July 7, 2008 by Austin
We moved. For those of you that read our blog, you will recognize this as a familiar topic. But this time around it was a little different, we moved everything – our entire life in one weekend: home and shop.
One of the things about moving is that it brings you face to face with what you own. From the bike you ride everyday to the random t-shirt from a race you did in the 90’s, its all there. Some of it still in boxes from the last move, some of it strewn around the house. Random stuff, photos, love letters all stored in boxes. The most important moments (at least they were at the time) stored safely so that they can be remembered, or just kept.
Getting ready for the big weekend got us thinking of the things we hold on to. Nat’s mom has “Keep or Chuck.” The rules are simple: Pick up an item. Keep it or chuck it. You have to go into it with the right mindset, otherwise you go soft and keep the stuff you don’t really need to keep around. Natalie took this in another direction with her “Things I Used To Own” Project. She decided that she wanted to keep the memory of some things, even if she didn’t want to keep the actual object. Therefore, she started taking pictures. The Utah Phillips concert stub, the beads that were a gift, the wind up Godzilla that came from an old architecture professor – all saved and discarded at the same time.
But holding on to things goes even further sometimes.
We have this old dresser that I inherited from a roommate years ago. He had a girlfriend who spilled patchouli all over it. It never smells unless we move it. Then the memory of that girlfriend – who I never even met – comes back to me.
Then there is that race I ran back in Duluth. It was a trail race. I was fit. And I wanted to win. Me and this other guy when toe to toe over hills across creeks on extremely technical trails for miles on end. I would try to destroy him. He would try to destroy me. Then on this long downhill section, he pulled away. I leaned in and ran faster than I should have – the memory of which is lodged equally in both of my hamstrings, neatly stored and accessible at anytime.
We store stuff. Sometimes in boxes. Sometimes in basements. But sometimes, the things we store are wafting on a breeze. Sometimes, they are stored in muscles and bones.
Speaking of holding on, we did our first brevet a couple of weeks ago. It was a 200 K which wiggled into 126 miles of total cycling. The beauty of doing something epic is that you are making memories at every moment. But it’s also a lot like being in a field at night surrounded by fireflies: you don’t know which ones are going to end up in the jar and which ones are going to go free. You can read Heidi’s wonderful report here.