September 20, 2017 It is time to declare a tactical surrender. My journeys were built upon a premise of strength, balance, stability, and endurance. My forever companion, baseless optimism, backstopped these ideals. Now this companion has kindly exited. Every adventure had a pause-point where I was genuinely concerned for safety or plausibility. I doubt that I can swim more than a hundred yards yet I am paddling a mile from shore in the rain and wind. I know that I can’t maneuver my bike down a technical single-track yet I have to survive this path to finish my route. I have an overloaded bike at the bottom of a 12% grade. I feel my heartbeat on my forehead yet a mile long climb lies ahead.
There has always been a reserve of skill, strength, resolve, and luck. With skill and strength in decline, luck is revealed as a myth. Resolve, by itself, won’t cross the stormy waters or thread its way down a rocky trail. I’m pushing sixty-five and the reports from the engine room are alarming. The ship is taking on water and I’m low on coal. Barnacles grow thick on the hull. But there always is an anchorage. In safe harbor, I will chart a new course with lighter load, safer waypoints and a plausible destination. Might even invite a few more people on board.