I looked down at my RunKeeper score (www.runkeeper.com/user/JasonWomack) and did some quick math: 599 miles over 8 days. Now, I happen to know there were a couple of miles that were not picked up by the App, so...I'm calling it 600+ miles!
I've had a few people ask, "How did you train for all that, while maintaining a 'Road Warrior' life?" Well, I've got to share with you the power of a vision. When something is THAT clear (no matter the goal, simply make it "that" clear), my body, and mind, my focus and the ecosystem all line up to create the opportunity for success. Of course, there are no guarentees, just opportunities lined up for us to take advantage of; yes, we still have to do the work.
Sondra is blogging about the trip too, and even writing up little bios on each person: www.sjlazer.blogspott.com . With the bikes tuned and ready to go, a lot of us where thinking about the day's 64+ mile ride in to the heartland of Graceland: Memphis, Tennessee. As for me, I was the only one who is leaving the tour; the other 16 riders are continuing on to Minneapolis!
And here is an important point. When I first heard about the bike tour company America by Bicycle (www.abbike.com) from a friend (thanks Kevin!), I went to the website and looked at all the tours. The calendar and my goal lined up for me to ride just one third of The Great Mississippi Ride. I didn't even CONSIDER the whole thing. The thinking: I'd check out the tour company, spend 8 days in a row riding my bike, and see what I'd do next.
(FYI: I am considering an amazing goal: 32 days to cross the country by bike; it's called The Fast Ride.)
One of the great things the company does is that it seeks out places where we can all get breakfast together. Now, if you've ever gone out for a meal with more than a few people, you know how it can be managing the details of one of those experiences. Well, it's all worked out ahead of time so all we have to do is sit down, order our meals, and break bread together.
Speaking of which: Mentor Meals is something I'm thinking about writing/speaking about more. Given the opportunity to sit down with someone, how can we take advantage of that opportunity and use it as a learning moment? Over the course of 8 days - 8 breakfasts, 8 dinners and a few SAG stops (roadside Support and Gear - along the route each day, the tour guids set up an entire area with food, water, Gatorade, etc) - I had the chance to sit down with people from all over the country and share stories. My intention: Continue to sit next to someone I hadn't sat next to during the last meal.
The theme of this tour - for me - has been: "Time to notice what I might be too busy to notice." As such, it was importanto for me to take time where I could let my own mind wander, around curves, up and down our little climbs, and up in to the heavens above. It was absolutely incredible to say to myself, "I've got 8 miles on this one road..." At that point there are not decisions that need to be made, only pedal, pedal, pedal.
Whether you ride, walk, sit, stand, lie down ... whatever ... let me strongly recommend the power of thought in and through your busy life. I know it doesn't always make sense to "do one thing," I mean, heck, we live in a world that reward "doing," but when we do one thing it's like doing no thing, and when nothing is happening we increase the chances that something will. I'm gonna ask you to trust me on that one.
I made it to the "late" hour of 8:30pm before I gave in and headed back to the hotel. Here's a picture I captured as we all celebrated the 8 days of riding with a meal, a beer, and great stories of riding along the Great Mississippi. Looking back, I'm delighted I took this opportunity. Looking forward, I anticipate doing more of this. Some shorter, some longer, all purpose-full: To get out, slow down, and think about what I think about. I hope that makes as much sense to you as it does to me.
How can you build in some "me" time this week? This month? This year?