Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Favorite Jeans

This next exert was taken from a fellow classmate of mine, Jessica Stotz. She is a brilliant writer and heads up a weekly motivational/devotional thought that she sends out to our class. This one I found particularly fitting because let's face it everyone has that favorite pair of jeans.

Favorite jeans. Everybody's got them. The pair that slides on and
practically fastens itself... a second skin, if you will. The pair that
has been to adventure and back, with the knees distressed a little, the
fabric softened. The jeans that make you comfortable: comfortable in your
surroundings, comfortable with yourself, comfortable in any situation.
Chuck Norris has a favorite pair of jeans. Chuck Norris has no place in
this note besides the fact that Chuck Norris can be wherever he wants to
be. Chuck Norris is also comfortable here, because he has his favorite
jeans on.
I don't like washing my favorite jeans. They always come out dry and
stiff, and a little tighter than they were before. It takes a few hours of
wear after the dryer cycle to get them back to normal. (Can't blame them;
if you put me on high heat for 65 minutes, I'm pretty sure I'd be stiff
and abnormal, too.)

We like comfortable. We like to wear our jeans until they become soft and
supple and non-restricting. We avoid washing them for as long as possible
- some avoid it longer than others, but we won't get into that.

We like comfortable. We like to set up our patterns and habits and stick
to them, avoiding changing and refreshing our actions, becoming relaxed
and unaware of how filthy things are becoming.

We fear vulnerability. We don't like to strip down, to allow our
comfortable exterior to be scrubbed and washed and pressed, returned
sparkling and vivid and clean... and stiff. We don't like discomfort.

Comfortable and Christian are far from synonyms. Paul wasn't exactly
comfortable in a dank, dark prison. Content, maybe, but not comfortable.
Timothy wasn't in his comfort zone when he left home to proclaim the news
of the resurrection of a presumed lunatic. I can't imagine John leaned
back and asked the guards to turn on the bubbles in his hot oil bath.
If I'm going to affiliate myself with the Man of Sorrows, I'd better get
ready to be uncomfortable.

There's nothing wrong with being comfortable in your favorite jeans. Just
remember to give them up to be washed, and let a little time outside your
comfort zone remind you what joy awaits 'way beyond the blue (denim).

Have a good week everyone. 4 more days then I'm off to Colorado; can't wait to see my mom and all my friends that ventured out to the Rockies.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Man's Best Friend

Today was a rough day at the Lusk household with longtime companion Sam, our dog of 10+ years, being put to sleep. The old man was put to rest with his best friend, my dad, holding him during his final breaths. It has been a fairly regular conversation as to when ole Sam-Bo would be finally put down as the intense summer heat and father time were bearing down on him. The family decided it was finally time to end the suffering with Sam really struggling the last couple weeks getting up due to degeneration of his hips. He gave it one hell of a fight and he will be dearly missed roaming the backyard with his joyful demeanor. He was one of the best behaved dogs I have ever seen and back in his prime could run forever and track any pheasant in the land.

Sam you will be missed buddy. Rest in peace and run like you always did with the great big smile!

Facing the inevitable

Taking it all in one last time. Rest in peace Sam-Bo

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Time

With the summer semester almost 50% completed and my first clinical looming in the distant months I'm trying to enjoy the summer for what its worth. And to be quite honest it isn't much. It's hard to find time away from school to hang out with friends and do the things I once had back when I was younger with buddies. Growing up sucks! Is it really so much to ask to go camping or fishing on a weekend without having to read 900 pages and studying for quizzes and exams?

For my practicum I unfortunately got placed in Lansing, MI which was less than ideal but none the less I'm still excited to get out of the classroom and get my hands wet in the clinic. The whole reason that I was drawn to PT was because the interaction that I'll be able to have with patients and now I'll get my chance to let my charming self go to work to promote better living and get people back to functioning properly.

Been trying my best to get in rides whenever possible and have ridden to school a hand full of times and with the upcoming hometown races in south bend I may be pulling a Brett Favre and coming out of retirement again. I wanted to also race in the Bloomington crit coming up in a few weeks but the fitness simply isn't there from lack of riding and also the steep entry fees with no return in prize money. These promoters are making a killing during these race weekends. I think I missed my real calling if I was a money hungry bitch. Bloomington always draws tons of racers and at $40 a pop with only 400 being paid out the the top 5? Come on now...

