My aunt Sheri just wrote the following line to me, "I think the hardest part of your journey will be to learn to slow down, abandon expectations and learn how not to be goal oriented."  She couldn't be more correct!

We've been on the road for a week and I'm slowly but surly learning, and coming to accept these facts.  I love to race, I love to be in constant motion and I love to always have something going on.  That's not possible on a trip like this.  Though I've tried, I can't hang with the guys on the road bikes as they speed up the mountains.  Instead I get to sit back, enjoy the scenery and dodge the little bugs I see cruising across the road in front of me.  (Yes I can actually maneuver around them I am going so slow)!  I am learning I don't have to be biking all day.  This is a tour, meaning stop frequently and check out the scenes, relax in a park, sit and do nothing.  This is a hard one for me, but fortunately I gave myself a project of keeping a blog and editing pictures as we go.  I can only handle so much idle time before I go crazy.

I began this trip with a million expectations and goals about how far we'd travel each day, when we'd get to certain destinations to meet up with family and friends, to show people that we actually could carry out this ambitious plan, how I'd feel, what I'd see and ultimately what this trip would be.  I have always set challenges for myself and enjoyed striving to meet them and it's extremely difficult to abandon this innate part of my being.  But I have no choice.  This tour is what it is and I can't force it to be anything it isn't destined to be. 

We are a week into cycling and Mike's knee is killing him.  We made it a whopping 14 miles today before he couldn't pedal any further.  We pulled into a new campground before some people were even awake for the day.  Mike is frustrated, and I completely understand; I have had my fill of injuries over the years but it was bound to happen to one of us at some point.  When we pulled over for the day, Mike looked at me with droppy eyes and a bummed expression on his face, apologized for holding us up saying, "we should be in the heart of the redwoods right now, riding through the Avenue of the Giants."  I could choose to be frustrated and antsy, but it's worthless.  This could just as easily have been my knee and Mike would patiently wait it out with me, but we're in this together.  Abandon expectations and goals.  No Mike, we're not supposed to be there right now.  We're supposed to be right here, doing exactly what we're doing because this is our vacation.  We can relax for a day by the river, let our bodies rest, read a book or do nothing and it's all okay.  We can stay here for 5 days if we need to and I bet we'll still say in the end that this was the best adventure of our lives!
Aches & pains please go away!


Mom said...

Just enjoy!! hope the knee gets better, you know we are pulling for the both of you. Love you bunches!!

NancyE said...

In the words of the immortal Crosby & Nash, "Even though it's hard to know/ just how the story ends/ the road is long and it takes its time/ on that you can depend."

I second Mom. Just enjoy. Wave and smile. The Zen of biking. We're all with you. :-)

lmq said...

This is all part of the journey. There is something new and interesting around every corner. Enjoy the moment. And make the unexpected a reason to stop, look and listen.