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Fun or reality?

Sarah and I were having a discussion recently about our upcoming, 4,200 mile, cross country bicycle ride. Looking for some hope and assurance she said, "It's going to be fun!" At that moment Sarah's description did not comport with my reality. I was drawing from a resource of personal experience having cycled the west coast from Canada to Los Angeles. Fun was not the word of choice when describing that trip. But with the tenderness of a flank steak and an overwhelming gift of seizing the moment, I offered some great words of encouragement, "I wouldn't call it fun but more of an amazing experience." Suddenly I was faced with one of those should'a, would'a, could'a moments. But now we were heading downhill fast while trying to apply the brakes. You all intuitively know it as code for an argument.

For years my dream trip has been to cycle from Alaska to Florida. Initially I thought I would do it solo because Sarah was not keen on riding bikes. But then it all changed when we began riding a tandem bike together. Sarah was showing little interest in my dream trip and for good reason, yet to her credit, she offered many different scenarios to try and accommodate the both of us. That's when the cross country trip was born and we both warmed up to the idea. To our surprise we have landed on a compromise and even though she has some concerns, I am so grateful that she is willing.

If you have never attempted such a journey, you don't know what you don't know. Have you ever been oversold on a movie or a restaurant or a hotel or a vacation or investment or whatever, only to be let down or frustrated? No one likes being sold a bill of goods whether intentional or not. But on a trip of this magnitude you don't want to find out that there is more that you should have known beforehand. And just like that, it flashed across my mind, she needs to know the whole truth but how do I tell her without scaring her off? Honestly, I have my own reservations about the trip. My challenge is how to prepare Sarah for what is sure to come and to reassure myself that we are going to find some fun in the midst of this amazing experience.

As we talked over the 4,200 mile journey, we came to the conclusion that fun will not be the overwhelming descriptor of the trip; but, it will be a journey that has all the potential of being amazing. Will there be moments of great fulfillment? Will there be some laughs? Will there be vistas and views and blue skies and places to pull over and drink in some cold water on a hot summer day? Will we feel spent and ready to quit at times? Will we meet great people and find incredible hospitality? Will our skills of problem solving be honed? Will we experience an unencumbered life for the moment? Will we see wildlife rarely seen? Will we be mesmerized by how big the world is and better yet how intricate God's creation is? Absolutely! But in addition to all that we hope to experience the sharpening of our one flesh relationship of 38 years into an even greater union. In reality, that will happen as we are forged through a three month long temper tandem (see home page).

Keep it rollin,



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