Does anyone else ever experience completely opposite feelings at the exact same time? I sit here on a rainy day and look back at the last 6000 miles. Yes I hit the 6K mark yesterday! I am at least half way done if not further. I can’t help but feel like so much has happened over the last four months and yet at the same time it’s like I just left and nothing has changed.
From climbing those first few hills in Oregon and only getting 29 miles the first day before I was too tired to keep climbing;
climbing over Lolo Pass to an altitude that was actually lower than my house in Aurora but it was still quite the climb;
trudging across the endless farm fields of North Dakota;
traveling along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan;
riding past the Amish guy on the tri bike;
going across to Canada and following Niagara River to the falls;
climbing Kancamagus Pass, without stopping;
making it to Atlantic coast;
the horrible roads of Boston;
riding with the Horsham AFB Project Hero group;
to dodging the rains and possible threat of a hurricane.
All of this has now become a part of who I am and yet I struggle to recognize anything different in myself.
I must admit that when I made it across the US and dipped my wheel in the Atlantic Ocean I was really glad that I had planned on riding more. Reaching the east coast was way too short. It almost seemed like it would have been a letdown if I had finished already. Making it across the US seemed too easy. Isn’t life changing events supposed to be hard? After all isn’t pushing through adversity how one changes?
I am realizing that the physical challenges of trip are not what I need push through. It comes down to avoiding the little things. Those are the real challenges for me. How to find the motivation to push up a hill is not hard. Things like finding the motivation to sit down and write my thank you’s are my Everest’s. So I realize now that I need so much more time to discover who I am and how to conquer my Everest on this trip.
It has been amazing meeting the people that I have. Just the other day I met a brother and sister waiting on an open “Swing Bridge”, letting boats pass, and we talked about my ride. They each handed me $10 and wished me luck on my ride. It still amazes me how much support that people show for what I am doing. In some ways it is harder to accept praise. For me the ride and the accomplishments achieved with each days ride are starting to become more routine. It is the surprise and encouragement I receive from people along the way that keeps me going. With that encouragement and support I know that I will reach the top of my Everest.