Other than school I've just been mowing and cutting a new path to the lake at Grandpa's house. Cutting down trees with chainsaws is always enjoyable once you get passed the fact that you're bound to get poison ivy and have ticks crawling all over you after departure from the woods. Almost done with that job though and then on to the next one. I've got to get in touch with my student loan rep here soon too to further sign my life away. Shit.

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~Sam Keen

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Once again another weekend has come and gone as I sit here tying together all the shenanigans that happened this weekend. For the first time in 4 years I didn't head to Iowa over Memorial day weekend to race in the 4 races that take place in the greater Quad Cities and Burlington areas. Bittersweet in a way but it sounds like some of the Indiana teams fared well out there. Jon Jacob suffered a pretty severe broken wrist from reading twitter updates and I feel for the guy as he's a great competitor and ambassador for the sport of cycling.

Friday night the little one came up and we hit the circuit of the Michigan City outlet mall, picked up some wings and saw "What to Expect when You're Expecting." It was pretty decent but more of a chick flick than I would have originally thought going into it from seeing previews. Then on Sunday we hit the almighty Warren Dunes in Michigan for some fun in the sun. It was packed! The one thing that really pissed me off was the sheer amount of park rangers that were directing traffic instead of taking money and allowing patrons to pass through more quickly. I literally had a ranger wave for me to pull up an extra 4 inches like it was going to make a world of difference in allowing a car into the entrance behind me. I was so close to saying, "Why don't you get your lazy ass some dollar bills and some park passes and start walking down this row of cars to help speed up the process rather than standing there with your thumb in your ass with your cute mount-me hat on." Everyone knows you're only making 9 bucks an hour and are probably the sole reason for the economic downfall of the state of Michigan.

Slept in today for a change and jacked around outside trying to delay the studying that must be done in preparation for tomorrows neurology of motor control/learning exam. If someone knows the reasoning behind the Andrews University faculty's reason for holding exams the day after a holiday weekend I'd love to know. It's almost as though they really don't want us to enjoy the freedom's of this country or have a life what so ever. Not that I'm going to study for it anymore than I should but I know this exam ruined the weekend for a lot of my classmates. Oh well back to the grind tomorrow. 2 exams and a couple quizzes this week then hoping to knock out 200 miles this coming weekend on the bike.

In spirit of the Memorial Day holiday I extend a very well-deserved thank you to all past, present, and future military personnel. Thank you for your dedication, hard work, and commitment to making and keeping America the best place in the world!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back to the Grindstone

Since the last post on this bad boy I've been busy indulging in the new summer semester kicking off and now in full swing and also my first race in a very long time. Going into this summer semester we were told from the class above us that this semester is a cake walk and that they spent the entire summer at the beach because of all the free time they had. I don't know where they were coming from on this one or if a lot of things have changed over the course of the year but free time is few and far between. Then again it is Andrews University so their cruel intentions of wanting us to be in class for 8 hours a day during the summer semester wouldn't surprise me whatsoever. Guess I'm getting my monies worth...

Also for about the last week and a half I've been getting on the bike more and more and starting to see the legs coming back around, well at least hoping so. I did the Winona Road Race this past weekend debuting with the new team: "Hank Smash" when in reality I'm just wearing my old Scholars Inn Bakehouse kit. It was a relatively slow race even for only riding maybe 6 times. 42 miles long so it was a stretch of my endurance that's for sure but I held up well throughout the whole thing and was sitting in the top 4-5 wheels with less than 600 meters to go. Around the last turn into a somewhat uphill finish I quickly found that the ramping up of speed by Tim Nixon for the last 3 miles wasn't what my legs had in mind. I was in position to get in the money possibly but that finishing straight and my fitness had other plans. Ended up 15th so I wasn't upset about it and know that with some more riding I should be able to mix it up a bit more instead of surfing around in the back of pack for half the race.

