If and when I cycle in Charleston next week, the assumption is that I will have accomplished something. But have I?
Being able to cycle from the west to the east coast of America is a pointless achievement unless you pay attention as you ride. If you spend the whole time thinking about how to make it to the end without having to ride in one of the support vans, what have you accomplished. How many times have we trained or worked toward something, only to recede into a slump of sorts once the big event is over? Why is that? Most likely because we become attached to the outcome because that's how we want to define ourselves, only to find out that is forgotten as quickly as it ends.
Whether I ride in the van because of freezing rain or because I have muscle cramps, or whether I make it across the country unaided at breakneck speed, it will only be a milestone if I paid attention along the way. And that's not something ill be able to brag about, in fact no one will ever know. But that experience will shape me and be the memory . Feeling those drops of cold rain, feeling the wind in my face, feeling the burn in my quads, the smells, the sights, feeling the love, feeling the stress and anxiety. Paying attention to each thing as it happens, rather then worrying how each thing might prevent me from getting to the end...that's the accomplishment, that's the desert.
I take this thought into this next week, our last week, which I hope lasts a lifetime.
We are enjoying a rest day in Nashville, at The Hermitage Hotel. A hotel who has hosted everyone from Bruce Springsteen, to Don King, to Lance, to Al Capone to Jimmy Hoffa. Perhaps the latter is still here somewhere. This hotels old school ambience makes one feel to need to walk around the lobby in a bathrobe. That of course between catching some live honky tonk on broadway.
Tomorrow we are back on the bike. Our friend is in day 8 of being in a coma. Our thoughts are with him.l