Where to Begin...

Where to Begin... - Gear West

Where to begin? By the time I think about the topics I might touch on … a few days later, everything changes in this crazy world of 2020.

I started (and stopped) typing this blog mid-June, while mentally exhausted trying to steer Gear West, myself, and staff in a healthy direction. The word “healthy” is complex. Economic health, pandemic health, psychological health… I could add political health, but will refrain from expanding on that subject in this blog. For sure, during the rioting in Mpls and all that has ensued, triathlon, bike and run training discussions seem so trivial. Actually, much of life is a dance between the daily focus on making a living and the desire to debate on and help assist with, all that’s happening to our nation.

Work stuff I have never encountered, even after 37 years of being in this business:

- No racing! And zero race support by the GW run or bike store / no event marketing to drive business/ two months of reduced store hours to 6 pm (so WEIRD!) / totally CLOSING – shutting down! the alpine store during the ski vacation months of March thru May/ staff stopping all store activity to listen to Gov Waltzes’ corona virus updates / selling bikes to customers in masks (difficult to read facial expressions) / customers waiting patiently outside the bike store to get served / selling only ORANGE replacement bike tires the month of June / virtually ordering soft good inventory (clothing) for next year / adapting to everyone’s degree of Covid concerns, staff and customers… and the list grows weekly.

Two weeks later I am now wrapping up this blog after taking 4 days off to visit family and friends in Illinois. Only the second ‘four-day vacation’ I have taken since mid-October, I realized how stupid and limiting my personal guilt of leaving work can be for me. Gear West has great folks to support or perhaps carry on even better, retail, in my absence. I always think I can do more, sell more, accomplish more, the more I work in the store. Not healthy and certainly not a goal I will congratulate myself upon reaching when I am my Dad’s age of 92. Ahh, the meaning of life, the end of life and just what IS important…. age old questions that trip us up from time to time. For me, the exciting car drive between MPLS and Chicago prompted a review of my juggling act among work, training, family, other fun things I have in mind. Never ending but I do thank a life of fitness as the energy source for my continuing drive (and a little bit of ADD).

So I return from my family visit refreshed and appreciative of our younger generations’ ( a small sampling of my kids + nieces/ nephews) energy to grow their careers, see the world with more optimism and opportunities than I do now, and generate refreshing ideas on how to accomplish dreams. Spanning careers in medicine, engineering, venture capital to corporate finance, retail management and Navy diving, I hope this little Guenther subsample reflects our next generation’s desire to build UP, not tear down this world.

Meanwhile I carry on, fortunate I love my work, can use two healthy legs this summer for swimming biking and running and have the drive to continue learning, exploring and sharing this fast disappearing life on earth with friends and family. 61 yikes! I vacillate on what will give me meaning in the future. Such things as ensuring Gear West will (eventually) pass on to capable hands and better brains and will continue to ‘feed the dream’ of skiers, runners, and cyclists. Finishing my health coaching certificate is another dream of mind. Though I know so little about this big ol world and how things work, I surprise myself about what I have learned about human motivation, fitness, racing and balancing life in ways that give me so much joy. Perhaps there are practices or priorities to share with others who desire

improved experiences. Staying HEALTHY is so key and understanding what that word means to us INDIVIDUALLY is the pathway to a full life

- Jan Guenther

Gear West Videos

How to Stop on rollerskis