A New Family

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I am not sure if anything could be harder than a father giving his daughter away at a wedding. But I would like to argue that being the brother is pretty difficult.  As a brother I feel like my responsibility is to stay strong, tall, and unforgiving to the men in my sisters’ lives. Thankfully, I had a bad view of my sister during the wedding ceremony. As she walked up the aisle I could not see her because of the people. I could not see her as she stood in front of Brad. It was the best thing that could happen.

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If she was in my site, I don’t know if I could of stood strong. If I could of seen her, I would of been looking at the sister I watched in home videos for hours as I made the video for the rehearsal dinner. Like a dad would think, it was not a grown woman standing there, but a little girl I have grown up with. I didn’t want to avoid having tears or other emotions because I was unhappy, or didn’t approve. I honestly feel like I should never 100% approve of who my sister’s marry. I know what guys are like, so how could I possible believe any are good enough for them? So instead I stood there thanking the sun and people for blocking my view. I stood there looking at my parents and younger sister smile and cry. I got to see all of the people that impacted her life and mine. Family and friends all gathering for something that was beautiful to see. I was looking at my sister’s future husband. Seeing how much he resembled his own dad from the home videos, knowing that she was now going to be in good hands.

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Then just as if it had just started, they were walking down the aisle together. It was amazing to see, and I don’t know if I could ever truly convey the emotions I felt that moment. The ceremony in itself was amazing, but I did not think I would enjoy everything else as much as I did. I am a bit of an introvert, so events like this are not my cup of tea.  It is not often you can have everyone you know and care for at one place. Families might be around each other at holidays, but rarely are family and friends together like this. So the whole night I got to spend time with people I care about, celebrating the marriage of a sister and I suppose my new brother. (I believe this makes him my brother??)

mintspringspanIt is almost impossible for me to try to understand what my sister was going through waiting for this moment. It is probably not an exaggeration to say she has spent years and years preparing for this moment. I don’t know if I would ever want to experience the stress of preparing for a wedding as a girl. As a guy the ceremony is so much easier to prepare for, especially the day of. It was incredible seeing how busy the women were, then looking at how relaxed all of the guys were. While we were outside smoking cigars or watching football, the women were getting ready. I think the earliest one of us started to get dressed and ready was around 30 minutes before the pictures. The women probably started 5-6 hours earlier.

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DSC_2893aI did not get to see my sister in her dress before the ceremony started. However, I could tell how beautiful she was going to be as they were all getting ready. The time spent making sure hair, makeup, ribbons, etc were all perfect. No bride needs these things to look beautiful, but the time spent certainly shows. DSC_2887a

 

 

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The night went by incredibly fast, and surprisingly I found myself wishing it would not end. Not that I was having fun dancing, because I would of avoided that all night if I could have. I just loved getting to talk with everyone, and see others enjoy themselves. I love watching people and seeing how they interact. I do not need to be on the dance floor to enjoy a song. Watching the ring bearer and flower girl dance is enjoyment enough for me. It was a night I certainly will cherish, and a night I hope my sister and Bradford will remember forever. If there is one thing the wedding showed me, it is that Bradford’s family is going to treat Rachel well. She is in good hands.

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Below is the video I made for Rachel and Bradford. It is around 11 minutes long, so if you have the time I would recommend giving it a look. It was incredible getting to see some of the similarities our two families had growing up. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!!

 

A Way of Life

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I have no clue what my life would look like if I did not ride bikes. It may be extreme to say I would be a fat slob, but before cycling I never really exercised regularly. As a kid I never lifted weights, ran, and the only sport I played consistently was golf. I have never been able to understand how anyone could enjoy running. There are probably plenty of people that would say the same thing about cycling. As for me, I have not been able to stop riding since I started during my Sophomore year in college. It is my drug of choice. It is my escape.

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Now I won’t say I have “fun” during my rides. It is hard for me to even describe what cycling is for me. Maybe I enjoy it because of the challenge, or maybe it is just that I love being outside. Riding may be one of the hardest things I do, and I think it takes a different person to enjoy it. Most of the time my rides are not full of laughs, but of pain and suffering. Cycling is about pushing myself both physically and mentally. It is almost more of a mental struggle than physical for me. I have to conserve energy, but at the same time push myself as hard as I think my body can go. Some days it is simply about surviving till the end. I think the German professional cycling Jens Voight summed up cycling best with the saying “Shut up legs”. Sure being in shape or having nice gear helps, but cycling is mainly about seeing how much agony you can put up with. Sometimes all I can do is just think about each pedal and hope that I have that extra internal gear.

Remedy7That being said, finishing a ride is so fulfilling. Sure I am not riding the Tour de France, but for me each ride is a personal milestone. It is another chance for me to feel the breeze in my face, and for me to experience life. Some rides are just about getting out on the greenway to see others enjoy their passion of riding. Rarely is it about the competition, if ever for me. I don’t ride to be on a podium, not that I could even if I tried. I have never been a competitive person, so I would hate to waste something like cycling with the stresses and frustration of competition. I think that would ruin it for me.

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I am sure I am being picky when I say this, but I hope to meet a woman someday who can share my passion. The thought of riding next to the woman I love sounds amazing. It may be too much to want this, but why wouldn’t I want to share this with other people. If I could get everyone to enjoy cycling, I would.

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I want to ride to go places. See new spots and try new hills. I ride for the sweat, pain, and personal gratification of pushing myself further than I thought my legs could take me. Maybe one day I will not be riding, but until then I look forward to the next ride the second I get off my bike. I can’t wait for the next hill, and for the enjoyment of riding up it faster than the previous week. Or even for the pain of my legs not wanting to go on.

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