Friday, May 08, 2009

Reality

I took this picture on Saturday morning in the Marin Headlands. I took it shortly after I had a little meltdown. Actually, it wasn't as much a little meltdown as it was a big meltdown. I came to after about a half hour, stood up from where I had been huddling beneath a bush, set the self timer on my camera, and took this photo. I took it because I wanted to remember what I went through. I took it because I chronicle my life. It's just what I do. Good and bad.

I've been trying to figure out how to approach this subject on my blog, or whether I'd mention it at all, or if I'd just go ahead and kill the blog altogether as part of a resolve to start anew. But I finally decided that in everything I've dealt with in the past three years, being open about my feelings and experiences on my blog has in the end been helpful.

Geoff broke up with me two and a half weeks ago. It happened 52 hours before we were supposed to board a ferry south for a summer trip we had been planning for several months. It happened for many reasons. It happened just when I thought things were going really well for us. And as the ferry departure inched closer, it became more obvious that it really happened. I probably shouldn't have gotten on that boat, but I did, because I wanted to at least try to salvage eight years of friendship and partnership. And I wanted to salvage a summer adventure I had really been looking forward to. I wanted things to be the same.

But of course, they haven't been. We did a lot of talking on the drive, and most of what was said was hurtful and discouraging; but I kept my head above the water and kept the wheels moving south. I visited my friends and did my bike rides and at times had a lot of fun. I didn't talk with anyone else besides my family about what was going on between me and Geoff. At times, when I was alone on my bike rides, I'd feel a rush of intense loneliness. But I'd push those feelings back. I'd tell myself it was for the best. I'd remind myself that in many ways, I'm better off alone.

Last Saturday, Geoff ran the Miwok 100K race. He had placed a lot of our summer trips' capital on finishing well in this race. Months ago, I had promised to help him with checkpoint-to-checkpoint race support. We left our friends' house Friday night and drove to Marin in a windy rainstorm. We set up camp and went to bed early. I woke up at 5 a.m. and drove him to the race start, carried his cold-weather layers as he shed them on the way to the starting line, and raced back to camp to take down the tent in time to reach the first checkpoint before he came through. Then I drove to the checkpoint, waited in the cold rain with an armful of stuff until he ran by, and then drove to the next checkpoint to do the same. After that chore was complete, I had four hours to kill before he came through again, so I set out for a bike ride.

The weather was damp and cold, with fog so thick that everything appeared blurry and washed in dirty gray. I climbed up a fire road and bombed down the other side, my head filled with resentment and anger, coasting faster and faster in a spray of gravel and mud, my heart pumping gray cold blood and my eyes so blinded by the fog that I failed to notice a metal pipe sticking out of the gravel road. I launched over it at 25 or 30 mph; the rear wheel slid sideways along the wet surface and the bike slapped me on the ground like a hooked fish. I never even had time to hit the brakes. My left arm hit hard, followed by my head, and I could hear the dull crunch of my helmet followed by grinding rumble of my body sliding over loose gravel.

As soon as I came to a stop, I quickly stood up and nudged my overturned bike to the side, terrified that someone else would come bombing down the hill and run me over. My arm throbbed with intense pain and I held it tightly to my side. At least a couple long-sleeve layers were torn and I was too scared to look at my skin. I was partly convinced that I had broken a bone. As the pain coursed through my arm, a much deeper and darker feeling bubbled up from my core. It was as though the rush of pain from the bike crash ignited an explosive release of everything I had been feeling over the past two weeks, but had bottled up for reasons of fun, peace and a sense of normalcy. As those feelings rushed to the surface, I was surrounded by a darkness so complete that it blocked out all the rain, the fog, and the warm blood trickling down my arm. The darkness needled through my pores, filling my body with hopelessness, anger, fear and unfocused physical pain that was worse than the worst moment of rewarming frostbite. I felt helpless to even move. There was nothing I could do but curl up beneath a nearby bush and let it filter through. I was finally ready to accept the depth of my emotions. I was finally willing to admit my heart was broken.

When I finally pulled myself together, I still felt horrible. I had decided my arm wasn't broken, but it still hurt enough to prevent me from putting any pressure on it, which meant I couldn't ride my bike. I held the stem with my right hand and trudged six miles back to the race checkpoint. The moment I reached my car was the exact moment Geoff walked up after dropping out of the race. He had been sick and looked weak and disappointed. He was shivering in the damp cold. For me, that was the final painful moment of truth, because both of us needed comfort so badly, and neither of us could provide it to the other.

