We rarely have Wi-Fi to post updates or play online, so when we find a coffee shop and some free time, we suck the ever-living cyber life out of them both. So, take a few (read: a lot) of minutes and ketchup with me on the road.
Understatements of the Century: Mountains are tall. Deserts are hot. Water is good.
Before arriving to San Diego, I had visions (read: nightmares) of being the last to finish, the slowest on the team, the one who holds up the whole trip and somehow actually takes clean water AWAY from African babies. OK, maybe not that bad, but you get the idea.
So, our first day of tour we took off excitedly from San Diego and headed for the hills. Mountains to be precise. After my THIRD fall and my SECOND weep fest, my sad sack of bruised bones took the van the rest of the way to our campsite.
Failure whispered sweet nothings in my ear and self-loathing stroked my hair.
The next few days we headed to the desert. I’m from the South, so I know hot. I live in hot and I actually kind of like it hot. But, hot doesn’t really translate what it feels like to ride a bike in the desert. I wish there was another word for how hot it is.
Like I said…it’s hot.
The second day of trekking alongside the sand fields was magical. My legs lit up with a sexy heat rash, which surprisingly accented my mountain bruises quite nicely and I’m fairly certain I could’ve won some sort of beauty pagent after dry heaving in a cactus and plopping my spandex down on the first patch of mini shade I could fumble onto. I attempted to keep smiling, but my lips were so burned and wind-whipped that my Chapstick simply refused to come out to play.
And there I was again…last.
Just like I had feared, I had been last every day and worse than that, some days I couldn’t even finish the whole ride.
My teammates eat our rides for breakfast most days and some even ask for seconds. They’re amazing and I caught myself lingering on the outskirts of their cheers at the end of each day because I knew I hadn’t won the prize or set a score.
I was the filling in a bruised mountain desert sandwich. (And it didn’t taste very good.)
But something happened one day while riding, I kicked my self-loathing in the teeth and with each peddle I knew that I was in the process of doing something I had never, ever done before. Instead of saying, “Man, I can’t believe I only rode (insert # less than the allotted miles here) miles today,” I looked at my mileage in the face and gave it a high five. Like the big, cheesy, get-a-running-start kind of high fives.
I mean, when have I ever cycled 85 miles in the desert before? When have I ever climbed mountains at crazy elevations and when was the last time I got banged up while adventuring? Never.
I’m succeeding because I’m DOING.
Day after day we push our bodies, minds and guts to do things we’ve never done before. Whether heaving up a mountain, eating hot sand for lunch or standing in front of a crowd telling people why we’re doing what we’re doing.
It’s about PEOPLE who are our NEIGHBORS. And we get to do this for them…for God…and for ourselves. As Venture Expeditions puts it, “Benefit the World…Discover Your Soul.”
So, that’s what I’m doing.
What about you? When’s the last time you’ve gotten “banged up” for a cause, a mission or a dream?
P.S. “Dear Donald Miller, don’t listen to my lungs. I’m really happy I’m here. Love, Me”