sunset gravel cycling

AM left Dusty

As you may have noticed, the AM site has sat dormant. I know that’s bad for my Google rating but even worse is leaving you hanging when you’re looking to peer into the world of the Adventure Monkey for a quick escape from reality. Plus with the health issues, some of you may have wondered if everything is OK in our world.

Everything is pretty much OK. I have just slowed things down a bit. Something had to give and it was this site that was left collecting dust. I kept wanting to get back to it but my lack of big adventures as of late left me with a lack of material and to be honest maybe a bit of depression and tiredness which led to a nice case of writer’s block. And honestly I have become bored, maybe burnt out of cycling. I have been trying to work hard to get back into shape. Every ride has me paying attention to my heart rate and milage and I think I am not having as much fun with the process as usual. I am missing those long rides into the Flint Hills. Those dirty centuries that take me far from home as I follow a course I made on mapmyride.com. But I do have a plan to help fix this. It involves a new bike and a trip up north, but details still have to be worked out.

Heart surgery or any sort of life altering experience will get one to think about things deeper than usual. It certainly has done that to me and I probably over-think everything anyway. Heart surgery at 40 at a time when I was training for some big events and trying to get AM to launch into the stratosphere took me back. Like getting the wind knocked out of me, this experience has made me slow down and evaluate things. Like seriously evaluate what I want to do and where I want to go from here. I don’t mean to be morbid here, but our lives can end at anytime and at best I am halfway to the finish line if you get my drift.

Evaluting Life

Evaluating life can take many forms. Some of my time has been spent simply sitting and thinking while I sip the sweet nectar of morning coffee, waiting for my neurons to begin to fire. Some of it has been spent reading. Some of it has been spent thinking on the bike as I try to get back into shape. I have even been sleeping more. I have finally come to rest in a place that has me authentically looking within to see what’s there. I have found that there are some fears that have been planted in my psyche from birth until now. I plan to expose and remove them so I can live the rest of my life free from those things that hold me back. Things that aren’t even real. Yeah it’s deep, maybe a little new agey, but that’s where I am. It’s a good place because it’s a necessary place.

One thing I know that pertains to the future of Adventure Monkey is that there is one thing in my professional life that I am passionate about. Something I have been into since I have been a kid. Something that I am good at and that I enjoy doing. That thing is of course photography. I’ve travelled through so many rabbit holes in life but the one thing that sticks with me is photography.

Another thing that I crave is adventure. I plan on combining these two things as I walk into the unknown future. I am not so worried as to what that looks like as much as I am that I am doing something I am passionate about. I am going to focus on photography and getting myself in place to be there to capture great images. I am not sure where “there” is and that doesn’t matter now. I am just putting it out there and seeing what doors open. I plan on taking you all with me by posting more of that here.

To get to where I want to be, I want to pay off my house and get into a nice financial situation that will give me the freedom to do what I want to do. This may involve a job that is not as enjoyable, but pays quite a bit more. It will be a sacrifice, but well worth it. More on that later.

One other thing. This site is going to get another overhaul. I want to focus on giving you great imagery to look at, telling a little bit about how I captured it and sharing the adventure with you. This will be the third major overhaul of this site, I believe, but I think this one will be the most authentic one to date. The other two were based on turning this site into a money making machine. I never do well when I focus on the money.

So there you go. I am in no rush here, but things should start changing soon.

Here’s some photos to show what’s been happening.

soccer girl

 Melissa has been a soccer girl this first part of the school year AND…

birthday party

 …my little girl became a teenager last month!

crazy running kid

 We’ve been doing plenty of Mikey wrangling (wish I could bottle up some of that energy).

child sleeping in car

 And once, he fell asleep and all was quiet for a short time.

dual monitor workstation

 I’ve been pretty busy at work these days. Nice backgrounds huh?

chipolte food

 We have gone out of town with the family a few times and eaten delicious Chipolte goodness.

yoga in the sun

 Jennifer put together a Yoga in the Park event in Emporia.

storm gravel cycling

 I’ve been riding after work into the night and dodging some storms.

sunset gravel cycling

 I’ve seen some beautiful sunsets as the temperature has dropped with the sinking sun on my rides.

So there you go. I hope to keep it regular, on the blog that is. Get outside before it gets too cold!

Feed Your Monkey!
Eric

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Flint Hills Photocycling Tour Report
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Eric Benjamin

Owner/Operator of Adventure Monkey

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