It's hard to write about this in general - especially on a blog that so many people see. To my friends, I'm sorry if this is the way you found out. I've considered making individual phone calls to our many mutual friends to break the news, but this is still hard to deal with in the open. The blog feels less personal and less open, so it seems a good first step. Geoff and I are working to make the break as friendly as possible. We want to make sure our friends feel they don't have to take sides. And I recognize that relationships end. It happens. It's part of life. And I'm still a full person on my own. But it hurts to be rejected and it's scary to be alone, and right now that's the lens I'm looking through to take my next steps.

Where those next steps will take me, I'm still not sure. I wanted to rush back to Juneau and my cat and the safe monotony of my job, but I'm still down here because I feel strongly that this sabbatical is an important part of the journey, even if it doesn't go the direction I had planned. I'm not even sure where the sabbatical will take me, but I remain open to new things and willing to accept that the paths of life are mostly unknown.

101 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Thank you for your courage in sharing.
    Blessing and good health to you and Geoff. May you walk straigt into your highest heart's desire.
    Darlitia

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  2. That just plain sucks! I'm really sorry to hear about this. Keep your head up and you'll come out on the other end of this a better person.

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  3. You are currently on a path that must seem terribly empty and alone. Given time you will be able to see that a lot of us have also been on that path and, with time, were able to move forward and experience joy and love. Thank-you for sharing, you are incredibly special.

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  4. Anonymous11:45 AM

    Hi Jill,

    I'm just a random stranger who picked up your blog through Google Reader and have been reading for a few weeks...but I wanted to say congratulations, for keeping true to yourself, and that you have my sympathy (for whatever random-stranger-sympathy counts for). I enjoy your stories and pictures, and think you're very brave.

    -Eva

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  5. Jill, my heart goes out to you. You are so incredibly brave to write this here.

    You are someone who endures, but as the crash and the ensuing darkness make clear, you are much, much more as well. You are someone who feels deeply. You are right to give yourself time for all of this.

    Keep exploring, keep enduring, keep feeling. For yourself.

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  6. Jill, honey, I'm so incredibly sorry. I've followed your blog for a couple of years now and really hope you don't let this heartbreak keep you from writing. Hang in there and take care of yourself.

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  7. Jill,
    I commend your courage with this post. as always, your writing is well thought out and beautiful; i feel like i am there with you.
    my heart goes out to you; not in a stalker way, but in an empathetic way.
    rats. work calls. (ICU rn). gotta go. more later.
    hang tough. heal. molt. grow.

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  8. Sorry to hear that news Jill. I admire you both individually and as a couple. Having a partner is one of the most fulfilling things in life, losing a partner one of the most painful.

    I know you're still deep in the funk and just now accepting the situation. But... the good news is: You're smart, independent, adventurous, humble and interesting. Not to mention that you're a hottie. Some men might be put off by your abilities and accomplishments but the men you might be interested in will be intrigued and captivated and embrace the challenge of hanging with Jill. The cliché is true, these things eventually work out for the best.

    I'm glad you're going forward with the sabbatical. Take advantage of the clean slate and open schedule. Push the envelope and do the unexpected. Reconnect with family and good friends while having no constraints on pursuing new relationships. The love that lies in your future will likely reach beyond anything you have yet experienced.

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  9. OMG. All I can say is you are awesome!!

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  10. I feel for you. I'm in the middle of a divorce myself. Keeping it friendly is good, but it still hurts, there's no way around that.

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  11. I'm so sorry to hear, even if I don't know you. And what I'm going to say is so cliché that I want to stab myself in the eye for that, but perhaps the break up was meant to be - perhaps new adventures will unravel for the heartbreak which couldn't have happened otherwise.

    You've been a great role model to me since I discovered your blog a few months back, and I wish you all the best.

    J.

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  12. F*ck! I suppose there is no point in dissing the brother, but damn. I'm really sorry you're sad. You're tough. You will be OK.

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  13. It is so hard to read that. Heartache is the hardest feeling to express, yet your writing is so good that I can hear your sadness and pain.

