Speaking of Journeys…

Over 4000 miles. 39 days. Mountain ranges. Brutal weather. One bike.

I recently discovered a new fount of inspiration. You see, when life really, really sucks you have to find something even better to balance it out. You can never settle for just okay. You have to find the extraordinary, you must learn to create the beauty that life seemed to deny you, you have to be amazed that you even exist or you will get sucked under and disappear. I have a huge appetite, one as big as Queen Aeryn herself.

I love knowledge; I’m addicted to learning. I think I’m also addicted to the fight. When one has spent so much time fighting, struggling, and generally being in all sorts of unbelievable pain you get used to that being the default. My partner often scolds me for never relaxing. “You are the most uncomfortable person I’ve ever met!” he often tells me in loving exasperation. I feel like I can never stop, as if I will never be comfortable, as if I will never be satisfied. To be comfortable is to grow complacent, it’s to stop being aware, it’s to slowly atrophy. I had to adapt to survive and I know no other way.

You’ll probably be able to see this in the way I write my stories. I write as if I am dying. In a way, I feel like I am. I’ve seen so much death, pain, and agony. I know time is not promised. And so I write as if I will die tomorrow-leaving out the fluff and getting into the meat and matter of things. I appreciate other minds which do the same. I’ve always been drawn to those who dared, those who challenged, those who conquered the pain and the struggle to create beauty and joy.

What does any of this have to do with a 4000-mile bike ride done in all kinds of weather in only 39 days’ time? Well, it’s my latest source of inspiration. In the form of a female Malaysian triathlete, a warrior comes to life and endures what most people would believe to be an impossible task. Her name is Angie, and she’s simply amazing. She documented her time riding across the US, her talks with people about their struggles and dreams, and the times she felt like giving up. She rode over 100 miles each and every day. And the best thing is, she did this all with a smile on her face.

She has such a big spirit. She gathered together stories from people all over the country to share with everyone. The ride is not just a ride. It is life itself. We all have struggles, hopes, and dreams. To hold them up in the light more often would help all of us, I think. I can’t wait to see the documentary. For now, all I have is her wonderful blog and this trailer to get me through.

I may only walk instead of ride (at least until I get my rollerblades back and pick up some parkour skills after my surgery) but I definitely understand pushing through the pain and still managing smile, to love the world, and to remain open to the possibilities. So, thank you, Angie, for sharing your journey.

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