I woke up today feeling pretty wretched. I thought I could fully embrace sleeping on hard floors, but my back and neck are suggesting otherwise. I also woke up with a sudden realization that this biking cross-country thing is a thing* that’s actually happening. On Monday, I will be attempting to sneak my bicycle onto a Providence-bound Amtrak train. Exactly one week from today, after meeting my teammates, getting oriented, and building in Providence, we will dip our wheels and head West.
The excitement and nervousness that have been festering in my stomach for the last few weeks have finally emerged as fear. I fear the physical and mental hardships. I fear the possibility of not fitting in with a group of unfamiliar individuals that I’m basically stuck with for the next three months. I fear the end of my “bright college years” (staying on campus has allowed me to disregard the fact that graduation was weeks ago). Mostly, I’m scared of stepping outside of my comfort zone and into this world of foolhardy expedition. I have to remind myself that good things don’t come easy, and that taking chances has allowed me to experience the most rewarding, the most beautiful, and the tastiest, things in life. Like leaving home for college, 4000 miles away. Like stepping near the edge of the Grand Canyon. Like giving grapefruit a couple more chances.**
I looked at our route today and thought about all things could be compressed and contained in each inch of my screen. Surely there are plenty of dirt roads, hills, vistas, and swimming holes that didn’t make it onto the map. Even if the physical landscape could be captured, there is so much more that is unknown–the spills and the successes, friendships and fights, and everything that is wild and beautiful on the road.
—*adventure, enterprise, crazy dream, whatever you want to call it. **hands down, my favorite citrus.