    I know you feel lonely right now. I hope you realize you have 1000s of friends you have never met who love you and think you kick ass.

    I look forward to reading your blog everyday and love it when you have a new post. I hope this blog helps you get through your tough times. You are amazing. I look forward to reading where your adventures take you next.

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  14. Wow. This totally made me cry. So intense, so harrowing, so sad! I hope that this blog continues to be a therapeutic tool for you, as you deal with the aftermath of yr breakup. Eight years! That's so long! We're listening, if you need to vent some more!

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  15. Anonymous1:18 PM

    As usual Jill, masterfully well written, I only wish there was something I could say to comfort you. Thank you for allowing us into your head, my best wishes for your recovery from all things that ail you.

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  16. Good luck in the next part of your journey -- my thoughts are with you, Jill. You never fail to impress me.

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  17. I read your blog but never comment because I know nothing of biking and the extreme way you practice your sport. I do, however, know something about spirits and hearts and I just want to say that I am sorry yours feel broken right now. Your arm injury was the perfect metaphor. It hurts but it's not broken. It will heal. Your heart and spirit will heal too but there must be time.
    I am so sorry to hear this news. But I know you will be okay, given time and space to heal.
    You are an amazingly brave and talented woman. Worthy of great love.
    It will be yours some day.

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  18. Jill-thanks for sharing this. We keep posted on what you are up to and pray for you too. Take care of yourself as you follow the next path in life.
    angie perry (from home)

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  19. Jill, possibly tenth attempt at a comment. Keep well, keep your head up, you are admired by many. If you fancy a sabbatical in the UK, we've got a spare room and I might be able to find a graphic design job.

    Tim

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  20. Oh no! :(

    Hang in there. I know I'm just a blog reader, but I'm a friendly ear to listen to if you ever need one.

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  21. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Mike In WI say's

    Jill, I am sorry to feel you hurting and I am sending you lots of internet Bear hugs letting you know people do care for you!(even if I am just a Blog commenter)

    Being with someone Eight years will help mold you're future lifetime as their personality has meshed with you... but new experiences with fresh outlook will provide for an exciting fulfilled future life...trust me on this.

    I can only advise being around close - trusted friends which help you heal, rebuild, get strong over time and drink a beer or six with. Trusted friends are the greatest!

    It's important not to blame yourself in any way because you are a normal perfect person with feelings and a good heart. Pain, anger and insecurity is part of the healing process but remember people love and care for you.

    The above paragraphs may sound like Dr. Phil on the Oprah show but it's my long distance way of letting you know I care and appreciate you.

    Please don't give up the Blog but if you must then I understand. You have talent and I enjoy you.

    Wishing you the best!
    Your friend,

    Mike in WI

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  22. Anonymous2:17 PM

    Wow. I hope your arm is OK because what you really REALLY need right now is a bike ride.

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  23. I haven't been commenting for a while. Nevertheless, I wanted to say I'm sorry for this turn in your life. I want to make all sorts of analysis and commentary but realize that I don't have anywhere near enough information or real knowledge about you two to do so. My input would probably just be worthless gobbeltygook. I can tell you that the bike is a great therapist, at least it has been for me. If you need an impartial sounding board, you can stop by the blog. However, I'm sure you'll bounce back just fine on your own- seems you always have.

    I see you've enabled moderation. Good idea right now.

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  24. Sorry to hear of your breakup. It seems the longer your with someone the deeper the cut feels when they leave.
    I hope you can rise above this and become a stronger woman.

    I hope all your wounds heal from your bike crash too! Sounds like you need a good massage!

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  25. You can drnt this one.
    I have to admit, I was viscerally shocked when I read about your break-up. First of all because your last posts did not betray you and second, because you seem to have made yourself a sympathetic character, at least to this reader. That means you really are a good writer. This experience will only help in that arena- An artist has to suffer and all that.

    The only thing I'll say about your break-up is that, as far as I can tellform my limited perspective, Geoff is not really into commitment or attachment. It's not your fault; it just is what it is.

    Good luck and careful about those slippery diagonal things. They have gotten me several times in the middle of a deep therapy ride.

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  26. Hey Jill, sorry to read about you and Geoff and though you already know you're a great cyclist, writer and a babe!, I feel the need to say it anyway.

    I've been enjoying your blog since the day UltraRob showed it to me. I wish you the best on your next adventure and hope you continue to share it with us.

