My legs shake as I contemplate the upper rock garden section on the Jim Branch trail in Dupont State Park for what seems like the hundredth time. For the past week, I announce to anyone who will listen that my summer goal is to make it to the top. Secretly I hope to conquer the climb sooner.Straddling my bike, I look up and see with perfect clarity the line I want to take –slightly to the right to avoid the biggest rock and then straight up the center, hitting the smooth part of the steepest rock up to a larger jumble of jagged grey rocks.The tips others give me about getting to the top lo0p in my head. Scoot forward on my seat when the trail steepens. Weight my front wheel. Pull my elbows in and my handlebars toward me, but not up. Scan the line I’ve committed to and then look up, scan, look further up and repeat. Keep peddling through uncertainty.I push off with my right foot. My bike wobbles until I gain momentum. I peddle ten feet up before my front while spins on the surface of a rock without traction.Ughh, I forgot to weight my front wheel.I go again. My every thought is about getting forward on my seat and weighting that wheel. This time I get a little further up the trail when my wheel gets stuck in a rut between two rocks.Damn, I was so focused on scooting forward that I forgot to look up at where I wanted to go and got stuck.I curse the rocks, hating the feeling of being stuck. Nothing seems to work. Self-doubt creeps in and I wonder what’s holding me back from the top. Is it my technique or fitness or mindset?I wish for a magical fast forward bottom, where my skills and muscles and thoughts all colluded to get me to the top. I consider giving up, but in the end I stay the course. I keep trying until my legs give out and I’m falling before I even start the climb. I leave with several scrapes and bruises.On the drive home I feel surprisingly good about the afternoon. I didn’t get much closer to making it to the top and I may never get there at this rate. The only way to find out is to keep trying. I promise to go back the next day and the next. Every time I return to that rock garden I’m showing up for more than just mountain biking, I’m showing up for my life.I decide on a new mantra.I ride, I fall.I ride, I climb.I ride.
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos: Never write us offby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid captain Sergio Ramos insists they have plenty to fight for this season after winning the Club World Cup final.Ramos shone for the 4-1 victory over Al Ain last night.”We achieved a goal that we had set. It is the prize of having won the Champions League, we wanted to finish the year with the third consecutive Club World Cup and after getting it it’s time to rest a few days to come back stronger,” he told TVE. “In all competitions we are very happy, Real Madrid cannot be considered dead because in the end we will be up there fighting for all the titles.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Liverpool attacker Mane cleared to face Man Cityby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool star Sadio Mane has been cleared to face Manchester City. The Senegalese attacker put his hands around the neck of Arsenal’s Stephan Lichtsteiner during the 5-1 win at Anfield on Saturday.Match referee Michael Oliver saw the incident and awarded a free-kick. And Mane will face no further action from the FA, who have the power to charge someone with retrospective action. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel: Ajax attack a real threatby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel says they must be wary tonight at Champions League opponents Ajax.Still recovering from knee surgery, Van Ginkel was on-loan with PSV Eindhoven last season.He told De Telegraaf: “With the boys who can make a difference, such as Dusan Tadic, Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek, who often scores in Champions League matches – Chelsea has to watch out for those three.”But collectively Ajax is good and in the back it is also fine. Although I do not know if it is as good as last year.”I have been in the Netherlands for the past ten days, not at the club. And Chelsea has a larger team of analysts than we are used to in the Netherlands. So they really have a good idea of Ajax and know how or what to do.”
