I am always inspired by a few people that have come against all odds and came out on top. To name a few: Anders Hoffman, Riaan Manser, Wim Hof and Bear Grylls. If you aren’t quite sure who they are then imagine cycling across Africa, or doing the Ironman in Antarctica. And honestly, that sort of challenge is something I would like to do one day. It may be called crazy, but you can die from a coconut falling on your head too while casually strolling on the beach. So I tend not to live in that sense of fear. To get myself to that level I need to start somewhere, however small my challenge may be.
About two years ago when I officially left the house and became a “man” I had two means of transport: My two feet and a Mongoose mountain bicycle, which I called Mongbeast(not that creative but it stuck as soon as I named it that). I would spend a lot of time actually cycling to and from work, to the store, friends houses and places of leisure. It certainly kept me fit.
One day I was reading the newspaper and came across an advertisement of a mountain bike race between windfarms. I was never into cycling but curious to see how I would fare against semi-professionals. There were three categories, the 25km(15,5mi), 50km(31mi) and the 80km(50mi). As I had no idea how far I could go and how much it would require of me I opted for the 25km(15,5mi).
It ended up being seriously fun(mainly because I started at the back and passed all the kids) and finishing in the top 20.
With that in mind I wanted to go further. A year later I did a 60km(37mi) race with a tough terrain in mild winds and a wet day. That was not as fun as I’d hoped but I was not in any place to grade myself as fit, something I only have myself to blame. But it made me realise that I am capable of more, as long as I encourage myself, believe in myself and put all the necessary training into it.
You’re probably thinking: What does this have to do with buying a CD? Well let me tell you, and stop being so impatient.
One day not too long ago I had this crazy idea to cycle to the nearest city which is around 75km(46mi), so a total of 150km(93mi). And at the city I would purchase something, a souvenir of my trip, a CD. But I only had my eyes on one CD: Switchfoot’s latest album Native Tongue. My favourite rock band, actually, my favourite band.
So on Saturday, the 12 of December, a surprisingly rainy day for the time of year in the southern hemisphere. I started my journey. Waking up at 4 to leave just before 5. The first two hours were chilly but I was welcomed with a spectacle of the sun rising from the ocean. Something that remains breathtaking.
I obviously needed to take the back road to the city as the highway is not meant for a “Fred”. It was then that I discovered how different something could be even though it is usually 200m parallel from each other. The bridge that had a height of 140 metres (460 ft) and a width of 198.10 metres (649.9 ft) on the highway was a 3 metre (9,8 ft) high bridge with a length of about 20 metres (65,6 ft).
I crossed through a variety of trees, bushes and farms along the way. Although I went very far from home I still felt rather safe until the very end of the trip when I came across a small village, so I just cycled faster. Through it all I made it through the pain and rain. When I finally made it to the city I was delighted. It felt as though I was finished. I could see the CD appearing before me and the joy it would bring to me whenever I played it.
When I made it to the mall I walked around looking for the store that would have the CD. It turns out that mall didn’t even have that store. But not to worry, the other shop might have it. So I made my way there and requested for the CD. To my demise I was informed that they were out of stock. So with that in mind I was slightly upset and headed to the grocery store for an energy boost for the trip back. With no souvenir in hand other than an energy bar and one of those immune-boost drinks, I headed outside to my bicycle. It was pouring at that time. If I was in a movie I would be at the point of it where something goes wrong and I’m having a bad day with the cliché rain pouring down on me. But I looked at the bright side. I made it this far, no one stole my bicycle and the next day was Sunday so I can sleep all day.
The trip back was exactly the same, just in the other direction and with a lot less energy. But I managed to endure the pain.
When finally arriving at home late afternoon I felt a sense of victory. It was more than twice as far as I’ve ever cycled before. I learned a lot of myself and through the small things I was shown hope for the future, the confirmation of love of my maker and the peace knowing that I will be protected in the presence of my enemies.
I know that I can do all things through Christ who harnesses my strength. Nothing is impossible through Him. If you have a dream, try your best to achieve it, you might surprise yourself.
And yes, there will be another adventure. Much greater than this. So wait for August to read of the next challenge.