    Good luck,
    Michael B.
    Colorado Springs, CO

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  27. Anonymous2:52 PM

    I was really saddened to hear this news. I think you are right to continue on with your summer plans. I have been grateful in that past that I had the bike when going through similar events. I honestly don't know how people get through life's troubles without one.

    Jason

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  28. Anonymous3:07 PM

    Jill, so sorry to hear that you and Geoff broke up. The hurt is real and hopefully will fade over time if there is no chance of reconciliation. Hang in there and the best of luck to you both. I really enjoy your blog so hope you keep it going. Paul

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  29. Anonymous3:25 PM

    I know how you are feeling Jill. I broke with my wife after 8 years. It's hard to be alone especially when you need the comfort of the other one that is no longer there.

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  30. WOW.(with out words)

    -B

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  31. Anonymous4:12 PM

    finally - the best parts of you will come forward again

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  32. wow- I'm sorry for what you're going through. I hope you're able to stay strong.

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  33. I mean this comment to be empathetic and supportive but don't know what to say anything without it sounding dumb so here goes. I am struck by how much loss you have had recently. Early race departure, frostbite time, job, home, cats, Alaska friends, Geoff. It seems more lonely than being out in the wild at night on during your races. I think your willingness to share your life openly is as courageous as you adventures. I hope the best for you, believe in you and wish I could be more supportive than just a commenter since your blog has given a lot to me. Warm thoughts. Jared

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  34. I'm very sorry to hear this news Jill. From here it looked like a great partnership but then that's what some folks said about me and my ex. Only you knows yourself deep inside and even then we are often masked from seeing what is going on. You are a strong and determined person and that will help you through a tough time.

    For you I hope the pain of this loss will be replaced by the memory of having shared your life with someone. I lost over twenty years in a dead end relationship but am now stronger for it. You will be too.

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  35. Ah, I'm sorry I don't know you personally but I feel like I do because I read your blog and have read your book. It's a weird thing, these electronic relationships. But what's harder is when the real ones break your heart. It's going to be a difficult time and one that eventually you will heal from, but in the meantime, it totally sucks and you have my sympathy.

    Best of luck in figuring out the next best thing to do in your life. Know that you are young and resilient and talented and beautiful and you'll do just fine in the end.

    Loran

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  36. Jill, I have been following your blog since last summer (read your book). You are a remarkable person. Persevere (as you always do) and ultimately you will be ok. Really.
    Ted

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  37. Jill,

    You are an amazing woman. I am proud of you for being so brave and sharing this. I am always here for you and love you so much!

    Lisa

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  38. Anonymous5:30 PM

    Don't know what to say about your breakup, when I read I always thought you were married.

    Hope the arm gets better though . . . .

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  39. I'm so so sorry. Eight years is a long time. It's longer than a lot of marriages! I hope getting this out in writing helped a little bit.

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  40. wow. that totally sucks. for both of you i am sure. i am really sorry and i hope things get better. i dunno what else to say that isn't expletives. lost for words, sorry.

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  41. Jill
    Please don't think of stopping your blog. I'm a 66 year old retired Marine, postal worker, and fellow biker that really enjoys your posts. I read them daily and am now reading your Ghost Trails. Remember, there is always tomorrow, and somewhere out there is your life companion. It took me several tries to find mine and the pain of the past is gone. Hope tomorrow brings you smiles - there are a lot of us out here that appreciate you sharing this earth with us.

    Tainterturtles

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  42. I thought about not commenting at all.. but, that's

    --the most human entry I've ever read. And strangely beautiful.

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  43. Thank you for sharing this with us, difficult as it already is. It is true that where our lives will take us are uncertain, but the strength within us and the support of people who care about us will see us through and beyond. You are never alone.

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  44. Anonymous8:32 PM

    pictures of unspeakable beauty,
    words of unspeakable pain

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  45. There really isn't much anyone can say to make it better and much of anything someone says is likely to make himself feel better from the uncomfortable situation you put him in by relaying your heartache. All I can say is that, from experience, the pain fades a little each day and your perspective will sharpen.

    Like most people who have read your and Geoff's blog, I don't know either of you personally but you both seem like kind, sensitive people whom I would be happy to know. Regardless of what happens between you, you'll both end up solid and happy because that's where you began.

