Whether I was lazy, unadventurous, or simply not ready, I didn’t ride in Medford today. As I made the drive to Medford from Sacramento, I used the time to reflect on week one of this journey. Instead of reflecting on the day’s events, I am choosing to focus on the week’s reflections.
Over the past week, I have celebrated interesting rides, met new friends, re-connected with old ones, explored new parts of the country and re-visited old, familiar, and beloved locations. All in all, it was a full and eventful week.
Adventures are an exploration into the unknown. When embarking on an adventure, much of what is not yet known is the path to the outcome and the complete experience of that path. True adventures are about exploration, discovery, experience, and unpredictability.
Embarking on a carefully choreographed, safe, predictable, and familiar or safe journey is not the same as an expedition filled with exploration and discovery. While there can be and are many adventures in our safe, comfortable journeys, few seek to begin something that operates completely out of our safe zone.
I continue to reflect back on the visible energy of the people who were painfully, slowly, passionately driving their fully loaded bicycles up the steep climbs along the California coast near Big Sur. These were not your designer gear, spandex wearing, color coordinated, fancy equipment laden cyclists that race through our neighborhoods on their speedy training rides. No, these were people who got simply got on their bikes to experience an adventure.
The people who exuded incredible energy were the everyday, average cyclist, taking a journey up the side of a mountain in pursuit of an experience and an accomplishment. They didn’t map every ride, plan every workout, measure their speed, ride the same route, or train with the same, regular groups. These folks were way outside their every day comfort zone. Every climb was a risky, painful challenge. Every downhill was a scary, swift descent. Every mile was a step toward an end. The vision was defined by the outcome of the achievement.
I am highly confident very little coordination and planning went into their journey. These riders likely marked a day on the calendar to begin their trip, did as much preparatory training as they could manage, packed the bags on their bike and hit the road. With no expectations on how they looked, how fast they went, or how to make it easy, convenient, or less difficult. They simply jumped in. They are on an adventure.
The incredible, educational stories in life are experienced outside the cocoon of safe. Empowering life is lived outside the world of the predictable. Embrace the opportunity to explore the outside of that comfortable, tightly coordinated lifestyle you have constructed to make yourself safe and tackle that climb.
You need no planning, no special preparation or coaching, no fancy outfit or special equipment. All you need is the thirst for true adventure. In that adventure, you will discover an experience that was impossible to predict, plan for, or anticipate. Go for it!!