This post originally went up in 2014 on my travel blog. In preparation for the BCBR, I didn’t want to lose the lessons from this great mountain bike trip!!
As many of you know, EJ and I recently finished a hut to hut mountain biking trip in Southwest Colorado. We had never been on an adventure like this before – and really didn’t have any similar trips on to prepare mentally or physically for this one.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Really, we did the best we could to prepare… but as with many things in life, you just have to live through it to learn your lessons. Here are a few that I took home with me:
Gratitude really is the best outlook
As with any adventure, there was ample things that I could have complained about.
- No, I’m really not used to eating anything from a can.
- I gotta pee, and it’s COLD outside.
- OMG, I’m in a small hut with 3 farting men.
I was just SOOOO happy to be there (with my farting friends), that I didn’t care. I was thankful that every day we made it to our destination, where there was plenty of food & water, didn’t have a medical incident or mechanical difficulty. I was with friends, doing something that some people could only dream of. That’s living life!
Know your reference points
We live in Southern California… at sea level. When the guide said “make sure to have great rain gear” – we said “Yes! We can do that”. What we didn’t really know: what *real* rain is. I know that for many of you, this is inconceivable – but we get MAYBE a total of 10 inches of rain a year… the first day we got almost 8 inches. Even though we were prepared for rain (in our heads) – we really weren’t. “What do you mean it rains so heavy that you have seek shelter under a tree?”… “What’s this mud stuff?”… “Oh, good firewood is tough to light when it’s wet.” What I’m trying to say is that since our “Winter Storm” is mist to some climates – we really had no reference on what to expect. More adventures will give me more reference points so that I can better prepare for the future.
You can learn a lot about people by watching how they tackle challenges
I think that challenges really bring out the best and worst of people. You can really cut through and see what motivates people and how much self-awareness they have. You can only learn so much about people when things are going along swimmingly and everything is roses. We things start getting tough (for sometimes day after day) Do they grumble? Do they lash out? Do they get super quiet? Do they try to corral the group? There’s so many different expressions that people can take – I find it interesting and I like learning about what motivates other people. Just so that you know, there was not one ‘blow up’ for the entire trip… that’s pretty good – especially considering ample opportunity.
Life is a great learning opportunity – and we only have to take one step out of our comfort zone to realize our dreams.