What a long drive it was up the California coast on highway 1. It is 230 miles from Lompoc, CA to Santa Cruz, CA — my final destination for the day. I could have taken highway 101 and arrived in less than three hours. Instead, I drove up the coast through Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Carmel and Pebble Beach.
How often does a person get an opportunity to take a leisurely drive up a very scenic coast like this in their lifetime. It was a first for me. Not that I planned to be on the road for over eight hours, but I was. Obviously, I wasn’t the only person taking advantage of the opportunity to buzz this famous and beautiful part of the country. There is a great deal of beauty all over our great country, this region has always been my favorite. I was thrilled that I was able to explore the area south of Carmel, CA for the first time.
No bike ride today, although I did witness a large number of cyclists taking their personal challenge to travel the road that cars so willingly share with them. I know I could be in better shape when it comes to my cycling conditioning. I have an ever bigger appreciation for the commitment of many of the people I watched battle some very, very steep climbs and bravely take on some very, very treacherous descents.
One of the things that struck me most about many of the cyclists I watched battle the peaks and valleys of the California coast was few of them were wearing the fancy cycling clothes or traveling lightly on their ultra cool bikes. Most of these riders were grinders — people living the passion of a dream and a challenge.
It presented me an entirely new perspective on the difference between living a life of safe, fancy and convenient and making life the adventure it is meant to be and taking on the challenges life offers. I know I have a tendency to work hard at doing the easy things well, convincing myself that doing them well is difficult. That is until I discover what taking on something truly difficult is. It is then that I realize I need to continue to challenge myself to learn how to do the difficult things, period.
Life is a choice — we can go up a hill and call it work; or we can climb a mountain declare victory.