There is so much I want to write about, but one continuous thought that has stuck with me is the concept of mind over matter.
I think about this concept a lot, as I not only see the connection of the two, but also the rivalry
between them. At the beginning of the trip I found myself mentally prepared (which I did not
expect), while my body slowly worked (and continues) to catch up. I have faced many physical
challenges and am overcoming them as we go, usually during hills or when we need to get
those last 15 miles during a 65+ mile day.
Now, as my body gets stronger with every ride and realizes sore quads, calves, and hamstrings are a regular thing, I now face another challenge:
THE MIND! I knew it was bound to happen, but I didn’t expect it to be so hard. My body is, for
the most part, able to keep up. However, during the longer, flatter days of riding, my mind
wanders, gets bored, and with the sun beaming down on us, it is ready to give up. Yesterday on
a 75-mile day, I faced a big mental block. The heat was getting to me, and what made it worse
was seeing the same road go on forever, knowing we had to ride more than 10 miles on it. Right
there I wanted to stop.
With this, another thought that has stuck with me during the past two weeks came to mind. It
keeps me going at keeps me going more than anything: the importance of teamwork. I could not
do this without the Dream Team, and I love how we conquer challenges together. When I hit
that mental block and was ready to give up, they already knew!
“How are you doing?”
“Just keep going. You got this.”
“Let us know when you need a break.”
“We’re almost there. You got this. You’re strong, Isabel!”
This was from a different day (80 miles) but they were my favorite motivational words from
Dorothy: “Just think about the ice cold water, ice popsicles, food, and showers we'll have
While it may sound simple, it is exactly what gets me through. I know I can count on them and
they can always count on me. And thanks to them, I have overcome many mental blocks. It is
a great feeling to get past the moment I'm closest to giving up, for that last push makes me
stronger. Even if the motivation during the ride wasn't enough, there is always the happiest welcome at the homestay. I see the bikers who drove that day waving and receiving us with joy for completing the ride. That's when I know that while I'm incredibly tired, I am incredibly
accomplished, all thanks to them. We are in this together.
Thank you, Dream Team, for I could not do this without all of you!