A long day in the saddle

5 04 2009

Today was rather uneventful.  Unfortunately, we have gotten spoiled with big sendoffs.  Since we were deep in Navajo territory, I was expecting some sort of Native American sendoff.  When we got to our sendoff location, there were only 3 people there.  The good thing about this was that for the first time on the ride, we got out of town on time.  Joining us today was Bill from San Clemente who was inspired by Phil’s book, No Opportunity Wasted, to fly out and join us for a couple of the legs.  One of the highlights of the day was getting to 4 corners and having 5 or 6 of us on our bikes riding around in circles going through all 4 states quite quickly.  Our route took us to Cortez, Colorado.  We should have known from the downhill and tailwinds of the first 3 hours that something would be in store in the end.  The last 30 miles were uphill and into a headwind finishing the day with 120 miles and 7 hours in the saddle.  Without much action I had a lot of time to think.  If you have been reading along, you know that this journey has been much more than a bike ride for me.  I thought a lot today about the stories that I create.  I, like many of us, create many stories as I pass thru life.  I think sometimes that these stories allow me to feel safe, rather than vulnerable.  I have really tried in this journey to let the story tell itself, realizing that I am only a small part in it.  Rather than pass people by, I have forced myself to stop and listen.  It is hard to ditch the preconceived notions that I bring to each situation to allow the real story to ring true.  Additionally, I realized that I have no clue what day of the week it is and what is going on in the world.  I have not seen television, read a newspaper, or read the news online since I left.  I don’t know who has gotten kicked off American Idol or who is left in the NCAA basketball tournament.  Although I think it important to be aware of what is going on in the world, I am finding that by being away from the “real world” I am living more in the real world.  With each person that  I have met so far, never have the topics of the economy or world affairs come up.  We have spoken a lot about what is great about the world, what motivates us, and shared many positive stories.  I would encourage anybody out there to take a week and turn off your cellphone and television, leave the paper unopened, and ask any friend who wants to tell you a doom and gloom story to share something good that happened that day … and let the story tell itself.

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One response

9 04 2009
Sue McGough

Ben
You have the heart and soul of a writer…I hope you don’t stop here!!!
Sue

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