Rage for Change

Over the years I’ve come to believe that anger is one of the most crucial emotions to harness for energy. It has helped drive my will to train in the snow, rain, and shitty conditions that would have turned me back if everything in life had been just fine and dandy back at home on the dry, warm couch. Getting comfortable is dangerous. While you sit on the couch, others are out there murdering themselves in the cold to get that extra few percentages on their FTP. Come spring, they’re going to fuck you over.

During the Bush administration, eight years of varying levels of personal furry, I read massive quantities of news. I vowed to never own a car (climate change and the Iraq war). Even after college I lived an incredibly utilitarian life in order to do more than my fair share in conservation. I did these things, in part, out of anger and frustration with the US and the way our country raped the world and its people of resources. When that era came to an end, I got too comfortable. I certainly didn’t agree with everything the Obama administration did, but it contrast to the previous president, it was pretty damn nice.

I stopped following the news as vigorously, got a vehicle two years ago (only because Adelaide got hit by one), and own way more possessions than can fit in two large duffle bags. Part of that is growing up and settling down I guess. But if I really think about it, I feel like I’ve settled in other ways as well. I let the fire go out. Sure, my temper is worse than ever when it comes to confrontations with drivers, but I just realized a few days ago that I haven’t felt truly ashamed to be an American in years. One should always feel some shame in their country, otherwise there’s no need for growth. And there is always need for growth.

Sometimes it takes a certain amount of rage to light that fire again. I don’t know what I’m going to do to help make this country and world a less shitty place, but I guess I should start by improving on what I’m already doing. I want to continue getting more involved with Boulder school district’s BLAST program, for starters. BLAST goes into elementary and middle schools in the district to teach kids bike safety and riding skills. I started volunteering with them a month ago and need to continue, for my own riding sanity in particular. Every time I get buzzed by some fuck hole in a pickup it calms me (a tiny bit at least) to think that maybe in the future there will be one or two less people like that because I encouraged them to ride a bike as a kid. Adelaide and I, though mainly Adelaide, are pursuing bike advocacy in other ways as well.

We do a lot of the small stuff like recycle, compost, stay away from plastic bags, do 80% of our errands and commutes by bike, and live in an energy-efficient 700 square foot apartment. There is room for improvement though. There’s always room for improvement. I make an effort environmentally but I don’t know if I’m doing enough, or anything, to create the social change I want to see take place. Sometimes I try to trick myself into believing that as an elite athlete I have a positive impact on other people by helping them live a more healthy, and therefore happier, lifestyle. I don’t think I have a big enough following for that to be as true as I hope. Sometimes I like to think that my ranting blogs will help create change as well. Most likely not.

Like I said earlier, I’m not sure what my next steps will be politically or socially, but I need to find some productive outlet for the immense amount of anger and frustration that I’m bound to have during this republican senate, republican house, and psycho presidency. For starters, I need to really follow the news again, because somewhere deep down I feel responsible for letting this catastrophe take place. Maybe I could have done my tiny part to help it from happening. I just wasn’t self-informed enough to see it coming. Did any of us realize just how racist and hateful our country is? I didn’t, and that was a fatal mistake.

I’ll leave you with the wise words if Katy Perry, “After a hurricane comes a rainbow. Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed. So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road.”

Whoa…….Blows my mind every fuckin’ time.

6 thoughts on “Rage for Change

  1. That thing about feeling partially responsible, deep down… ya, I’m there too. I’ve also got a simmering pot of anger towards the DNC… we HAD a candidate who could have won and WOULD speak to the conditions that are causing so much anger for the “Give us back our country” element.

  2. I’m trying really hard not to get into the mindset of “I told you so” to those who supported Clinton over Sanders. He’ll at least still be in there throwing punches throughout the next four years. Maybe he’ll run again in 2020.

  3. If you can find that truly unbiased news source to follow then please share it, the news I watch tells me that Trump is insane, a bigot, racist, womanizer, short tempered and is bound to plunge our country into war. I couldn’t have emagine in a million years, a low life, used car salesman like him would have become our president. All the while the news source that the majority of my parents and in laws watch say he’s a shoot from the hip all american who is going to restore our country to its glory days, then painting Clinton as the second coming of the Apocalypse. From my mispointed view Trump should have received a 10th of the votes he got and I would have guessed those votes would have come from militia country in northern Idaho and the rest from the deepest recesses of swamp lands in the south. A false blanket was pulled over me that gave me the sense that we were all okay (sane) and the clown posse that we watched yelling horrific chants at Trump rallies were a small sampling of our misguided country. I thought for sure my mind set was from a common sense point of view. The media my loved ones watched in their homes made me and the people I hang out with seem like the ill informed ones destined to send our country into a state of decay.

    I’m ready for a well informed outlet that tells the news as it is, does real research, and helps you, me and the rest of the country make informed decisions based on facts, not agenda based opinions. If and when you find that news source please share it with the rest of us.

  4. First of all, I’d stay away from TV news of all kind, unless satire. Mother Jones is a good place to start for real information. While obviously biased to a degree, I’ll be reading the NYT again as well.

  5. Npr, BBC, Al jazeera. The key to “unbiased” news is being able to understand how globalised economics, the UN, and our goverment works (or doesn’t). That’s all found in Wikipedia

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