A question was posted on my personal Facebook Timeline. It was an interesting question and had some nice responses to my response that I was hoping to save in the form of a blog post and not get buried in the 1000’s of other Facebook posts.
I have a question……but if it is too personal, please ignore it. I am sure that a few of might be curious………..but what runs through your mind on one of those long daily rides? I suppose some people sort of get into “the zone” and are focused on each revolution of the pedals, some will take in the scenery, review the day’s thoughts etc. Each person would of course experience it differently.
Well, I very much live inside my head. And I do find it fairly difficult to stay focused on any one thing for too long. Also, the discomfort from the elements such as cold, wind or sweat/chill is very distracting to your thoughts.
I generally try to maintain a fairly positive happy attitude about and through the day. I do spend a lot of time watching the scenery.
But mixed in with all that positive attitude I think about ……..how over worked I sometimes feel with documenting the ride……..the loneliness of my life……..the lack of mindfulness in my day……..the failure of my engagement…….. the lack of mindfulness to God’s presence……..the financial pain in my ass my house is (in Belize)…….the lack of financial security that I have…….the need to do what I am currently doing the right way…….wondering if I missing the lessons (through my interactions) with my hosts…… how I wasn’t very nice to someone after so many people have been so amazing and generous to me ………how I am not pushing myself nearly as hard as I am suppose to.
And that’s sort what goes through my mind in a given day. And of course- when do I eat next?
Some of the comments to my answer
Donald C Brown Arie, it is apparent that you are your own toughest critic. You don’t have to be any more human than the rest of us……..if you juggled all the things you have mentioned perfectly you would be perfect……and totally boring in my opinion. You are human and you must keep remembering that………with that comes all the mistakes, errors in planning and in judgment, regrets and outright disasters. (My life is built upon a foundation of mistakes and accidents!). But I’ll let you in on a couple of secrets: It is what is supposed to happen to us humans…….we are fallible creatures and we need these experiences in order to learn, take something from each mistake and be a little wiser the next time the potential for a similar mistake presents itself. The other part of my message is that along with the process of periodically screwing up and learning from it, you , as a human, have to learn to forgive yourself when you feel that you have not measured up to a task or situation. That one is a little harder…… .but completely necessary if you are to move forward in life without getting stuck in a rut (a term that should have lots of meaning for a bicyclist!). Y’all have to work hard on that one…….it was tough for me to let myself off the hook. But it IS the wise and right thing to do. If we went through life and everything worked out perfectly, we would be as dumb as planks and as boring as a dial-tone. So don’t beat yourself up…….let this experience unfold naturally. You’re a great guy……that’s why you have this following of supportive people. I can tell you…….I have some university degrees from a good school…..I learned lots of stuff, but none of it was what I needed to know on how to live my life…….but I think you’re on a much sharper learning curve (so I am a slow learner, shoot me….lol) and the fact that you are aware of all of it and mulling it over in your mind is a good thing. Things happen, or not…….you, with some time, will work it out to where it is supposed to be, which is not necessarily where you would have imagined it would be. You’re not supposed to have all the right answers….you’re human. Meanwhile, take in the scenery……the beautiful land around you, the fabric of life and culture in each region you visit, the interactions with the random Canadians you meet, good lessons and tougher ones………it’s all good in the end. If you feel overwhelmed sometimes…..that’s natural. Actually, I think you are doing a rather amazing job with all of it. Thank you for sharing, Arie. And I bet every one of us is very proud of you!
David Brown Yeah Arie, Donald said a lot of good stuff there especially about the don’t beat yourself up so much & the thing about things happen, or not ….. that in time you (or someone else?) will work it out …… & don’t forget that you are human so you are not supposed to have it all figured out at the start or necessarily by the end either!?!
Richard Arlen You need to be a special type of person to do this day in and day out. The solitude of the environment and your mind can drive you crazy. Meditation while on the bike brings me peace and ability to detach from the life that is happening around me. The focus on each revolution of the pedal speaks to me personally. Stay well.
Paul Schiebel Arie’s own words are very true. As someone who also long distance cycles let me just add….There is something magical about knowing that YOU (not some machine) are succeeding at something so difficult. Each day completed is another motivator for the next. And another page to add to the “I can’t believe I did that” scrapbook.