Hey. So. You have probably noticed that I have posted very few things in the past few years. I could explain all the various reasons for my radio silence, but to be honest, when life just takes you in a new direction sometimes you have to roll with it! You make time for the people and things that sit atop your list of priorities, and blogging for fun was just not cracking the top 5 of my list.
I’m feeling at a place where I’m ready to start writing again, so I hope you’ll give me another shot. If you’re still there reading, that is. S/o to my buddy Ken who is my most avid reader – as long as there’s an audience of 1, I’ll keep posting 😉!
Speaking of top 5 lists, here are 5 things I’ve been up to in the past 4-ish years while I haven’t been blogging! Lightning round of catch up! Ready… set… go!
We moved to Colorado! Since Jameson and I met in 2006, we have literally always fantasized about moving to the mountains. After finding ourselves spending quite a bit of our vacation time traveling westward (read: basically every chance we got), and life circumstances lining up to make another cross-country move, we bit the bullet and finally did it! We’ve been in the Denver/Boulder area for a year now, and while moving always presents challenges, I don’t ever question whether we made the right call. It is every bit as great as we imagined it would be. More to come on Colorado life in future posts.
I can’t believe this view happened on a day hike!
More awesome hiking views.
SO MUCH SKIING LAST WINTER. It was awesome.
2. Racing and riding
Yep, still racing bikes, lots and lots of bike racing. I think in the seasons between 2013-2017, I was averaging about 50 race starts per season, and Jameson was probably averaging more. We also just rode a ton, in all kinds of weather and climates and with all kinds of friends. Currently Jameson is racing for Team Rio Grande, based out of Colorado, and I’m racing for Orion Racing, based out of Minnesota. Which brings me to…
This was one of the hardest but most fun rides we did together!
Currently trying to learn how to mountain bike.
3. My friends and I founded a bike racing team
Orion Racing is currently in its third season and I am so humbled and honored to see how much the team has grown. What started as an idea over coffee and then a name chosen off of a whiteboard brainstorming session in my living room has become a squad of badass women focusing on racing and developing other elite women racers. We have successfully moved teammates from Cat 3 racers up to Cat 2s who can hang with the field at pro road nationals, and if that doesn’t split my heart wide open with gratitude, I don’t know what would. It’s also such a cool opportunity to see people develop not only as racers but stretch themselves in team management roles, another important part of being an elite racer (IMHO). I love the Orion Racing ladies and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together over the next three years!
If you see these jerseys in a race, give them some extra loud cheers!
Love these women. They inspire me every day!
4. Changing and building careers
Part of my long hiatus of blogging was due to work. I tried my hand at freelance science and career journalism, which was fun and challenging and also didn’t fit our needs when I became the sole income for our household as Jameson went to school. So I started working in the medical device industry, which turned out to be something I really loved. I tried balancing both freelancing and full-time employment for a few years and then after a mental breakdown decided I had to choose one. I chose my corporate job and have been enjoying growing in that space ever since.
Jameson also realized a huge career goal when he graduated dental school and became a practicing dentist. So we are both in a pretty happy place job-wise right now, which is awesome.
Dr. Ribbens and Dr. Ribbens! Finally!
5. Tackling the biggest life change/challenge ever
This is saying something, after multiple long-distance moves, several graduate degrees, balancing graduate school/careers/racing/relationships… we are about to be challenged again like we’ve never been challenged before. We are going to become parents. Yep. Parents. It still blows my mind, even though we have a little less than 4 months to go before Baby Ribbens makes her official debut. The challenges and struggles of pregnancy have actually been one of the biggest reasons for me to start blogging again. I have come across very few women who race bikes who share their experiences, and I feel like it has not been what I expected. So, lots more on that in future posts.
What have you been up to in the past 4 years? If you had to make a top 5 list of life events, what would be on there? I look at this list and think, wow, nothing too extraordinary, but at the same time some of these things were hard and I’m damn proud that we worked through them.