    Take care.

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  46. Oh, Jill. This is so sad.

    I understand the ambivalence toward the blog; it really is a strange new way of relating to the world. Scott over at Large Fella on a Bike recently shut his blog down and moved on; Stacey over at the daydream nation just went through a similarly rough breakup and seems to be using his blog as an outlet for his ups and downs. I've gone completely opaque on mine; I just can't seem to put anything into words anymore. In a "meta" (or whatever) level, it's really interesting to see how people define their blogs' role in their lives...and how we, as writers and readers of this still-young medium, come to think of people we've never met as friends...

    So, yeah, in that spirit, for whatever it's worth, we're out here pulling for you. We're grateful for and appreciate the courage it takes to share these parts of your life in this kind of forum.

    Take care, Jill. Give us a holler if your journeys bring you to Texas...or even if you ever just want to talk to a random kindred spirit, you know?

    Mark

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  47. Anonymous9:04 PM

    No words just a big hug. Love yourself first.

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  48. Jill...first of all I want to tell you how sorry I am to hear about you and Geoff. I've been out of touch with your blog as of late and this is not what I was expecting to read.

    You have a full life in front of you. I am sure that any path you take will lead you to some type of fulfillment.

    My thought is that you should pursue your original goals for this trip. Stay the course and pursue your dreams.

    You are young, intelligent, adventurous, attractive, and have the whole world before you. Have fun, enjoy life, cling to the good memories, but move on and live your life.

    I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Take care, stay safe, and continue to smile. You have a loving family and many friends to help you along the way....don't be afraid to seek their support.

    Peace to You
    Vito

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  49. wow - I'm sorry, Jill. I can't believe you guys managed to drive all the way south together. Hang in there - this is the tough part. But new skin will grow. I'm rooting for you.

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  50. I'm so sorry to hear about you and Geoff, though not altogether surprised. Though nothing specific was ever mentioned, the tone of the posts by both you and Geoff over the last several months seemed to be leading in this direction. It never seemed like things were necessarily wrong between you two, but it did seem increasingly that things weren't as right as they once were. Your paths seem to have been diverging for some time now, with you each having very different individual goals for yourselves. Nothing wrong with that - like you said, it's just life and it happens.

    I do hope you two can remain friends, if that's what you truly want, and I wish you the best of luck. This long sabbatical might be just what you need to clear your head, at least once you and Geoff actually part ways.

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  51. Anonymous9:16 PM

    very sorry to hear about how things have turned out.

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  52. Big, big, big hugs. I have been down this path...(not the bike path though, obviously) it's all about giving it time. At least for me, I don't want to speak for anyone else. :)

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  53. Jill: I don't know you, and you don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now. I know 2 things: It sucks when someone you've been with for a long time decides they don't want to be with you anymore (for me it was after 10 years of marriage), and it sucks to hit the ground hard (I get a brand, spanking new ACL next week). I also know that getting on a bike and turning the pedals is great rehab for both.

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  54. David in St. George10:53 PM

    Some day it will be time to settle down, but you are living a life that many would envy. A life with pain and triumph and joy and adversity. But what's the point of living a life without feeling? You are strong enough to clear these struggles and move on to the next chapter. I hope your trip to Utah brings you to St. George for the best mountain biking and some great road biking.

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  55. Anonymous12:16 AM

    Jill, I am so sorry to hear you're hurting right now! I hope it helps at least a little to read through these comments and realize how much you've touched people, and how much we're all wishing you nothing but the very best! You will be better than okay, you will be spectacular...
    Take Care, Bob in Glendora

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  56. So sorry to hear about the breakup, only because I know how truly painful these things are. However, I suspect that after some time goes by it will be an obvious turn in the RIGHT direction.
    You are very strong and I admire you a great deal. Please keep writing through all of it.

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  57. Wow....it sucks to have your heart broken.

    The girl I was gonna marry 30 years ago broke my heart.

    It'll take some time to get back to your "normal"..things will work out.

    A year after my girl dumped me..I met my wife and it's been great for the past 25+ years.

    Stay positive and things will work out.

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  58. Anonymous6:14 AM

    You've hinted at this coming, whether you meant to or not. I've been waiting for this post and wondering when it would come. Writing it is a great first step towards accepting and starting the slow process of healing, so I'm happy for you. It's all up from here, even when day to day in the beginning it's hard to see the progress at times. You have so much happiness and adventure in front of you.

