To Have a Dream
“Dreams, if they’re any good, are always a little bit crazy” ~ Ray Charles
Ray ‘The Genius of Soul’ Charles. A man who would know about the ups and downs of success. He took chances and got just a little bit crazy at times. No role model in his recreational life, but he knew that dreams are hard work. They involve time. They involve failure. They involve all the nitty gritty parts that make a success story what it is. The long hours spent behind the piano. Putting in the time to make a story your own. True success stories are not overnight sensations.
After a month on the road, I know that there is a long way ahead. That there are places further off then I can even imagine. My 2,000km milestone is but a pin-drop in the scope of my dream ahead. There has been a lot of good times so far. I have met kind people and seen amazing sights. I’ve had hard days, felt that burn in my legs and broken personal bests. This week, shattering my old personal longest day of 138km over rolling hills with three tire punctures. Sometimes the hills bring me to my worst. Sometimes I shout at them as I struggle in crazy patterns all the way to their climax. But I always make it. I always push forward. There will always be bigger hills and lower valleys. My dream is always alive. It is always right there. I work at it everyday.
It is important to have dreams. They keep you moving forward to new goals. Always shoot for more than you think you can achieve. Big or small, dreams are what make you individual. Your dreams are unique. Even if they are just relegated to your Sunday evening lazy thoughts.
Over the past few weeks I have weaved my way along the river from Guilin to Guiyang. I powered up switchbacks all the way through the hills of Chongqing and enjoyed the relative break of pace from Chongqing to Chengdu. I was welcomed into people’s homes. I saw mountains that folded upon themselves. I camped. I stayed in run down places, dusty towns and hovels that crawled with bugs. I marvelled at the superior architectural innovation of Chongqing. I ate noodles, lots of spicy noodles. Smiled at the Pandas in Chengdu. And I relaxed a bit. Across five Chinese Provinces and counting.
Something I love the most while riding is watching the people go about about their daily business. Sometimes they catch my eye and other times I quietly go unnoticed. I prefer it that way. A man carrying his days work on his back with a basket. He struggles up a hill with the weight. As do I. He has made this commute hundreds of times. For me, it is my first. I see but a glimpse of his reality. A snapshot of his struggle.
Sometimes I imagine what may be going through people’s minds as I roll on by. Take the man with the heavy struggling basket. What is he thinking about? The days chores. The weight of his load. Maybe an upcoming event or something that an acquaintance said to him that was bothersome. A funny time. A happy moment. Dreaming of days end where he can relax. The moment where he kicks up his feet. Relaxing in ‘his’ chair. Most men have a chair. Most have a ‘spot’.
The man at this house had a ‘chair’
When you look at people as they wander through the days events, you realize how similar we really all are. Sure on the surface China is much different than Canada. The landscape, the busy morning markets, the aromas, the clickity-clack of a mahjong game and the incessant honking horns which pose to explode my last nerve. But underneath the end goals are similar. To have a moments peace. To be with family. To eat together. Laugh with some friends. To be happy. Throughout my travels I have been welcomed into so many homes. Each has their own nuances and craziness. None of us is perfect, but we all want the same basic things.
Now I prepare to tackle the hardest section of my journey to date. To the west of Chengdu lays a series of huge mountains and a road that will make me work harder than ever. The first section of the trip that I have been worried about so far. Open spaces that pose to swallow me up. I’ll be but a speck in the shadow of the mountains and grassland. The Tibetan culture stretches further than just the Tibetan territory and I look forward to exploring it in Western Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu Provinces.
A friend e-mailed me recently regarding the intense physical struggle long distance cycling entails. In his message he wrote simply, “The legs feed the wolf.”
I intend on feeding that wolf.
***I would like to thank everyone who has donated recently to my Charity with ‘Free the Children’. Your amazing contributions have brought us to over $7,500! I will be posting a deadline goal for the remaining $2,500 to contribute to the schoolhouse in Guang Ming, China. Thank you to all the amazing people that have helped make this dream a reality. Pictures and updates to follow. We are almost there!
To donate please click ‘HERE’.
Posted on August 11, 2014, in Adventure, Around the World, Charity, China, Cycling, Inspiration, Motivation, Thoughts, Travel and tagged Around the World, Beautiful, Bicycle, Challenge, Chengdu, China, Chongqing, Cycling, Dreams, fun, Guizhou, Inspiration, motivation, Mountains, Sichuan, Travel, Travelpics. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.