2k Out and Back

Rift Valley Speed Record from Mexican Knee on Vimeo.

Ridge soaring. Really amazing, nasty, rodeo, punchy, fantastic ridge soaring. This is beautiful.

On January 16th, Greg Knudson lands his Boeing 747 cargo jet in Nairobi, Kenya. He exits one of the heaviest aircraft in the world, carrying one of the lightest on his back: an Enzo 2 paraglider.

After two years of preparation, the 52 year-old Californian will attack the official FAI paraglider speed record for 200km. By ‘surfing’ the Elgeyo cliffs, a Kenyan part of the African Rift Valley.

Much of Greg’s race course is African wilderness. Elephants, buffalo and crocodiles make premature landing a careful assessment. With the seasonal winds and weather usually perfect for the undertaking, Greg has two weeks to succeed.

Its Official: The Big Red Buckle is Launched

The Big Red Buckle

Sometime this morning — before coffee, but after walking the dog — my first book became an item you can buy on Amazon. That is right, folks! It is official. I am an author. The published kind.

I know its going to take some time to build up an audience. But with a couple of sales under my belt and a narrowly defined search, guess what, The Big Red Buckle is number eighty-one in sports fiction. Now I’m hoping to see some stars and comments before the week is out.

Number 81 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Sports

beefcake

Taking Shots #7 in Genre Fiction > Sports

An interesting observation, within the “genre fiction > sports” list there is a hell of a lot of beefcake. This makes me wonder how my blend of science fiction and endurance sports will do. A lot of these are romance novels with sports themes in this list, so we will have to wait and see if the juxtaposition of tastes means anything over time.

The print version of the manuscript is still a little way out. There is no comparison between a self-published Kindle ebook and its printed cousin. What I’ve learned is that there is a hell of a lot more work that has to go into a printed book, compared to the electronic variety.

That means, for those of you who refuse to read books on a device, that you will necessarily need to wait. Just a little bit longer. For those of you who are going to get the Kindle version I can sign your electronic copy now (see the authorgraph doodad).

Get your e-book signed by Matthew Alan ThyerAnd for those of you who do not yet currently have the ebook version of The Big Red Buckle please follow the link over to Amazon and download a copy for yourself, or for your science fiction loving cousin, or that paragliding/endurance running dude down the hall from you at the office. It will make a great holiday gift and I hope an enjoyable escape.

Buy The Big Red Buckle

Ants in Pants

It is a delicate balance that we all maintain, but somewhere between a life of pure adventure and the one with dishes and dirty diapers in it is the path I’m walking. Last weekend, in an attempt more to give Tess some time alone, I took Aral for a run along the front range. He was in the jogger, which he is increasingly ok with, and I ran and pushed him.

At one point, while heading up around Wonderland Lake I noticed a bunch of students making their way up the foothills with wings and harnesses and watched as one after another they brought their wings overhead and stepped out into thin air. I knew they were students because one after another they would hit a house thermal out in front of their launch site and go bumping right over it like it wasn’t even there.

Oh was i jealous. It was a hot, dry day and the potential for overdevelopment in the afternoon was extreme (in fact there were tornado warnings in Boulder county and elsewhere), but I imagined what I might do if I had a wing, reserve and harness of my own. Cloud streets went all the way to Wyoming and I sat there imagining the sunburn I would unavoidably need to deal with because of my epic flight.

Too bad I’m not flying right now, don’t even have a wing. But the fire has was lit again and has been smoldering since. Today some schmuck on FB stoked up the embers with this.

Sierra Safari from C Hilliard on Vimeo.

Now I’ve got a swarm of fire ants in my pants. I’m coo-coo for going and its a wonder I’m able to sit here and mash these thoughts out into coherent sentences. Man do I want to go. But that would require a major departure from this path that’s been working oh so well of late.

So I make deals with myself: stay right here, do the laundry and make sure everyone is happy and well taken care of and maybe in a bit you can head out for an evening of trail running some place new. The bags are packed, my GPS and headlamp are right here on the desk with me. Its just a matter of carving out that reward time.

Its not teaching some bright eyed kid to soar in Africa. It is not even a late afternoon of glassy air on Tiger mountain with a beer waiting as soon as the sun sets. But it is enough, its enough because I know this path is a long one and deviation from it means a whole lot of cross country running and no real guarantee I’ll be able to return.

Everyday

Its not every day that you encounter something that gets your juices flowing and reminds you how good it is to be alive. There is the meme most of us are strapped with. The lowered expectation that life is supposed to be that mundane and that full of frustration and that full of ennui.

Folks lift your heads up, look around. I’ve got a two year old who is playing out on the patio. He is talking to himself and creating a story about who knows what, I could ignore this and focus on the fact that there is a pile of laundry waiting for me. Or I could do the job that is in front of me while paying attention to something that matters.

I noticed on FB and spent the couple of seconds it will take you to consume.

THE BOY WHO FLIES – Trailer from Benjamin Jordan on Vimeo.

The first fifteen seconds are like the opening of a prize fight where the favorite walks into the ring, touches gloves with his unlikely opponent and gets socked in the jaw so hard he spends the next 20 minutes drooling on the mat.

My name is Benjamin. I’m 30 years old. Canadian. And by now I’ve done all the things I’ve ever wanted to do. All I’ve got left are those things I’m supposed to do.

Wait for it, because this gets better. You need to wait for the end flight sequence where Godfrey launches out into the void on his own with a ratty pink wing above his head.

I’m going to head back down stairs and watch my son playing for a while. I’m going to soak in it, because, sometimes desire is not an act with motivation pushing behind it. Sometimes desire is just the realization of a moment flowing through our heart.