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  59. Well

    shit.

    I'm so sorry.

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  60. Anonymous7:36 AM

    anxiety...

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  61. Anonymous7:40 AM

    anxiety

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  62. you read the article, inspiration for me to learn to write

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  63. One of my favorite quotes of all time is "the past is another country". I reached a critical point in my life a few months ago, with the sweeping realization that life had changed.

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  64. Jill:

    I am so sorry to hear about the relationship. However, at the risk of being flamed for my comment, I have to say, I'm not totally surprised. Although I don't know anything about Geoff at all, other than your writing, it seemed you had different life agendas. Difference is, you seem to be able to handle work, your writing, and biking all together, and have some responsibility too!

    I have no doubt you will continue on after the heartache, stronger than ever. And, as always, you can count on us for support and sponsorship, not to mention our insatiable desire to read your blog about new adventures!

    About the sabbatical.....sounds to me like some time spent with friends and family is a good thing right now:)

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  65. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Jill,

    My heart missed a beat when I read the news - I'm really sorry. I've never been to Alaska and I'm not a biker, but somehow your blog fascinates me. I've been hooked ever since I heard the NPR story a while back. Your writing, stories and photos are awesome, please keep it going.

    Take care.

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  66. Jill,
    My daughters boyfriend broke up with her 2 weeks before finals. My heart went out to her. She wanted to come home. I said no honey, stay and finish the year, focus on your finals and you will be the better person. My heart goes out to you. From what I have read on your blog you will rise above. your style and spirit will guide you. Enjoy the warmth of the lower 48. Allow the warmth to heal you.
    RossA

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  67. Jill,

    Sorry for your pain. I almost didn't comment because it was such a personal account and I almost didn't feel like it was appropriate for me to. But, this was so sad to read and you've chosen to share it and all I can say is that I feel confident that wonderful things are still ahead for you in the future, just because of the kind of person you seem to be and you deserve it.

    Take care of your arm as well as yourself.

    Nicol

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  68. Jill,

    Sorry to hear, thanks again for sharing with complete strangers, I hope all these good thoughts will help you over the hump. As many have said, time heals all wounds. You are a smart, talented athlete and writer, I'm certain everything will work out for you in the end, you have legions of cyber fans who want good things for you. Hang in there, and keep us all posted on your journey.

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  69. Anonymous6:14 PM

    You deserve better, I kinda think you won't have trouble finding him :)

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  70. John S.8:08 PM

    Jill, You're a beautiful and very bright person with lots of heart. I am sure you'll meet someone more compatible with you're needs.

    Glad to see you're keeping up the blog. I been hook for a while now and so look forward to it. Stay strong and and I look forward to the next chapter in your life.

    John S.

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  71. Anonymous8:10 PM

    Sorry to hear the sad news. But, I am single, live in Juneau, and love to moutain bike. I'm more of a dog person, than a cat person, but I think we could make it work. Smile.

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  72. Rejected and alone, just you and the bike. I've been there myself. You are strong and have a passion for adventure, and for the moment you're free to explore whatever path you choose. That's not really so bad. I don't think you will be alone for very long.

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  73. Anonymous10:05 PM

    Been there, done that, always on the losing side of the breakup, but been on the upside of the recovery relationship for twelve years now.

    You do what you have to, girl. Thanks for all the sharing you've done, and stay in touch if you can. I've always felt magicked through your writings.

    Tag me if you wish
    normzone@hotmail.com

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  74. Anonymous11:12 PM

    You're destined to emerge stronger, Jill. Just keep pedaling.

    So much good karma here in these comments -- you deserve every bit of it!!

    All best wishes to you.
    al.

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  75. Anonymous11:14 PM

    You're destined to emerge from this as a stronger, happier person, Jill.

    So much good karma here in these comments -- you deserve every bit of it!!

    All best wishes,
    al.

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  76. Jill, I'm sorry .. but you are great and the future is only for you!!
    In Italy we say : motro un Papa se ne fa un'altro!!!

    Ciao
    Stefy

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  77. Anonymous5:51 AM

    Hi Jill
    You feel crappy now, and you have to, it is part of the process. Just remember, while it is the end of something, its the beginning of soemthing else, with all the mystery intrigue, excitement and adventure that can bring. This from experience.

