Fair and Balanced.

Since yesterday's post trended a bit to the dark side, I figured I'd balance the scales a bit.
 
I have a lot to be thankful for. Very little of which I deserve.
 
I have a family that I love and that tolerates me. I have a wonderful wife that is pretty much the centering force in my life. I have four kids that are equally uniquely awesome and uniquely frustrating in their own ways. I have a dog that is far too good for me. I think there are a couple cats around the house, but I need to focus on the positive.
 
I have more bikes than I need, plus excessive quantities of accessories for each. The same goes for skis.
 
I have interests that keep me engaged and active, instead of allowing me to get fat(ter) and unhealthy(er). As I get older and look at my contemporaries and the following generations, I realize just how fortunate I am that I managed to stumble into those activities. 

I have a job that supports all of the above. That's saying something.
 
I'm also part of a couple communities that made Alaska my home. Having moved from place to place through the military over the years, I realized that sense of belonging was the difference between me loving a place and simply enduring it.
 
The first is the alpine skiing community, particularly the Alyeska Ski Club. Ski racing gave my a recreational outlet during the long winters, fueling my competitive drive while gently reminding me that I had zero aptitude on the snow. The Alyeska Masters welcomed me in, accepting my enthusiasm and ineptitude as I developed over the years from dangerous-but-slow to controlled-but-slow. The time I've spent with my daughter in the Alyeska Mighty Mites has been some of the best days I've spent on skis. One day my youngest son will likely join us in this community, and I'm glad there's this positive, active environment available for us every winter.
 
My association with the Alyeska Ski Club led to my association with the Arctic Bicycle Club Road Racing Division. While I initially started racing bikes so I could be in shape for ski racing, there's been a shift in the priority list. Otherwise, this blog would have been called Alaskan Gate Flogger. This organization provided the outlet and motivation that made me far healthier and stronger than I was before. It provided me with something to work towards and, without overselling the point, and sense of identity.
 
I get to live and feel part of a place that's a bucket list item for a lot of people. People pay thousands of dollars to get a brief glimpse of things I see every day. Having lived all over the country, I have been lucky to find my place in the world for the last 16 years.
 
I have five guys in a hut in Micronesia that read this blog.
 
You really can't ask for much more in this life.

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