For most programs and their fans, National Signing Day is Christmas come early. Each team adds a few dozen players who are coming off of illustrious high school careers. Most are either lauded by the various recruiting services or deemed “underrated” by the fans. While these major recruiting sites—Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN—can never evaluate every kid perfectly, studies have shown that the teams that consistently pull it blue chip talent are the ones that compete for national championships. SB Nation’s Bud Elliott wrote a great feature about this last February: As recruiting rankings continue to grow more accurate, they’re now to a point at which they can help tell us which teams are ready to compete for titles. Every BCS champion since recruiting rankings could be accurately tracked (2005, or four classes after Scout joined Rivals in rating players) has met a benchmark: it’s recruited more blue-chips (four- and five-star players) than lesser-rated players over its four previous signing classes.So, which programs have improved their recruiting the most from 2014 to 2015? Which have fallen off? Based on 247 Sports’ useful composite rankings, which use the ratings applied to each player from the four recruiting services, here are the 23 power conference teams whose recruiting rankings have improved the most.T-19. Colorado2014 Composite: 742015 Composite: 69Difference: +5As a program, Colorado has been wandering through the desert for years now. 2014 didn’t see a big difference in the Buffaloes’ win-loss record at 2-10, but Mike MacIntyre’s team was more competitive on the field. The Buffs took UCLA to double-overtime, eventually falling 40-37, and did the same in a total shootout against Cal, where they eventually fell 59-56. They also put up pretty respectable performances against Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington, and Utah. While the gains in recruiting weren’t substantial, Colorado did keep talented four star lineman Tim Lynott home. He was one of four of the top six recruits in the state to choose to play for CU. The Buffs also went into California to pull out talented outside linebacker Nu’umotu Falo. Colorado’s class isn’t huge at 19 players, which hurts its total ranking a bit, but it is a step in the right direction for a team that hopes to finally exit the rebuild stage over the next few years.T-19. Purdue2014 Composite: 692015 Composite: 64Difference: +5Purdue’s recruiting class ranks last in the Big Ten, but the Boilermakers are encroaching on Minnesota and Iowa, and don’t have winning seasons to fall back on like those schools. Purdue only has four wins in the first two seasons under Darrell Hazell, with only one coming in Big Ten play. Former coach Danny Hope had a bit more success late in his tenure, making back to back bowls in 2011 and 2012, but two of his classes ranked 70th or worse. Hazell is digging out of a big hole, and hasn’t had a ton of immediate success, but the deck was stacked against him, which makes it less surprising if he gets a bit of extra leeway at Purdue.T-19. Washington State2014 Composite: 542015 Composite: 49Difference: +5With Mike Leach on the sideline and Connor Halliday under center, Washington State had one of the most prolific offenses in the country in 2014. The Cougars were No. 1 in the nation in passing offense at 477.7 yards per game, and 117th in points against at 38.6 per game. While some don’t believe that Leach cares much about defense, this 2015 recruiting class says something different. Wazzu’s lone four-star player Thomas Toki plays defensive tackle, and is one of 11 Cougar commits on that side of the ball. According to 247 Sports, seven of the Cougs’ nine top recruits play on defense. While bringing a top 50 class to Pullman and improving on last year’s class is a good thing, if Washington State can start to build that defense, it will not be a fun group to play.T-19. Nebraska2014 Composite: 362015: Composite: 31Difference: +5Coaching changes almost always have an immediate impact on recruiting. Occasionally, it takes a year for excitement about a new coach to result in improvement, but new Nebraska coach Mike Riley actually improved on Bo Pelini’s final class right away. The program has a pair of four-star early enrollees from Colorado in cornerbacks Eric Lee and Avery Anderson, and picked