It’s painful, miserable, seems never ending and is potentially dangerous. I have for sure never suffered so much and felt so miserable as last year in Siberia.
So why am I excited to go through all of this again, this time even a month longer?
When things are tough I tell myself: ” Pain is temporary but memories of a great adventure stay forever”. And that’s exactly the case. Already at the finish line I had forgotten all the misery and was dreaming about the next adventure. You won’t remember the easy moments but those when times where hard.
On my first big bike trip I cycled with my brother to Cape North and we were inexperienced, naive and fully unprepared when an early winter in the middle of nowhere hit us. We were miserable for days, and I remember a night where none of us dared to sleep as we were so cold we worried that we won’t wake up again.
But now? It’s one of my best memories and we joke about it quiet often.
That being said you may think I enjoy the pain. But that’s not at all why I do cross country racing.
For me it is about two things: Pushing myself to a difficult and meaningful goal but more importantly living an adventure and explore the world.
I want to have a simple and beautiful journey that brings me to places I have never been, where I meet wonderful people get into some serious trouble and somehow still manage to make it towards my final goal. When I wake up every morning, I’m excited because I know that something unexpected is going to happen and I will see places and meet people for the first and probably last time in my life. It gives me a feeling of living life to fullest and living the day with an intensity of emotions that I would never have at home or in familiar places. It’s a sense of freedom to explore the world by bike.
Setting a record adds to the emotions but it’s like the cherry on the pie, small compared to the memories of a fantastic journey. That’s why I have zero interest in a supported challenge, I would miss most of the suffering and all those moments that are part of a great adventure.
And that’s what counts in the end. Having a bunch of great pub stories and the feeling that you have lived life to the fullest.