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  78. Anonymous6:00 AM

    Jill, Sorry to hear your news. Been there, done that. Go slow, take your time, discover who you are without Geoff. You are in a great place right now, just go slow. BigJoe

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  79. Anonymous6:40 AM

    my heart goes out to you. i was surprised at your reaction. never seemed like you and geoff had that kind of relationship. hopefully you will remain friends. I'm sorry for your pain. be good to yourself.

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  80. Anonymous9:17 AM

    While you're in CA.you should check out the Eastern Sierra...maybe that would help ;)

    It sounds like after sometime you will be fine...arm included.~Bob~

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  81. good luck, jill. i'm glad you let us blog readers in on what is going on with you--now you have a huge amount of people sending you good, healing thoughts! you have a great support net that will help you get through anything (not saying you need the help, but just in case!). take care of yourself!!

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  82. Adventure Nell12:56 PM

    Sorry to hear of your breakup Jill...all I can say is that you will heal and life does get better. I was with a man for 17 years and when we parted, I really thought my life was over, how wrong I was! Life is grand and more amazing than I thought it could be. I don't regret the past and I love the present....all will be well

    Adventure Nell

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  83. Jill, I've read your blog for a long time, enjoyed it immensely and admired the determination you've shown along the way. I also now admire your courage you are showing by writing about your deepest feelings. I wish you all the best and know you will continue to succeed in all you do. Warm thoughts to you.

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  84. When I was writing my Masters Thesis in England, miles from my family and friends, my fiance broke up with me for my best friend.

    I have been there, and it is grief and it sucks.

    I finished the thesis, determined they wouldn't take that from me. They broke up a few weeks later. There years later I married someone else, and it is good. But for 6 months in 2003, my life hung on a framework of pain, and only writing in a journal kept me from choking on my sorrow.

    Hoping this journal becomes a balm to you. We are lifting you up in this time of unrest and sadness -

    Another Gill

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  85. Jill, I am so sad to hear the news. I don't have the words to make it better. You're strong and will make it through just like the long nights on the trail that seem like they won't end.

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  86. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Jill,
    I don't want to comment on what you said but focus more on your photo....Words cannot describe what I see when I look at it.
    When I logged on and saw the photo it took my breath away, so much so that I knew something bad was about to be talked about so I had to log off till I had time to read and ponder what was happening. You have such amazing tallent that it is hard to describe. Your photo is now permanently on my background and NEVER to be replaced. I put it as my background and when I log on all I can do is stare...not about what it has to do with you, but at what it has to say to me. I can't really describe it but it brings out a flood of emotion that touches my heart. If you ever write another book(and i'm sure you will) I strongly urge you to use this as your cover. Peace

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  87. Jill, So sorry to hear your heartbreaking news. You are very courageous for writing this. Our thoughts are with you during this time of sorrow.

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  88. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Hey Jill it's me, the anonomous jerk who's been pestering you now for the past year. I'd like to be able to offer you some Hallmark greeting card sympathy like the other people on here, but I can't. I've been saying that there was something seriously wrong with that boy now for a long time, and it was only a matter of time before you got dumped, and it looks like now it's finally happened. Not a big suprise, given his previous track record of behaviour.

    There's something strange going on with him, like he's running away from everything all the time. I don't know enough pychobabble bullshit or enough about Geoff's past to figure it out. What's the story with his dad, is he still alive, or were his parents divorced ?.

    Anyways, enough about trying to figure out his actions, I always though he was a douchebag anyways, and the breakup just proves my point. With Geoff's personality he has a big future ahead of him hanging out with a sausage-fest of his male running buddies, waxing his carrot, and gazing longingly at stray sheep during the GDR.

    Don't sweat the breakup, in the long run you'll probably be much better off once you realise it isn't you that has the problem, and you just managed to hook up with a guy who has "issues".

    There are tons of outdoor oriented guys out there, and you're young and attractive, and it'd take you about two seconds to find a new boyfriend.

    Spend your time now hanging out with friends and riding your bike. Don't waste your time trying to remain "friends" with Geoff and pretending everything's all nice and you two are still buddies now. Kick his ass to the curb, move forward, and don't look back. He split last year, dumped you this year, and he doesn't deserve the honor of your friendship anymore.


