Crossing mountains to challenge and transform myself

Early tomorrow morning I embark on the journey of my life. In my March 29, 2011 post, Crossing Mountains Chasing Rivers, I spoke about my summer bicycle tour. Well, it is here. I often speak about the importance of transforming yourself by stepping outside of your comfort zone. There is no doubt that this trip leaves my comfort zone far back in the dust.

I have no problem listing the reasons I should be concerned about this trip. Here are some of the top ones I worry about.

  • I have never cycled 400 miles averaging 45 miles a day for 9 straight days.
  • I am not a camper. I am camping on this trip, often primitive. I am definitely a B&B, resort and hotel type of guy.
  • I question if I am mentally prepared for this type of effort.
  • I question if I am physically prepared for this type of effort.
  • I am riding with my best bariatric cycling pal Chuck. Although I cycle with him weekly, I wonder how 9-10 days 24-7 will impact our friendship.
  • Hills, damn I hate hills. I need to cross mountains, the Alleghenies, to get to Washington D.C.
  • Skunks, there will most likely be skunks and other critters in the campgrounds.

There is one big reason that I am going on this ride. I have come to a point in my life where I want to accomplish something big. On July 16, I will celebrate my 3rd bariatric surgiversary. My life is definitely in some place that I never imagined it to be three years ago. Life is indeed good. With this new outlook on life, I want to mark this surgiversary with an accomplishment, a physical endurance accomplishment. That is something that I never could have seen coming in June 2008.

With less than 24 hours remaining before I pedal east out of Pittsburgh, I am experiencing reservations as is evidenced by the above reasons. There are undeniable realities out there that I must confront. I have become pretty good at confronting the reality of life as a weight loss surgery post-op. I am ever vigilant to monitor my diet and exercise routine. I know well the slippery slope people experience at this point in their post-weight-loss life. I am determined to be a success and not one of the failures that people tout as examples of failed weight loss surgeries. I use this experience to confront challenging realities and diminish my fears.

There are many positive reasons that I am taking this ride. I thought I would close this post by listing them.

  • It is time for this ride. That’s a simple statement but says it all. The time has come for me to step up things in my life. This ride is the ticket to a new world.
  • The ride combines many things I love; cycling, touring, the outdoors, history, and meeting new people.
  • After months of training, planning and preparation, I need to prove to myself that I am mentally and physically prepared for this type of challenge.
  • I have a lot of respect for my pal Chuck. I ride with him because I knew he brings out in me what I need to be a success on this ride. I would not do this ride without him.

Wish me luck in my journey. You can follow my progress at where you can also subscribe to email updates. There will most likely be no posts on this blog this coming week. I look forward to telling stories from the trail when I return. Thanks to all of you who have supported me through this blog.

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