Suarez Gump

My resolve in pursuing this dream is being tested to the max. Nature has played its hand but reserved its trump card for today by giving me a taste of cold weather. Like rain, it is another thing that I'm unprepared for other than I had thought I'd waited out the winter by starting in March. But spring was absent today with the temp in the lower 50's. The cold cut through my bike jersey as if I was naked. Sure, I could pedal harder but that just makes me tired faster rather than warmer. I threw on a long sleeve cotton shirt (and it was a miracle in foresight that I had brought that much) and for the next few hours biked over the hills in utter misery and shivering half the time. It wasn't until 2:00pm that I found it warm enough to take off the shirt. My average speed in these conditions has plummeted back down into the single digits and I struggle to find any pace at all when confronted with the triple whammy of cold, hills and wind blowing in the opposite direction. All I want to do when those three merge is get off the bike and crawl into a motel to watch HBO.

So what is it that drives me forward? A mid-life crisis? A death wish? It's a hard question to answer. Yesterday I was riding on the highway when a car full of people pulled up alongside and asked me how far I was going. When I told them Seattle they asked me for what reason. I told them to get in shape and see America. They wondered jokingly if it was some kind of Forrest Gump thing and then offered me their good luck and prayers before moving on. However, I realize those are facile answers to a question that merits looking into a bit deeper. The truth is there's some other element that I'm not going over but can't exactly give voice to either because it's too abstract. Just like why Forrest Gump decided to run all over America come to think of it. The best way I can put it is that I'm challenging myself to get into shape and not doing it by merely working out in a gym and cutting back on the calories. I needed a big project that would guarantee results and make it difficult for me to quit and be ok with it. It is as much a mental as it is a physical challenge and so far I'm determined to not quit unless I have a very solid reason to. Because if I did quit I know in my heart this is my only chance to tackle something of this sort and, damn what others think, it's myself that I don't want to let down.

Day 14