Forrest for the Trees...

545547 10151081726096003_120799118_nIf I had myself a studio set up – ready to paint, I would create a canvas full of colour, texture and emotion. Happy colours mingled with passion and urgency of sorts.

I know I will create again, some day the mean time I have my words in my heart and my fingers on my keyboard.

Often I do not write my blog as there is nothing to say...I have not reached an epiphany or suffered adversity or just experienced life in its finest moments.

Today however, I experienced that clarity I search for in my days. The strong feeling or connection in my heart that resonates with the wider world. Like when a choir hits a note together and you get goosebumps with the harmony they make.

If you have ever experienced enough times, the feeling of being broken, the anxiety and pressure to make things happen or achieve a result, then you can understand the relief that comes with clarity. Simple “first world” problems tend to take over your ability to sleep well, eat well and concentrate on what really matters. What really does matter?

I'm not afraid to say or admit that I struggle daily with coming to terms of what I am destined to do, what is my purpose and how do I fulfill this purpose?

itsallinthemindI'm not afraid to tell you that my best friend and life partner and I live under each others skin and get under each others skin to the point of contempt. We can despise one another for taking up 5 seconds of our time by asking what appears to be a stupid question, but then 20 minutes later we are planning a ride that we can do together and can't wait to enjoy each others company.

I'm not afraid to share with you that there are days when I am scared of my responsibilities, mostly afraid of the work that comes with being successful. Its so easy to see why many people sit happy with cruising. Hard work consumes my daily life, but then my rewards are remunerated three fold.

Yes, I am also afraid of getting older and what this will mean to me in my many spheres of my life as Jessica Douglas.

The daughter. I barely see my parents these days even though they live only 1hr away.
The mother. My daughter Saskia works and lives with us, daily and is about to turn 19.
The wife. Is there a life with Norm outside of this life we have created for ourselves?
The athlete. How long can I sustain what I do on the bike? I am turning 40 in 2013.
The role model. Forever. I can do this for as long as I am passionate about life. Its a daily responsibility. Do I have the energy for the rest of my days?

...but then days like today...just when I am about to break into a million pieces and fall in a heap, I find my way.

I have so much to be grateful for.

My race crash at the You Yangs Yowie 2 weeks ago was only a flesh wound with a sprained shoulder and a buckled wheel. Meh...first world injuries! Time to reflect, time to enjoy my road bike, time to accept help from my friends and let them bless me for a change.

560452 10151075018951003_955853221_nOur trip to Hobart for our MTBSkills launch last weekend was the icing on the cake that is meeting so many wonderful people because Norm and I chose to share our love of our sport. More special people that will become my friends for many years to come. Experiences that you can't ever search for, they just happen because of who I am and what I have done in my life.

The Corner Store in Forrest is a massive task, weeks of getting lost in the hard work, instead of being thankful for the amazing opportunities this have opened up. There are people in our lives who have believed in us and supported our vision with even more passion than we first had. Yes its a lot of hard work, yes there are lots of hurdles to jump over and smash through, however we have this job to do and its a responsibility that I am pretty happy to have on my shoulders. Its so much more than a bike shop.

Then Norm and I have been able to sit back and watch our MTBSkills crew all over Australia have fun, teach and love it, see them grow and enjoy what they do. Norm and I still pinch ourselves to see our passion blossom in our crew.

We know we are doing things right.
I know I am living life the way I am destined to do.
I ride my bike – its a mission to connect people.
I race my bike – its about the journey, the people I meet and the places I go.

Cycling is what inspires my creativity, inspiring others to be think huge and love life.

It was only during and mostly after my afternoon ride today that I finally felt clarity in every part of my body, like a release of pressure from my temples, my shoulders right down to my clenching toes.  
Riding my bike, by myself, rain hail or shine, sorts my head straight, empties my tension and allows me to see the Forrest (or forest) for the Trees. I am sure many of you find that cycling really helps you meditate, concentrate on the good, find the answers, be creative allowing you to get back home with new ideas and a fresh outlook on life. 

Thank you to everyone who I have met and are yet to meet.
You may not know it, but you have been more to me than might think.

Bring on tomorrow world! Lets get on with it and stop being afraid of success.