Thursday, July 08, 2004

Uuhh, drugs are bayad, mkay?

Found this in the lastest issue of DirtRag

Dear Dirt Rag,

I see no difference between Marco doing coke and riders toking on the trail. The distilled issue is this: substance abuse is based in feelings avoidance-something the mountain biking world seems rife with.

Try this simple exercise on your next ride. Ask any three riders how things are going and chances are the answer will go only as deep as recently purchased parts, or at best, some surface information about work.

Don't get me wrong; it's important and valuable to take time away from the deeper issues in our lives. That's the beauty of trail riding. It forces us to focus on mastering technique and endurance, providing relief from bigger worries and giving the subconscious time to work through major life issues. It's a kind of meditation. The primary benefit of any meditative practice is insight, or a more clear and calm perception of the world around us.

Unfortunately, drug use produces a kind of pseudo-insight: a slight change in perception that can feel like a relief from life's stresses. But instead of realizing the power of the subconscious (as in meditation), the user is simply experiencing the tangible effects of disconnecting synapses and dying brain cells (general shrinking or atrophy of the brain organ) combined with disruptions in oxygen, and imbalances in blood sugar. Anyone who feels the need to use chemical poisons like cocaine, crystal meth, marijuana, alcohol in large quantities etc., is experiencing the power of addiction on some level.

Substance abuse is but one symptom of addiction. The cause is a lack of understanding and fear of facing how we feel. Cyclists who feel the need to medicate on the trail (or anywhere) are missing out on the greatest gifts of the sport: enhanced mental clarity, insight, and spiritual growth resulting from dedication to athletic practice. The tokers and heavy drinkers among us only realize a thin, self destructive, paranoid, physically debilitating mask of euphoria.

If Marco Pantani could have found the help and strength to get beyond his addictions he would have offered much more than his last few months on earth (vague bandana clad mystique and tabloid fodder). When asked "how are things going?" he might have answered, "Great! I'm getting more out life and this awesome sport than I ever imagined possible. I never thought I'd feel so comfortable with myself, other people, and the world around me!" Though he'd probably say it in Italian.
-Norman Petersen
Renton, WA


Blogger mg said...

i'm sorry that guy has to pass judgement on those of us who choose to medicate, but honestly, it's the same old story that we hear all the time. the bottom line is that the foundation of the sport was built by a bunch of old crusty stoners that just liked to toke up and then rip it up. you don't think that charlie cunningham and gary fisher were stoned on mt. tam, do you?? yeah, that's what i thought...

i certainly don't categorize marijuana with cocaine, or even heavy alcohol use... it just isn't the same.

July 8, 2004 at 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy needs a bong hit.

July 8, 2004 at 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't we all in search for some sort of artificial paradise in our lives anyway?

We live in homes that protect us from the elements and that we have climate control with with the flick of a switch. (example #1 of many artificial paradises: see also automobiles)

I ride bikes to feel euphoria? Sure, why not?
I get stoned in the woods? Sure, why not?
I go to the bar and have a pint? Sure, why not?
I have a good time with my buddies and don't need an officiator? Sure, why not?

I love these kind of articles because it brings these silly conversations about judgement on a whole class of rider.

If you want to live a "clean life" then do it and shut the fuck up. If you had experience both sides of the coin you wouldn't pass judgement on others about what they do.
Don't go around telling everyone how Pantani would have done this and would have done that if he wasn't coked up. He was! That is reality. He must have liked it and who fucking cares it is his life to do what he wants with. Could-a-Should-a-Would-a?

As far as the basis of the sport, Cunningham, Breezer, Fisher, and most of our "founding fathers" if you want to call them that where into smoking grass. Big deal? The more importnat factor was that they were also into doing what they wanted to do. That is why they were revolutionary in their thoughts and actions. I am sure there were plenty of Na-Sayers back in the day with them and their Phatty bikes.

I guess the main point i want to get to is do what you want. Ride because you like it. Get stoned if you like it. Hell, use coked if you like it. Your the one who has to live your life and deal with the consequences. If your okay with it then screw what anyone else says. Especially me.

Hugs and Kisses,

July 8, 2004 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need more judgemental people in this world exactly like this guy that wrote in. He is the best!


Just kidin' i will take his bong hit for him though.

July 8, 2004 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Cornbread said...

Drugs = Bad

Soberity = Good

Drugs = Atrophy

Soberity = Endurance

Drugs = Addiction

Soberity = Enlightenment

Drugs = Fun

Soberity = Utter Malcontent and cynicism for people who enjoy themselves

July 8, 2004 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger mg said...

cornbread... i had to read that one a couple of times. you're talking way over my head again. :-}

butch... i totally agree. in my post, i was speaking more of the consequences of using each "drug", and the attached severity of the consequences of each. i certainly wasn't passing judgement on drinkers or coke heads. that'd be like the pot calling the kettle black... heh heh heh... i said "pot"... cool.

happy frieday,

July 9, 2004 at 6:43 AM  

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