    (Psssst....if you could spot me a few bucks for the price of a bus ticket I could come over and offer you some consolation hugs. You just have to promise not to try and hit me, I bruise easily, and I can't run away anymore since I broke my damned ankle last year.) ;-)

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  89. Someone once said...The Journey is the Destination.

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  90. you don't know me, either (just another reader) but when my partner of 10 years and I broke up, I thought it would be insurmountable to find my way again. Not because I didn't know I was great, just because I didn't know what it would be like. Five years out, I'm stronger, better, warmer, more generous. We're still friends, or friends again, so I know it's possible. Like your injured arm, your heart will heal. Might take a while, will probably leave a scar, but it will heal.

    Wishing you support from your people, strength, and the occasionally good melt-down.

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  91. i've been reading your blog for a while... always a lurker. this post is the one that finally brought me out of the shadows. i'm sorry about the tough times. i've enjoyed reading your blog b/c i admire your strength, both mentall and physically. hopefully that strength will get you through this too.

    life sucks sometimes. but then it gets better.

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  92. Jill, sorry to hear of your breakup with Geoff. Hope you'll get out stronger on the other side, I know I did.

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  93. Jill, I'm so sorry about the break-up. For what it's worth, your post was beautifully written. It really captures a feeling that is common to all of us who have been in and out of relationships. You are in my thoughts.

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  94. Jill,

    I, too, have been reading for some time and have made occasionaly comments. But, man...this really ticks me off. For some reason, I'm kinda not surprised that Geoff did this, as he at times has certainly seemed incredibly self-centered (though you have never directly portrayed him that way). Its just a feeling I've gotten sometimes. You have always been there for him, even in the face of all the amazing things you have accomplished yourself. It just ticks me off that he didn't have the courage to do this earlier before you had made major life changes/plans to spend the summer with him.

    Anyway, I'm really sorry to hear about all of this, but am hoping that you can still find a way to enjoy this time on your own and enjoy all the beautiful places you'll be able to visit. I can't emphasize enough how great it is that you can take time to do this. As a parent with two small kids, a demanding job, and a mortgage, I can only dream about doing what you are doing. Enjoy it...you never know when you'll have an opportunity like this again.

    My thoughts are with you.

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  95. Oh Jill...others have said it - a beautiful post as is often the case when you hit on emotions like this. Like others, I wish you speedy healing and I am sorry you are going through all of this. I read your book on the flight to Maui and I have been thinking about you lots. I'll continue thinking about you and hope that in some weird way those vibes make you feel just the tiniest bit better.

    Oh....and you know you have a place to stay in Whitehorse if you ever do want to make that transition :)

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  96. So sorry to hear - the loss of a relationship is so crappy and hard to get through especially when you don't know its coming - Your not alone but know you will get through it and transition to more changes. A change in plans is not a bad thing.
    I'll buy you a beer when your in Seattle for Livestrong.

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  97. Anonymous2:54 PM

    I vote for listening to your brain and grieving as needed. I think it sucks when people think they have to, 'be strong' etc etc. Be what you feel.

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  98. Anonymous1:52 AM

    Remember, The Real One is The One after The One.

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  99. I'm glad you are sticking with your sabbatical. In the posts you've made since this one, it sounds like the time off is just what you need...or you are making it into what you need, which is even better.

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  100. Jill,
    I'm so saddened to hear the end of your relationship. Having been on both ends of your situation I know there is nothing any of us can say to get you past this, it's something you'll work through eventually. For me, it seems that it has always taken me at least as long as the relationship lasted to truly put it in my past, so maybe knowing this will help you allow yourself the time to discover what your new life direction will be. A wise friend has shared with me his belief that the Universe always has a plan for what happens to us, it's up to us to figure out what the lesson that needs to be learned is. For me, upon reflection, it has taken me years to sometimes to figure it all out. Don't be in a hurry, just be open to the Universe's message, you will get it when you are supposed to and it will all make sense. Relationships with friends and lovers end to make room for new friends and lovers, be open to this and it will happen in due course. Thanks for sharing your situation will your readers, we would have been extremely puzzled and feel let down if you had just ended this blog on this downer event. I'm actually excited for you and look forward to the adventures to come! Everything happens for a reason and soon enough, hopefully, you will share it will us in the right moment.

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