It’s interesting how your mind can continuously expand and adopt new (preferably higher) levels of what is “normal”.
Before leaving to the seaside I was intimidated: It’s too far. Too hard. It’s not worth it., etc. My mind was trying to justify fear and lack of engagement through artificial logical constructs. I say artificial because now that I’m home writing this, the whole experience of long distance cycling is beginning to feel normal. Normal = the norm. And shit! Look at my large smile in these pictures! So none of my fears were entirely justified - they were a construct of my petty inner self.
And now the memories sink in and become a part of my being. I know I am that dude who can travel by bike. It no longer scares me. That’s funny isn't it? Your mind and body are plastic. You can actually become a better version of yourself each day if you take massive action. And the keyword here is ACTION (not contemplation). You spiral upwards into healthy beliefs about yourself because everything you now believe is based on experience - it’s simply a great shortcut to becoming who you want to become: just do stuff! Then you realize that life can be defined by possibilities not by barriers.
Getting back to my scared inner self, it’s not me who deserves the credit for this cool bike journey. Nah! I’m good with marketing and presentation but I’m a lazy motherfucker. It’s Ciri - my friend, who actually pushed me into doing it after I first mentioned the trip to him. And it’s not even an original idea. Another friend of ours went to Turkey (and even further in Asia) - that’s the dude who inspired us so let’s give credit where credit is due.
Another point that I wanna make regarding having friends is this: you may not be fully aware of it but you are to a certain extent the product of your environment. So, if you wanna become a stronger version of yourself, relying only on your will is pretty fucking hard. If you truly wanna be strong, acknowledge your weaknesses and create systems that can alleviate them. It’s a smarter approach and the changes within you happen effortlessly.
Let me explain: it’s much easier to become a better cyclist if you surround yourself with great cyclists. Your circle of cyclists is the system that supports you - it carries you forward and higher. Instead of training fiercely based on your will alone (not that it doesn’t help), develop some social skills and bring good energy into a group of already good cyclists and you’ll evolve faster. Same with everything else. Wanna read more? Get friends who read a lot and who might recommend you good books. Wanna learn business? Hang around business people. etc.
Being an autodidact has its’ value but social learning (through human interaction) is more fun.
OMG what a bunch of bullshit rambling for a bike tour! Yeah… I know. But I hope some of these insights might help you on your own personal journey.
For instance, it’s imperative for anyone to have both youthful energy and old age wisdom. That’s why I’m grateful that my younger friend pulled me upwards into this adventure. I owe it to him. He’s part of my system. Then there are other friends who are older and they offer me a broader perspective on life. I owe a lot to them as well. You see? It’s not hard work - I simply learn from people who I admire by emulating them. Be careful to weed out the traits you don’t like though. :) Don’t emulate bad behaviour just because your friend or mentor is a great whatever…
peak experience, just as the 10 days caving expedition was. What I’m saying is that one needs a solid base on which to build peak experiences. We do tons of physical activity (mostly climbing and mountain biking) so this was not as hard as it would have been if we weren’t athletes already. But we did experience knee pains and fatigue. Just bear that in mind.
Go out there, broaden your perspective and expand your reach. Meet people and enjoy life!
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