Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
I took a big risk when I moved to Boulder last autumn. I had no job, no friends, and no clue what was going to happen. Most people would not have done this. I had an idea and a dream of how I hoped it would work out. As we all know, however, sometimes things do not turn out how you had envisioned. Oftentimes this provides us with a learning experience. Oftentimes this learning experience is a valuable one. Oftentimes this learning experience hurts.
It has been made clear in the past that in order to thrive, I need to be around my loved ones. Last time I left home (early college), I struggled with being away from them. When I moved back to Rochester, I had the best two years of my life. Obviously, leaving home again to take this chance on Boulder was a prospect that I was excited about, but there was some apprehension there. I know that I have something special that not everybody has. My friends and family are the most supportive people in the world, and each and every success I have is because of them. I have a very defined sense of where home is. I have given it a year here in Boulder, and it has not become home. When I came out here I had an idea of what I hoped it would be like, and what I would accomplish. It has turned out differently than I had hoped.
I knew that I would face challenges while I was out here, and I have. I met every challenge and rose to every occasion. I grew a lot, and always rallied, no matter what the situation. However, for the most part, it has felt like a series of falling into holes and climbing out of them. There have not been too many true highlights. I have been surviving, rather than thriving. I have not been happy, and I cannot try to convince myself otherwise anymore.
I have made the decision to move back to Rochester. Back home. At this point in time, it is the best decision. I moved to Boulder for the training, but honestly I think I can train just as well, if not better, in Rochester. I know that winters are rough, but it is not anything I am not used to (I handled 23 of those winters). You have to be happy in order to progress with your training. I have my support system there, and great training partners that I trust through and through. As my Boulder roommate (who has been an awesome big brother figure to me this whole time) put it, "you do not become fast by living in Boulder, you become fast by working your ass off." At the moment, I honestly think that I can work harder in a situation where I am around my loved ones, where the support is tangible and accessible.
Boulder will always be here. It is indeed a beautiful place and a fantastic location in which to train. Dozens and dozens of elite athletes cannot be wrong. For now, though, at this point in time, it is not the right place. Perhaps in a couple years I may be able to return. For now, in terms of work, training, and general happiness (which should always be priority number one, along with health), I need to be in my city, with my friends and family. I gave this a real honest shot. I gave it a full year. Everyone I have talked to in the last 24 hours has stressed that I should not see this as failure, or capitulation. It is simply something that I tried and it did not work out. I do not see it as a failure, but I am extremely disappointed that my original vision did not become realized. It is over now. I roll on, like I always do. Onto the next chapter. A few weeks after I get home the leaves will be changing, and the fresh, cool air of autumn in Upstate New York will again fill my lungs as I run through the forest. Just like I did in High school. Just like I did in college.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the
strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done
them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the
arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Ke$ha- Tik Tok: For all intents and purposes, this song sucks. But it's just so damn catchy. More importantly, it reminds me all the fun I had with my friends at school this year. We heard this one at all senior nights and social gatherings, and it will always remind me of Senior Year at UR.
DJ Khalid ft. Ludacris, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg-All I do is win: One of my favorite songs of spring/summer. Reminds me of Senior Week, my first trip to Boulder, and cruising in the car cranking tunes with Markus.
The Black Eyed Peas-Rock that body: This single dropped right around the time the school year was winding down. It will forever remind me of how hard we tried to squeeze every last drop of fun out of the semester that we could.
Enrique Iglesias-I like it: Many of you know how much I love the MTV's masterpiece of a "reality show" Jersey Shore. It was just natural that I would love Enrique Iglesias' theme song for Season 2, and FIST PUMP every time I heard it. When I moved to Boulder I watched every Thursday Night, and was able to laugh with my friends (from afar) about the stupid things that happened on that week's episode. In a weird way, one the most ridiculously trashy (yet fantastically entertaining) things ever put on TV provided some comfort to me as I tried to adjust to my new life.
Jamie's Elsewhere- Giants among common men: I absolutely love bands to manage to combine metalcore with electro-pop/synth elements. A recent discovery of mine, I am digging the whole Jamie's Elsewhere album "They Said a Storm was coming." Good to listen to while running, lifting, or driving in the car.
