The End: Final Thoughts
Thursday August 29, 2013
Here are my final thoughts sent as an email update to family and friends:
And so now it is all over. I am more proud of finishing this ride than anything else I’ve ever done. Of the 4421 miles, I only had to walk 3 of them. I gritted out crazy winds and pedalled through every form of precipitation. I rode in cold so chilly my fingers were too stiff to shift or brake. I climbed up hills so tough I only made it drawing on a deep determination and by repeating the mantra “See the beauty – strength through pain”. But I also flew down descents so fun I laughed out loud. I rolled up to mountain passes so gorgeous I was left speechless. I travelled through landscapes so grand and encompassing they brought tears to my eyes.
More than anything, I just loved being able to live in the moment – just absorbing, thinking, and not really doing a thing but pedalling and pedalling. The past was far away; the future didn’t matter. All of life was there – in that place, in that space, in that little spot on the road. I loved being totally immersed in all my senses in that moment of time. No worries but the weather, and finding food, water and shelter. Nothing could be more simple but so completely fulfilling than just taking each day as it came. Similarly, I also loved having no routine – each day its own challenge. I loved never quite knowing what was ahead but feeling confident in myself that I’d be able to handle (or figure something out for) whatever might come.
It was also tremendous to reflect on my priorities in life and reassert what is important to me. I’m grateful for having the time and space to step back and see how: 1) society so hugely dictates our individual priorities; and, 2) we never have time to think about the life we, as individuals, really want to lead. I’ve vowed never to give into those pressures ever again! My spirit has been freed, and I just cannot describe how whole, alive and connected to life I feel. My heart is so, so full of humility and gratitude, and my spirit feels so, so free and full of beauty. I can only hope to carry that forward into all of my future adventures.
After a few weeks with family, I’ll head back to Australia at the end of September. I’ll be jobless. And homeless. It’s a little terrifying, but it also imparts a continuing sense of freedom. The future is wide open – it can be whatever I want it to be. The only boundaries are the ones I choose to place there.
So stay tuned – my soul is free and I cannot see ever forcing myself back in the box – life is too short to ever settle for a boring life of security, comfort and satisfying social expectations. The greatest rewards aren’t monetary and are reserved for the courageous, brave and those who just go after their dreams.
All the best to you in your dreams and endeavours. Whatever it is you “wish” to do, just do it. You will not regret it! Thank you for all of your support and encouragement – I could not have kept pedalling without my support network all around the world. That’s all folks.