I myself am embarking on a new quest. You remember when I finished the Portland Marathon and when I rode my bike from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, Viet Nam. I cannot tell you exactly why I decided to marathon in Oregon and bike in a third world country, but I did; I did decide to do these things and I did do these things and consider each of these experiences highlights of my life. I am not athletic; not coordinated; not experienced; not a typical contender. But I love it nevertheless; and somehow I am compelled to do it. No telling why that is.
This time my quest will take me from Coast to Coast. I will walk the width of England, though the north of England. Starting in St. Bee's at the Irish Sea, down through the Lake District; across the Yorkshire Dales, on over the Yorkshire Moors and then drop into the North Sea at Robin Hood's Bay. Two hundred miles on foot. The route will be panoramic, spectacular, daunting and unforgettable. I will be doing the equivalent of a half-marathon every day for two weeks. Why am I doing this? The best answer I can come up with is this: because I can.
This time the quest will be quite different than before. I will have a partner. He will train with me and will walk with me. In the rain, through the holidays, in and out of busy times at work, over birthdays, anniversaries and funerals. Weaving the preparation for making my goal in and out of the everydays of life will find me with my buddy, my partner, my new co-conspirator. That will be quite different. He has never been to the UK.
He is athletic, accomplished and the age of my children. He is talky, sexy, quite good-looking; pretty much everything that I am not. He invited himself; in a startling moment that left me flat-footed, he penciled himself in on my quest. Why would he do this?
Turns out that like me, he is high-challenge. Like me, he is quintessentially curious. Like me, he works everyday at getting better. Like me, he's just trying to understand. Like me, he doesn't often meet people like himself.
Sam tells me that I am tough, (rugged?) and competitive. That is odd to me because I do not see myself in those terms at all. Rather I see myself as a good listener; a cream puff; a bookworm; a person you can rely on when you really need to. But I do admit that my children, who are all superb, accomplished athletes, get their mental game from me and the determination to win from me.
So there it is, I guess. I just wonder how old you have to be before the self-discovery in your life is over? Self-awareness is so overrated in my playbook. I'm only trying to get better.
The 'Kan EWA