Often, during intense challenges such as climbing 1100 metres in 46 km on snowy, muddy, rock-filled trails, morale can falter and can lead to a state of mind of complaint and discouragement.
I will tell you about something that happened in Australia in 2003 that was a great lesson for me. This learning has served me well ever since and has changed my outlook on life.
We are penniless, we have no job and suddenly a man offers us the opportunity to work in a garlic field picking garlic. It’s 45 degrees Celsius, the wind is constant and the dust whips around our bodies.
We are bent over and our backs hurt…
As we are paid by weight, we want to go faster, but we are too slow and it is impossible for us to go faster because of the pain our bodies inflict on us.
Suddenly, between a few complaints, I notice a group of Africans gathering garlic so quickly that I decide to watch them.
They are singing, laughing and having fun as they work and their harvest is immense compared to us. I start to listen to their singing and even sing with them… After a few hours my body hurts less, I feel happier; I don’t focus on my pain or the heat anymore. I realise that I am collecting much more garlic than before! So I make more money…
Now, whenever I face a challenge, I think of them as they helped me to transform my mindset and not to dwell on the difficulties, but to see the good and the beautiful even in difficult times.
Travel, adventure, nomadic life is a way of life that feeds my soul, my mind and my heart!
I am in my comfort zone and this helps me to reduce the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome !
The stress of a life that doesn’t suit me is behind me.
It feels so good !
It takes me back a few years and makes me realize that : for all healing, no matter what the trauma, illness or even depression, the minute we are on our life path or doing what we are passionate about, we accelerate our healing.
It’s a safe bet that if I had gone through the government’s head injury program, I would still be on the treadmill three days a week. I’m so lucky to have the great scenery flash before my eyes and to feel my legs burning up from the miles of asphalt !
Nature, the outdoors and intense exercise energise and nourish me. I have more stamina than I used to, but when my body gives me a signal, it is sometimes impossible to keep going… So I have to manage my energy carefully; keep hope alive with realism.
Still on my way in the Rockies, the challenge is great, of course… And pushing a bike through two feet of snow is extremely difficult ! However, an inner music accompanies me and the intense happiness that this adventure gives me helps me to continue despite all the physical pains.
Adaptation is the word that sums up the intensity of these first 8 days ! Quite a start to the journey… 502 km in the mountains ! Several climbs that took us to an altitude of over 1000 meters !
Moreover, two people who don’t know each other very well and the challenge of creating a common adventure make this trip intense on all levels !
The muscles have to adapt, our body tries to become one with this vehicle of evolution which is the bike !
The beauty of the landscapes and the intense cold force us to integrate everything in this challenge.
As we are still in the winter season, many beautiful small roads are closed, so we had to bypass some of them !
This created a delay of 2 or 3 days on the planned route. I was still curious about the unexpected and fortunately Frédéric, my travel friend, got on board with my delirium !
Here we are in Osoyoos, a desert in Canada.
We take a short break for a few days to regain our strength. I had a health problem that forced me to rest for a few days (nothing too serious, but enough to stop) and we have to repair Frederic’s bike so that it will be safe for the next 3 weeks in the mountains. His brakes completely failed a few days before we arrived in Osoyoos !
Today we are enjoying a beautiful sunny day on a terrace and we think of you who motivate us day after day!
Thanks again to all of you for your virtual presence !
We’ll talk again in a few days when we’ll be in Nelson.