up a top ten guard in four star Jalin Barnett. Nebraska is not a state rich with high school football talent, which makes recruiting for the Huskers a bit tricky, but Riley did a very nice job dipping into Texas, Oklahoma, and even out to California and the Southeast for quality players.T-19. Oregon2014 Composite: 212015 Composite: 16Difference: +5There is a pocket of the Oregon fanbase that is not yet sold on head coach Mark Helfrich, at least when compared to his predecessor Chip Kelly, but he has done a great job of maintaining Oregon’s high level of recruiting, despite the fact that the state produces very few FBS caliber players. Oregon plucked players from eight different states, and it leaves no stones unturned. The Ducks are bringing in players from California, Georgia, Hawaii, and Minnesota—their recruiting profile is about as varied as any team can get. Headlining this impressive class are five-star defensive end Canton Kaumatule from Honolulu, who should be a force against both the run and the pass at 6-foot-7, 290-pounds, and dual-threat quarterback Travis Waller from Anaheim.T-17. Arkansas2014 Composite: 292015 Composite: 23Difference: +6Since shutting out LSU 17-0 on November 15, Arkansas has been on a roll. The Razorbacks followed that up with an even more impressive 30-0 win over Ole Miss, narrowly lost to SEC East champion Missouri, and then destroyed Texas in the Texas Bowl, 31-7. In mid-October, it didn’t look like Arkansas would make a bowl. Now, the team has a ton of momentum, and took it into the end of this recruiting cycle. The Hogs had five blue chip players enroll early, including pro style quarterback Ty Storey from in state. Arkansas has also added a couple of four star defensive linemen, and two top tight ends, which should help round out Bret Bielema’s run-heavy offense a bit. Amazingly, Arkansas’ class only ranks 11th in the SEC, but it should help them stay competitive in the SEC West, college football’s toughest division. Next: Programs Ranked 17-12 >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5
Washington: FBI agents in the United States have discovered a cache of some 25 guns and 10,000 bullets after arresting a teenager who made online comments supporting mass shootings. In a complaint filed Monday, the FBI charged Boardman, Ohio resident Justin Olsen with threatening to assault a federal law enforcement officer after he posted on an online forum: “In conclusion, shoot every federal agent on sight”. The 18-year-old’s account on the iFunny website — a forum where users share memes — had approximately 4,400 subscribers. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US He had previously made posts supporting mass shootings and targeting family planning and reproductive rights group Planned Parenthood, the complaint said. After searching his father’s house, agents found around 15 assault rifles and shotguns and 10 semi-automatic pistols inside the bedroom of Olsen’s father, along with the ammunition. Agents also found “camouflage clothing and camouflaged backpacks,” according to the complaint. Olsen admitted to making the online comments, the complaint said, but insisted they were “only a joke” and were made in regards to the controversial 1993 standoff in Waco, Texas. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls The Branch Davidians religious sect held off federal authorities attempting to arrest their members on weapons charges, until the FBI eventually launched an assault and used tear gas. A fire engulfed the sect’s compound and 76 people died. Olsen’s arrest came a week after back-to-back massacres killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, sparking calls for lawmakers to limit the availability of firearms and reduce the carnage from gun violence in the United States. President Donald Trump has said his fellow Republicans will set aside their longstanding resistance to restricting access to firearms by supporting background checks for people buying weapons, but his Democratic challengers in the 2020 presidential election have called for stronger measures. Days after the killings in Texas and Ohio, a 20-year-old man wearing body armor, fatigues and armed with an assault rifle was arrested at a Missouri Walmart store — the chain that was the site of the shooting in El Paso — and charged with making a terrorist threat.
