Update - Nelson
Hello Internet World,
For those of you who have been following my weekly blogs, you might have noticed that my blogs have not been weekly as of late. In fact, there has been two month-long gaps between the last couple posts. The last couple months have brought many challenges and changes, such as a change of location, job, and friend-group, among other things. I have not felt motivated to blog, write or share. I have been spending my time focusing on the present, and what is going on inside my head, trying to calm, accept, love and grow from it. Within the coming months, I need to buckle down and focus on my training for the Tour Aotearoa I will be completing with my dad in October. That means, a lot more time on the bike, and less time staring at a computer screen (yay!). So, thanks for sticking with me and here is a recap of the past month, and an update of where I am now. Enjoy and hugs to you all.
May was a tricky month. Mostly emotionally. Some internal issues I had shoved down deep had revived themselves through various choices and events. I am grateful to have the support of two very special souls to help me through that hard time. Those issues were magnified by the knowledge that I would be making a change of location sometime in May. The bike park, 440, closes April-September due to the large amount of rain the North Island receives in winter. Since the trails are all clay, the rain water makes the tracks far too slippery and dangerous to ride, and also ruins the trails by creating ruts in the clay and breaking apart berms. Throughout March & April, I had been job searching for something of interest in the Nelson/South Island area; I had heard that would be a fun, cold NZ winter. I job searched and job searched to no avail. Every job that had been posted was for a labourer, barista, or cashier, among other mundane jobs that sparked no interest in me. I thought back to my month travelling around NZ with my momma. The place I enjoyed the most was Nelson - it has a really friendly vibe, awesome mountain biking, beautiful scenery and the day of MTB shuttling I did with Gravity Nelson was sweet! Ideally, I wanted to coach mountain biking again. The months working at the park had improved my downhill riding and confidence and I wanted to share that with others. So, even though Gravity Nelson had no job postings or places to apply, I found their email, sent in my CV and hoped for the best. A few weeks later, I got a reply asking for an interview. After two Skype interviews with one of the co-owners, I was in. Once the confirmation date of the move came, I needed to find a place to stay - hello panic. I meditated, stayed calm and reached out to my network. Through my manager at 440, came another friend in Nelson, who found me a place to stay with one of their friends. It is amazing how perfectly the world will open up to you if you allow it. Even though I had my moments of freaking out and uncertainty and fear, deep down I could feel that it was okay, that it was happening, that it would work out as it should.
Trust. This is a word that has been coming up heaps in conversation, meditations, and random life circumstances. Trust myself. Trust the process. Trust that I am on the right path. Trust the universe. Allow trust in others. In a world that is so fear and status-based, the word trust should not be taken lightly or warped into something it’s not. Trust does not mean reliance, or dependance, or attachment. It means allow life to flow. It means less resistance. It reminds us to see the best in others, and to trust your gut and feelings. I constantly remind myself to trust.
On May 14th I began the move. It was hard leaving the park, my kiwi-momma, Sheryle, and the many other friendships I have made in the Auckland area. It was hard leaving the comfort, going into the unknown. But I did know. This was my path. It was time to go, and go I did. The fuzzy radio tunes kept me going along the 7.5 hour drive down from Orere Point, East of Auckland, to the Wellington ferry. I stopped in the Tongariro area to gape at the mountains and vast landscape surrounding them. I thought back to that chilly, windy December day that I hiked the Tongariro crossing in shorts. I would like to do it again, but with pants this time. I arrived in Wellington in the dark and in the rain, since it is now winter in NZ. A quick grocery shop for dinner, a two hour wait in the ferry line-up and I was onboard, heading to the south island. I caught the 8:30pm ferry, which only had about 8 other passenger vehicles, the rest filled up with semi-trucks. This time, I took two Gravols to help with the seasickness. I slept most of the way which was better than feeling each toss the ocean gave the boat.
The ferry arrived in Picton 3 hours later, around midnight. Earlier, I had researched where the freedom camping area was in Picton. Looking forward to sleep, I started the 5 minute drive to the freedom camp parking lot. I got there, drove in, and noticed that all the parking spots were taken. There was a big sign that said “Max 12 vehicles, $200 fine if parked on road”. Shit. What now? I pulled back onto the main road and popped down every side road there was, looking for a flat spot large enough to pull off the road completely, that was away from the main road and away from houses. It took a while, but eventually I found a good area on the side of a field. I quickly tipped my bike upright, pulled out my sleeping bag and settled in amongst all of my belongings in the back of my car. I did not sleep well, for fear of being reported and having to pay a fine for freedom camping in an undesignated area. Someone walked past my car around 5am, maybe a farmer. Two cars passed around 6:30am, maybe going to work. At 7am, I was up and out of there as it was starting to get light. This was not an ideal situation and I do not recommend it. It would have been fine if there would have been one spot for me in the freedom camp area. The drive from Picton to Nelson took 1.5 hours and my bladder was so relieved as I finally pulled up to my new home. My housemate, Pam, was at work by the time I arrived. She left a note saying “make yourself at home” and directing me to my room. I think I must have been experiencing culture shock as I took out my belongings that had been living in my car the past 6 months. I felt strange folding and hanging my clothes in an actual wardrobe, instead of the backpack they had been shoved in for the past 7 months, since I left home. I felt contained and claustrophobic, yet there was too much space. I actually missed the cramped area of my car and the caravan, I missed the wide-open forest of the park that was my home. I missed having one pan and one burner to make my meals, instead of a fully supplied, huge kitchen. I missed washing the dishes out of a bucket, under the tap of cold rain water, being watched by the possums for scraps. It took me a total of 10 minutes to unpack all of my belongings and get set up in my room. I am proud of how minimally I can live, that I prefer to live. It’s very nice and very comfortable to be in a house, especially as the winter turns bitter and the temperatures drop.
Work has been going well. The Gravity team are funny, supportive and energetic. I feel like I belong now, but was hard for the first couple weeks. The mountain bike trails still run very nicely in the winter - I have been riding 6 days a week. My confidence continues to be challenged in my coaching sessions. Now that I am done with my assessments, I feel a little more freedom and more capable to teach openly. I am excited to share my knowledge and experience, for I am still learning too. The attitude of the mountain bike community is so welcoming and keen - it’s very encouraging. I am so grateful that things have worked out so well...
One final thing, I have connected with another Indy-dog. My housemate, Pam, and I made a deal before I moved in, since the rent she was seeking was much higher than I could afford. While brainstorming, she asked if I was good with dogs. Yes, of course, I love them and just want to hug them and play with them! So, to lower my rent, I am responsible for running her beautiful 3-yr old vislak two days per week and helping with the occasional feeding. I am so honoured that I get to spend time with Indy, and Pam’s other critters: two cats - Louie and Tessa, and her two goldfish. Animals make me so happy. Most nights, either Louie or Tessa (or sometimes Indy), fall asleep in my lap in front of the fire.