When the days are long on the road there is much time to reflect and to ponder. As many of you know the last couple years have been trying ones for Joy and I. There have been many difficult things but 2017 has been a year that has been characterized by loss.
Early in March of this year I lost my job. This was not an unexpected thing if you know me well. As a matter of fact this was a gift in so many ways. Suffice it to say that the manager I worked under for the last year was the worst I have ever had. Enough said. Then just after that in the spring we had to remove the tree from our back yard. This may not seem significant to you but that tree was one of the most attractive parts of our house to us, and one of the reasons we bought it many years ago. It has been a climbing toy and shade and a calming place in our families life. Removing that left a hole (literally and figuratively). Then in the last month Joy’s dog (yes Joy’s not necessarily mine) had to be put down from cancer. Other small things have also been in the mix and for us 2017 has become the year of loss.
Loss though is not an end in itself. Loss is honestly where being found begins. The reason I can take this journey right now is because I lost my job and now I have the time and the money to do it. I have had interviews and things have been going well until I say, ‘um by the way I need 7-8 weeks off in the summer to fulfill a lifelong dream.’ The response to that statement is rarely overwhelming. The ‘loss’ of our tree has opened up our vista to see something new in our back yard. Joy is pleased; I have cleaned out all of the crap (loss again) and the last couple weeks landscapers have redone the whole thing. It is a thing of beauty. New things and beauty spring from loss. Sometimes we are not truly free when we have things that burden us down.
To quote a friend of mine Shelly on her new project ‘Start;’ when we lose something it truly frees us to start something new. New things begin with the death of old things. This has been the truth so many times in our lives and although this year is a time of loss it is a time of growth.
Ok, now to the practicalities of the ride. Today I got lost again. I followed the GPX file from Adventure Cycling and suddenly I realized I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. Endless Indiana corn fields are beautiful, but endless! Turn back, find a new road and another long day is in the books. I rely on people and technology to lead me the proper way. In some ways I love it, but in some ways I can’t even remember when i had to find my way with maps and just good old smarts.
My achilles tendon on one side is acting up. I have never had this happen before. Could be many reasons. I lowered the saddle today and this is the first time I have ever ridden flat pedals and crossfit shoes. I didn’t want to carry more than one pair of shoes. But, if this keeps on the way it is it will be a difficult ride. I am mobilizing and rolling with balls and self-scraping with a Graston tool but it just downright hurts. I am taking a rest day tomorrow to allow it to work itself through. I got 130k done today on it so we shall see.
Life is funny like that. I have never been injured in all my years of cycling and now on my biggest adventure of my life I could be. Sigh!
On another note, I missed my niece last night because I don’t check FB Messenger. She was where I was and we both didn’t know it. I wish I had have had the chance to spend the night with her and Meghan; I enjoy their company. Another night I hope!