Your life is amazing, too

Pedaling up Mt. Lemmon, I was trailing behind Eszter. I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated. Our third tempo ride in the last week. The top of the trail we were set to descend seemed a long ways away.

Usually I eat up the climbs, but not today. I’ve been struggling with my bike setup, one step forward, two back. It was overcast, middle of the day, no dynamic light. Climbing a road I have pedaled up many times, to a trail I have descended many times.

sweetwater recovery

Bumming, you might say. It sure doesn’t happen often, especially on the bike. But so it was.

milagrosa moonrise magic

Then I looked over my shoulder and looked at the clouds. A single thought popped into my head, “That’s amazing.”

bug spring trail – the reward for tempo

I started thinking about a blog post a while back, I think entitled “Please don’t stop instagramming your amazing life.” As someone who loves to share photos, I identified with the main point. Sharing isn’t about trying to cause envy in others, even though some amount of that is inevitable. We’re all human.

We’ve all been there, especially if you’re on ‘the facebook’ or ‘the instagram’, feeling jealous that such-and-such is doing some cool ride, in some cool place, or has better weather than us. I find it curious that the human brain can be so apt to focus on negative things, or to devalue our own lives and experience.

And then I realized I was doing exactly that — devaluing my own experience. Here I was, outside and riding a bicycle. In a mountain range and on a road that is, in a word, amazing. I thought of all the travel blogs I’ve read lately, and the amazing photos of people riding in exotic places. I thought of the litany of well shot and well ridden MTB photos I’ve come across lately. Big moves, chunky trail or maybe amazing light and backdrops. Everyone is doing cooler stuff than I am.

And then I realized I could very easily be *in* one of those amazing photos, right now. No one’s there to take it, and the HDR-esque technology may not yet exist to capture both subtle clouds and rider, but it’s there. The moment is there.

What’s better, to have an amazing photo, or to be inside one, actually there and in the moment?

impromptu night ride

I’m someone that is viewed, by a few, as having an ‘amazing’ life, as far as outdoor adventures go and for having the time/health/freedom/desire to pursue them on a regular basis. I’ve taken enough photos with tiny cameras to know a few tricks, and to have some small grasp on when it’s a good time to pull the camera out. Yet here I was, bumming and envying others — thinking what I am doing isn’t amazing enough.

So, I still don’t think anyone should stop ‘instagramming’ their amazing life. We need more inspiration, not less.

But more importantly, everyone should try to remember their lives are amazing, and that they may very well be inside an amazing photograph, of an amazing life, and not even know it.

7 comments to Your life is amazing, too

  • Mark

    Wisdom here. It doesn’t even have to be an “amazing” life we’re living. It only needs to be fulfilling, or filled with striving in that direction. “Amazing” can be an exhausting superlative to live up to. Don’t do it, don’t compare your life with those of others. Because their “amazing” life, so lived, may not be our fulfilling one. Only we can get there, each in our own way, independent of photographic evidence one way or the other. And thank the deities for that.

  • Yes. Love this. And I love coming here, seeing your photographs, and reading a out your adventures. If people didn’t share, how would the rest of us know how very much more is out there?

  • Your photos are awesome. I could see a spectacular, giant Sierra Club-type coffee table book documenting the AZ Trail if you ever chose to your the photos on actual paper.

  • aaron d

    Yes, I am jelly but inspired.

  • So many times I’ve told myself to get greedy and bomb into canyons filled with beautiful shafts of light. Pixels killed? Zero. Monster brain-buzzing, inshoxicating descent killed? One.

  • Scott B

    Bravo! I can both love my life and be jealous of he rides /pictures you pull off. You aren’t bragging or making me feel like my life is less cool, you are sharing the stoke and vibe with those who for whatever reason can’t join you. Each one so like a Christmas card update, but way cooler and more often. Keep up the awesome work.

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