I See Stars-What this means to me: I listened to the I See Stars album nonstop while driving to Ithaca to visit my buddy Markus in the Spring. An excellent contrast between the hard stuff and the clean stuff is what I really love. I listened to the album too much in a short period of time, and am now sick of. Additionally, they kind of sucked when I saw them play at Warped Tour. However, "What this means to me" remains one of my top songs of the year.
Eminem- Not Afraid/No Love/Almost Famous: For better or worse, there were several things that my generation grew up with. One such constant for us was music from Eminem. I had lost interest in him over the years as I grew weary of his played out "Slim Shady" bullshit, hoping that he would eventually make an album that was completely serious the whole way through (in the same vein as "Til I collapse, The Way I am, and others). That is exactly what he delivered in his 2010 album Recovery. Gone were the stupid accents, corny qausi-humorous pot-shots taken at pop stars, and general clownery. Rather, he took a no-nonsense approach and spoke about his rise from nearly reaching rock bottom because of drug addiction, tragedy, and self-perceived failure. These three songs contain some of his most driven verses on the album, and are the type of songs that I hope we hear from him more often in the future. We kids who listened to Eminem beginning in around 6th grade (yes, Mom and Dad, I listened to music with swearing in it... sorry... how much it corrupted me is debatable) have grown up, and it appears that Eminem has grown up with us.
Usher ft. Will.I.Am-OMG: Another song that dropped in the spring, and therefore was a fixture at our late-semester get-togethers (I realize this is becoming a repetitive explanation). The reason I like this one so much is because I think it was my buddy Trevor's favorite song. Seeing him get so stoked whenever it came on was hilarious, and therefore it reminds me of good times with my best friend.
Taio Cruz- Break Your Heart: One of the great features of our suite was the loud music always emanating from my roommate Mike's room. He played this song constantly for about a month in (you guessed it) the springtime. It's another fun song on the swan song soundtrack of college.
Flo Rida- Club Can't Handle Me: This is one of the catchiest songs of the year. Plus, it's off the Step Up 3D soundtrack. My roommate Steph and I went to see that when I went to visit her in TX. The movie sucked, but it was fun.
Ludacris- How Low: I honestly thought the chipmunk voice feature in rap songs was dead, until my buddy Shervy started playing this song nonstop. I continued to hear it nonstop during spring break and while cruising around with my buddy Drew at the Philly Phlyer collegiate bike race.
Abandon All Ships- Take One Last Breath: Double bass, heavy use of synth. Sounds amazing when you turn it up as loud as possible. Awesome.
A Day To Remember- Second Sucks/Sticks and Bricks/This is the house that doubt build: My favorite band dropped a new album in November. I was so amazingly stoked to listen to it. The CD is good, not great, but several songs stand out. Second Sucks is HARD, and provides a great response to critics that accuse the band of selling out, etc. Sticks and Bricks is in the same metal vein, but mixed with a clean chorus. This House is excellent lyrically, and shows off the more pop/rock side of ADTR. As far as I can see, they will never produce another album like "For Those who have Heart," but as long as they are making music, I will be happy.
Four Year Strong- Wasting Time/Find My Way Back/It must really suck to be Four Year Strong Right Now: Another one of my absolute favorite bands, they put out an awesome album in 2010. I got the privilege of seeing them live during the summer, where they rocked out and put on a great show with tons of energy. However, I also absolutely love their acoustic versions of their songs, which show off their true musical talent. I have been listening to the acoustic versions of Wasting Time and Find my way back nonstop these past few weeks. It Must Really Suck shows off their rock side.
Attack Attack- Smokahantas: Attack Attack came out with a new album on my birthday. The album is okay, despite a considerable departure from their previous album. The new lead vocalist (replacing Austin Carlile, who can scream his head off) is pretty "blah," but a couple songs are creative, such as this one, with a pretty sweet breakdown in the middle. The reason this song makes the list? I played it for one of my buddies while I was performing Designated Driver duties, and my drunk friend (who will remain nameless here) was rocking out SO HARD to this song. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. He reportedly woke up with more of a bangover than a hangover.