which seem to be pumping from veins of intention in my will as of late. 

A few things about Creation…

First and usually most importantly…What does it mean?

A few dictionary definitions:

-To cause to exist; bring into being.

-to bring into existence

-to make or bring into existence something new

-to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior <her arrival created a terrible fuss> <create new jobs>

I once wrote a paper for a Philosophy 101 course called “Little Creators” positively asserting the existence of Free Will while trying to deal with the mind body problem, therefore denying Hard Determinism and rejecting compatibilism.  Maybe I will get a copy up online sometime…

I ended that paper with a thought.  If we are created in the image of God, we are like God in this sense, we can bring something entirely new into reality. If we are free agents, we are the only things we know of in physical reality outside of the causal chain of events.  Therefore we introduce into that causal chain new “material”.  This brings amazing significance to our everyday choices that come out of actual intention of will.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not going down the line that we create reality, rather with every free choice we make we bring something new into reality.  This “something new” forever changes and stands within the causal chain of events.  This is why what we believe and do out of those beliefs has such high or “heavy”(Mcfly!) moral significance.  The question for me is how am I being a creative force in the Universe. It is not whether or not it matters, it all matters, but how it matters.  We are prone to the mundane routine of life, but this is only part of the trick, so the assumption takes over that all is nothing and I am just apart of that nothing.  We enjoy this comfortable place only because it keeps us from feeling and realizing our bad choices.  At the same time it drives us nutz because we feel we have no effect and what we do never seems to matter.  No, no, we are something, a very real and active something, effectual to every person, place, and thing we interact with.  We are creative forces in the universe…so what will we create…well, I am going to go create a cup of coffee, which will possibly create a more interactive Nathan in my next class…

As these are muses building toward Christmas, I will end with a few probing questions.  I guess the questions for day 1 would be what is it we are looking for in the creation of Christmas?  What was it that God created in the birth of Jesus?  The significance of Incarnation, of God becoming man, is far beyond a simple Nativity scene and play.  Just like our actions, this brought something entirely new in existence, so when God acts in such a big way with intention, there must be many answers to what happened at the Incarnation?  What was “new something” being introduced to reality?

DF-09134<br />Nativity<br />,  <br />May 18, 2006<br />Photo by Jaimie Trueblood/<br /><br />To license this image (9139053), contact NewLine:<br />U.S. +1-212-686-8900 / U.K. +44-207 659 2815 / Australia +61-2-8262-9222 / Japan: +81-3-5464-7020<br />+1 212-686-8901 (fax)<br /> (e-mail)<br /> (web site)


P.S.  Owe you another muse for day 2…maybe later tonight.