I spend a great deal of my time lost… I’m directionally challenged, as my wife likes to call it. But like many successful relationships having complementary skills makes a better team. Sarah is blessed with the sense of direction in our relationship.
Once, and only once… Sarah made the mistake of allowing me to navigate during one of our adventure races. Needless to say, we got lost.
I make up for my lack of navigational skills by having a motor that doesn’t stop and a seriously warped sense of what I call “fun”. A few weeks ago I was out on a very rare solo bike trip on my Surly Big Dummy. I had used the fancy “map my ride” app to draw up a nice 30-mile loop starting from my doorstep and heading out through the country (we just moved to a new state the week before so I was completely unfamiliar with the area).
About 5 miles into the ride I started really enjoying the scenery and was taking in all of the new sites, distracting me from the only item keeping me from cycling in the totally wrong direction and ending up in Mexico (my iPhone). Before I knew it, I had missed my turn and was down the road. This is not new for me! My wife would laugh and smile if you told her I got lost going anywhere.
When faced with the question of turning around or taking a new path, I had to take some time and remember what the goal for the day was. I simply wanted to get out and ride my bike. I had no time constraints or further obligations. It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I wasn’t lost; I was doing exactly what I set out to do… Explore the area on my bike. I had self-imposed a route on myself that was randomly selected.
Once I was freed from the bonds of a set distance, route and time I really started enjoying the new surroundings. While on this free for all journey I came across Pike Road (a town also a road) and remembered someone had told me a CrossFit gym was in this area and had a really impressive facility/coaches. Without any assistance from my mobile navigation aid I stumbled upon the Pike Road Crossfit and have since locked in a membership and started training at the gym.
At one point in my cycling journey I was a go-getter triathlete, where every workout was important to me and distances/speed were recorded for evaluation. I don’t race like that anymore and sometimes need a reminder that I’m on my bike for more than just a workout. I’m out to take in the world around me from my bike. I realized on this day that my “curse” of being perpetually lost is my blessing. It helps me slow down and refocus on what is important.
I challenge you to take some time and just enjoy the ride. Any examples of when your wrong turn ended up being a new adventure?