Stopping to Celebrate: the Crankworx 10th Anniversary Anthology
So, that window of time in which I should have been learning how to express milk, bottle-feed, attempt early weaning etc? I was busy compiling an anthology of Crankworx’ greatest moments. (Think: nap-time meets triple espresso-fuelled heart palpitations.)
Meaning that, when the event itself rolled around and an invitation pinged into my in-box to attend the party launching the book, it wasn’t remotely conceivable that I attend in person. (And suddenly all that helpful advice that I had so easily shrugged off about “extending the leash” made perfect sense. Ah, grasshopper.)
But it was okay.
Because, my partner-in-crime, the leaves-me-speechless-she’s-so-talented Susan Butler was there.
As was the equally brilliant Blake Jorgenson, whose portrait work next-levelled the book.
Collaborating with them, under the steady hand of Cap’n of the good ship Crankworx, Darren Kinnaird, has given me the confidence to keep sharing my 2am idea-bursts out-loud.
(“So, I’m thinking, Annie Liebovitz meets the Crankworx influencers…” “Like it. “Needs to happen in the next two weeks.” “Let’s do it.”)
Admittedly I was a little scared to hear the feedback from the industry’s legends, in case it was critical. (Cue the crumple-face.)
But mostly because, as much as my Ego would have enjoyed the celebration and the schmoozing with some of the greatest athletes in freeride mountain biking history, I wasn’t actually needed there. I was needed on the couch. (Prioritizing time and tasks is that black and white right now.)
The book nearly didn’t happen. Team Crankworx had plenty to do just running the 10th event, without stopping to put together a coffee table book commemorating the fact. The logistics were daunting. It sat in the Great Ideas Parking Lot for a while, before we circled back and said, “you know, this is an opportunity that would be a shame to miss.”
I’d written it last year in an article about the Bike Park, which welcomed its millionth rider without a moment of retrospection.
The thing about downhill mountain biking is, it doesn’t serve to look back. When you’re charging down a mountain at 50 km/hr, you’ve got to stay focused on where you’re going.”
And I’d discovered it again, when I attended the ceremony for the totem pole on top of Whistler.
It was a hot day, there were a ton of speeches, and the part of the ceremony in which the women danced around the pole went on and on. I felt my attention start to wander, okay, we get it, let’s keep this thing moving. Then Chief Ian Campbell took the microphone and explained, “The artist needs to be free to move on to his next project, so we are awakening the spirit of the work itself, so it can stand on its own and he can move on.” Oh, that almost hurts, it feels so good. The ceremony of completion is worth its own chunk of time.
So, this nap-time, I let the to-do list languish, and I sit down quietly with a G&T and my copy of the book. I flick through it – the portraits, the timeline of game-changing moments from every year, the image selects that 10 of the best bike photographers in the world shared along with their tales from the frontlines, (thank you Sterling Lorence, Harookz, John Gibson, Sven Martin, Mattias Fredriksson, Ian Hylands, Malcolm Mclaws, Robin O’Neill, Yorick Carroux, Dan Barham, and Blake Jorgenson) and the Encyclopedia of Champions that the incredible Nathalie Grether compiled.
So, thanks to all you crazy ones – game-changers, thrill-seekers, onlookers, all. Whether you were behind the scenes, behind the lens or behind a sign, you helped make Crankworx what it is today: All Time. All in. 10 Years Deep. Here’s to you. Now go make history.
And I raise my glass, to all that went into this moment.
Even as we make the hard decisions about where our energy and focus is most needed and best deployed, it’s worth setting aside the time to celebrate.
Even if it’s quietly, on your own, at 2pm, with a drink. (That’s why they call it mother’s little helper. Ah, grasshopper.)