As I was spectating Brian DePasse bringing home the "W" in his race (he also won the crit on Sunday) I was summoned to go to the medical tent to tend to an old Cutters teammate: yep you guessed it, Skeeter. He got cut off by some idiot in the final lap of his race and had some major road rash and a really deep gash on his chin. So after some manipulating of the medical staff and talking them out of calling an ambulance (in fear of him going into shock even though he clearly wasn't) we headed to the hospital to get him cleaned up. 4 hours and 14 stitches later I finally headed home. For those Cutters guys wondering: yes, I saw Skeeter's penis again in realtion to bike wrecks as he had a nasty gash down there but his member is just fine, no homo. Feel bad for the poor kid as he can honestly say that he's been through the ringer in terms of injuries. Even though he's banged up nothing is broken and looks as though he'll be racing again soon. Heal up quick buddy.

 Sitting in that ER room brought back some wild memories while we reminisced about "the wreck" a few years back but oddly enough it's kind of cool to reflect how close you become with your teammates and other little 5'ers over the years. I know those boys would have carried me to the hospital if need be and I could only pay my dues last Saturday and appreciate how this family is something that extends past graduation. That's what it means to be a Cutters rider though: You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Or dig the cinders out...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Summer Semester

Today was full of great things and not so great things. It was the official first day of classes starting my second year of PT school so that's somewhat exciting to think I've already completed a year. Classes seem like they will be fairly interesting this semester; dry, but none the less interesting. Neurology I with lab, Therapeutic Exercise with lab, and Pathophysiology II. We'll see how they turn out.

So I've decided that I've spent far too much time off and away from the bike. I was getting the itch to get back on the horse and pound out some miles around the time Little 5 was ending and still riding the high off that weekend but that was right when school decided to get all crazy. Excuses aside I had to put the priorities where they lie and ended the semester with a 3.68 bringing my cum to 3.5 so I'm happy. Considering many of my fellow peers spend countless hours studying to my mediocre amount I'm satisfied and feel like I'm learning a ton while still maintaining my sanity somewhat. So this summer and having only 5 classes instead of 9 I sat down and figured out how much time, and money, that could be saved from me riding to class. I found a decent route taking me through the winding roads of southwest Michigan ("Pure Michigan" as they say in commercials...) that comes out to be 28 miles in length so nothing unbearable by any means. With this means of transpo it always saves roughly $9.37 in gas per day. It's actually quite ridiculous.

I've ridden twice to school thus far and while sitting at lunch today cruising the Internet and feeling surly I decided to renew my racing license. Thinking that this is probably the last summer that I'll be able to actually race competitively I figured I'd jump in a few of the local races. What the heck. The first one will be this coming Saturday at the Fat/Skinny Tire Festival in Warsaw, IN. It's a 45 mile long road race but I'm a little leery only having ridden about 200 miles all spring. Should make for an interesting Saturday afternoon to say the least and I'll be taking the same approach the Delts do every year to Little 5: Suck wheels and hope to make it til the end. Maybe the finish will turn out like theirs did this year.

Not much else going on in this neck of the woods. I've got a little poison ivy on my wrist and ankle from mowing down the forest at grandpa's house but other than that things are just peachy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bloomington visits

Its always a blast coming down to Bloomington to visit the little one and friends and this trip down has thus far been just as great. Graduation celebrations, going to kilroys and playing Mario Kart, and reminiscing while completing old routes that used to be done weekly without much effort but now I feel like I've ridden 900 miles when in reality it's 40. Funny how father time has a different plan for you from the one you originally thought possible. I am however converting the cervelo to a time trial machine with the help from fowler and have my sites set on doing the whirlpool ironman 70.3 in August this year. Suppose I should start training... Heading to Lake Monroe and seeing what kind of trouble I can get into while out on the infamous "Party Boats" all after the completion of my first round of golf in over 7 years where there's plenty at stake with the silly little retard Caitlin. I can hit balls like no other, no pun intended. She's bitten off more than she can chew on this one as I'm a gamer and fully plan on using all sorts of psychological warfare tactics and other mind games to have her beat before we even start! Wish me luck!