When you go the extra mile, others will go the extra mile for you. From the guy riding a three-wheeled bike in Canterbury who invited me over for tea, to the sandwich shop owner who gave me a free plate of Focaccia to show me what Genoans typically eat, few things are more powerful than helping one another live out our dreams. The spirit of adventure is in all of us. Travel, especially international travel, is a NECESSITY for understanding the world, in so many ways. One thing I’ve learned from traveling is we are all more alike, than different. Different cultures, yes, but at our core we are universal: one humanity/humanness/one love. That’s why a smile & laughter is universal!
There have been many times out on the road where I’ve though, ‘Man, I am so ready to be home after this.’ But two days ago, I was walking along the boardwalk in Chiavari it hit me, that soon – too soon – I’m going to be back in my neighborhood Starbucks (with a book & journal) and wonder if this all really happened, or if it was all just a dream.
Great day off in Varigotti, best pizza and best tiramisu of my life! Biking through Cinque Terre National Park was breathtaking—both from the beauty and from the topography. Varigotti to Chiavari, and then Chiavari thru the seaside resort town Sestri Levante, and then up, up, up, to 615m for Passo del Branco, before plunging back to sea at Levanto. Then back to nearly 600m, and back down to seaside Manarola. I didn’t make it to all five of the villages in Cinque Terre—the main road follows the ridge of a mountain, and for each town you have to descend, and then come back up.
A friend had been to Manarola – an eclectic mix of honeymooning/anniversary-celebrating couples, tour bus groups, and “dirt-bag backpackers” as my guidebook says – and recommended I go there. I was not planning on staying there; once I saw the village, I couldn’t leave. Not until jumping off the cliff in the bay the following morning! In skiing, if it’s too steep you’re too old; in cliff jumping, if it’s too high, you’re too old. Jump now before you get any older!
Perfect morning view:
“Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations” –Ralph Charell.
I think God gives is dreams larger than our current capacity so that we can grow into those dreams. Before this trip the furthest I’d ridden a bike was 50 miles, one time—usually I would only ride 25 miles.
Still nursing the wicked sunburn from the Alps:
There is a line from Wedding Crashers where Owen Wilson says to a girl, “You know how we only use 10% of our brains? I think we only use 10% of our hearts.” I think we only use 10% of our physical ability. We must go beyond worn out, beyond what exhaustion, beyond what we think we can do. It’s not the miles that tire me out, it’s the mental part, it’s how we carry the load mentally. Reminds me of a ski shirt that says, Attitude Determines Altitude. the body will follow the mind. Pushing ourself physically is more than anything pushing ourself mentally—going beyond what we’re mentally accustomed to.
Sometimes people say, “You’re so lucky.” Well, I make my own luck. I made a decision to live life on my terms. Luck is simply when preparation meets opportunity—the harder I work the luckier I become. What a tragedy it would be if your number was called, some opportunity opened up, and you weren’t prepared. Don’t let anyone, or anything stand in your way, until you’ve reached the top. If there’s a wall, go over it, or around it, or break the goddam wall down. For example when the road is closed after climbing for 15km, because the road is gone after a landslide, just go around the fence. Thank you skiing for teaching me to duck Closed ropes/signs.
Often, I have to say no to having little league fun, so that I can have big-league fun.
We NEVER act in a way that is inconsistent with our self belief; if I believe I am a good athlete, my behavior will support that belief: I will go to the gym regularly, and eat healthy. If I believe I am funny, I will look for moments to interject humor or appreciate others’ humor.
You have within you more power than you know. It’s not about gaining more, adding more; it’s about drawing out your deepest desires, stomping out your deepest fears, realising fundamental values/beliefs.
Each of us was Born to Win. We all have it in us; we need to remember it, allow it to flourish, draw it out, and follow that spirit.
Give more of yourself to the world. The world needs fewer office clerks, more people willing to be bold, to overcome their fears, and live life full tilt.
If we have the courage to begin, we have the courage to succeed.
P.S. Going for the wild Italian look. In Manarola I got caught up in a bar-crawl of sorts with the youths from the village, April 30th is a tradition to loudly sing in the streets for families to give out bottles of wine. Unfortunately I don’t remember how to say, “Can I buy you a drink” in Italian.