Active Rain Hill Climb
In July of '06 I discovered Active Rain via the invite of Bonnie Cox. Almost from the moment I signed on, it's been a thrill. The first weekend in The Rain was a weird rainy one in Colorado, it must have been a sign of some sort. The rain in my state kept me inside discovering a new Rain of sorts.
The Rain I discovered was soon to become an addiction. It was a blast to do something and be rewarded with points. Soon I was in a race with the few persons in my state...most of whom have dropped out long ago. The early days were filled with the excitement of gaining on the person in front of you. Once passed the focus who move to the next person up the line and so on. My goal was never to get to the very top, I didn't think it was possible. I just keep posting and blogging and passing each one ahead of me.
Like Spokes in a Wheel
Along the way Active Rain would change the way things were done. The changes were needed, expected and mostly welcomed. The network morphed from a cold, point gaining focus into a community of folks who were becoming friends. Each day we would come from different parts of the country to meet in this common place, like the spokes in a wheel. We were all blogging and trying to find our voice, make an impression, get a gold star and of course a few more points.
About this time I started to think of Active Rain as a bicycle tour. We were all riding in the same direction, some enjoying the view and others focused on the top of the hill. Anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle uphill knows how hard that is. Some find it impossible they have to dismount and walk up, others slide back in the saddle and dig in with the glutes, propelling themselves up the incline. I don't like walking up hills, I prefer to look off to the side while I peddle at a speed that doesn't make my heart sound like it's ready to explode.
Enjoying the Journey
I pace myself and enjoy the view. Its surprising what you see when looking sideways, spider webs sparkle in the dew, frogs jump up and greet you, cows even wink as if to encourage you on. Yes, looking sideways is really the best part, as you climb to the top you remember the experience without the stress and pressure of only watching the crest of the hill.
The friendships on Active Rain have had an impact on my life. Here I have meet people I've never seen, but show me what they wrote and I can tell you who it is, without seeing their name. We all have a style, a recognizable voice a footprint that we leave where ever we go. Imprints like these are indelible, undeniable and powerful. They should be used with caution, because with the click of a key a comment can raise someone up or cut them down. Tools like these need to be used with caution as we are dealing with people, not posts. (Ah but I must not preach, but instead lead by example).
In cycling the most efficient way to ride is in a pace line. It's also the most dangerous. Each cyclist rides as close to the one in front of him as possible. The rule is "no sudden moves, be predictable." Riding in a pace line a cyclist can cover a lot of distance with less wind resistance. It's the principle of drafting. Essentially the leader takes the wind, protecting the riders behind him. When the leader gets tired he scoots out of front place and takes "the easy chair" in the back of the line, while the others "pull" him along.
It sounds odd to anyone who hasn't tried it, but it works.
Pace Line Etiquette
In the tradition of cycling when a ride planned, it goes on, even if its raining. In the tradition of the pace line, when the leader gets tired someone from behind moves up and takes over, doing his time breaking the wind. I've been leading this Active Rain Pace Line for awhile. It's time to take my break in the back of the line. I'm tired and worn out. I need a blogging break.
As you pass me shout out "on your left!" I'll be looking over my shoulder for you. As you take the lead, don't forget to look to the side, remember it's the journey not the destination.
My Parting Gift to You (How To Boost Your Points.)
People who know me, they know I like to write the Dummy Guides or the Official Unofficial Rules on how to do things. My next post will be outlining the steps to gain some extra points for yourself. If we are going to have a race here, there needs to be a little more competition.
Honest competition is good, it provides a channel for our competitive spirits, we can grow and become better. For me this Active Rain Hill Climb has equaled the mountains I have climbed. The Rockies, Pyrenees, Alps and the Andes were just as thrilling at the Active Rain Hill Climb.
A Big Thank You is in Order
Thank you to all who have supported me in my effort. It was easy, as you encouraged and propelled me on, for this I will always be grateful.
You'll see me here on the sidelines, cheering you on!