WASHINGTON – The United States has just applied additional pressure in its rush to get a new NAFTA agreement within several weeks, establishing a May 1 deadline, after which Canada and Mexico would face tariffs on steel and aluminum.Originally, Canada and Mexico received an indefinite exemption from the tariffs with no expiry date, then numerous countries were added to the exemption list and now there’s an expiry date on the exemptions, when tariffs could snap into place.The latest tweaks came in presidential orders signed Thursday. An order on aluminum said: “The exemption afforded to … Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, South Korea, Brazil, and the member countries of the EU shall apply only … through the close of April 30, 2018.”Every country seeking a permanent exemption is being asked to negotiate separate arrangements with the U.S., and quotas appear to be part of the American demand. In the case of Canada and Mexico, the U.S. is explicitly tying the issue to NAFTA.It so happens that May 1 deadline happens to coincide roughly with the last date for finalizing a new NAFTA this year.The Trump administration fears that any further delay could imperil an agreement, given political realities: the U.S. ratification process takes months to complete, the opposition Democrats could regain control of Congress in January and a firebrand leftist is favoured to become Mexico’s president Dec. 1.“We think there’s a practical time limit, not a contractual one, not a legislated one, but a practical time limit on the negotiations due to the political calendar,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told a congressional hearing this week.“It’s my view that if we don’t have a resolution within the next month or so, very likely it’ll be kicked over for quite a little while because of the election cycle. Especially in Mexico, where, as you know, there is one candidate who is running on a quite anti-American platform.”There actually has been major movement at the NAFTA table lately.On an issue seen as arguably the No. 1 American negotiating objective, auto manufacturing, the U.S. has essentially dropped a controversial proposal deemed a non-starter by Canada and Mexico. The U.S. has proposed a more flexible formula for ensuring production in the U.S., rather than a hard rule demanding 50 per cent of every car to have American content.The Canadian government is buoyed by other recent developments in Canada-U.S. trade: this week Boeing has dropped its legal fight against Bombardier and there are indications of a potential settlement in a dispute over glossy paper.Now the U.S. is making a threat: Without a new NAFTA, there could be tariffs.“I can assure you, if we don’t get a better deal within the context of NAFTA from Canada and Mexico and refigure this, we’re going to have something happen,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNN this week.He said every country will have to agree to caps on steel and aluminum exports to the U.S. The Trump administration is concerned that a glut of Chinese steel will be dumped into countries that have an exemption, then squeeze into the U.S. market.That’s why it’s seeking quotas on exports.“Every country that is not facing tariffs that we’re going to negotiate with will face quotas, so that we protect our aluminum and steel industries,” Navarro said.
CALGARY – A Colorado-based company plans to bring Willie Nelson-branded cannabis products to Canada through a series of business deals with two Calgary companies.LivWell Enlightened Health says it plans to combine with Calgary-based CBi2 and 51st Parallel Inc. to create what will become a Calgary-based, TSX Venture-listed company operating under the name LivWell International.The company says it will have exclusive rights to some of the flagship brands of GCH Inc., a cannabis brand holding company founded with Willie Nelson, including Willie’s Remedy and Willie’s Reserve.Calgary-based 51st Parallel says it will make a US$20-million equity investment in GCH Inc. as part of the deal for a 12.4 per cent stake in the holding company.The management of LivWell Enlightened Health will lead the restructured LivWell International, while Sonny Mottahed, Chairman, CEO of CBi2 and 51st Parallel, will join the board of directors of GCH.LivWell says it expects to produce 32,000 kilograms of dried flower and have annual extraction capacity of 10,000 kilograms. The company says it has applied for eight retail locations in Alberta and has identified two “high profile” locations in B.C.
Indore: Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday slammed the killing of a 60-year-old man by a Congress supporter in Indore allegedly for “voting for the BJP” and said he won’t allow the state to become another West Bengal. After visiting the deceased Nemichand Tanwar’s son, who was injured in the attack, in a hospital in Indore, the BJP leader tweeted: “We won’t let goons take over Madhya Pradesh and allow it to become West Bengal. People are being threatened, the BJP will not tolerate this at any cost.” Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad Tanwar was shot at inside his home in Palia village by Congress worker Arun Sharma, who accused him of “voting for the BJP”, police said. He was declared brought dead. Announcing a relief of Rs 5 lakh for Tanwar’s family , Chouhan said: “Such an incident of violence has never happened in Madhya Pradesh. Congress workers threatened BJP worker Nemichand Tanwar when he talked about voting for the saffron party and in the evening entered his house and shot him dead.” Also Read – Firms staying closed 10 days a month due to recession, govt doing nothing: Priyanka Gandhi He further wrote: “Nemichand’s wife and son critically were injured in trying to save him. Where is Kamal Nath taking the state? The Congress has been working with political vendetta since the time it came to power in the state. False cases are being lodged against the BJP government.” According to the police, Arun Sharma, who is close to a state minister, had on Sunday entered into an argument with Tanwar and hurled casteist abuses at him, accusing his entire community of voting for the saffron party. Later in the evening, he arrived at Tanwar’s house and fired at him with a country-made pistol.