This is the philosophy many Peace Corps and Cameroonians follow. In french they may say “C’est la vie” (That is life). In the United States we say it’s the 80/20 principle or “Perfect is the enemy of good.”
As I lay here in bed at 1:45 the morning of my trip many people ask me if I am ready. My answer? No. I am never ready… for anything. Hence the big pile of material still humped on the ground next to me or my last minute purchase of sunscreen even though 1 million and 1 people told me to buy it. My procrastination may drive people crazy, ahem my mother, but I look at it as I am spending more time with the people I love. Packing after dark when the TV has been turned off and stories have finished being told is my time to shine! Yes, I may be tired the next day, but I am alone by myself with my thoughts.
That is exactly what I am doing now. Sitting alone with my thoughts and writing them down for the world to read.
Am I ready? NO! However, I can tell you my mind is mentally prepared for what is facing me. The outpouring of support, well-wishes, kudos, and kind messages have blown me away. With as much positive energy and vibes being sent my way it will be difficult to think twice about biking #5000milesfor500scholars. Helping support the youth of Cameroon and their dreams is the main source of motivation I will dive into, but the aura of positivity will always be circling around me. When I leave Washington I will write about my hosts and the time spent, but for now I will tell you I have been humbled by the generosity of everyone.
Many of you may see the heading and think well that’s pretty negative. Yes, it could be, but it depends on how you feel and say the phrase. When was the last time you were running late for a meeting, spilt coffee, got in an accident, waited for someone to show up, missed a deadline? For me all of these have happened since January. Was it a bummer? Yes. Was I anxious? Yes. Now look at the results….I kept my job, I wore a different shirt which recieved many compliments, nobody was injured and the car is fine, I read began reading a book, and the report turned in was more in depth than it would had I not waited for a task to be complete.
For parents: How many times have you been late because of your toddler? How many times have you let your baby choose their clothes? Or allow them to complete an art project that isn’t perfect? Been puked or peed on? Again, all of these can bring out anxiety and foul moods, but if allowed and taken in good stride it made memories, boosted the child’s confidence, made him/her proud for completing a task, and brought your bond even closer. Sometimes there are days where nothing works, but eventually it will work out.
This philosophy is how I am tackling this journey. Through your support, youth in Cameroon, and knowimg there are going to be really really crappy days where nothing works, I know if I keep cycling and moving one pedal in front of the other I will complete my task and everything will work out.
Am I ready? No. Most likely you are not ready for life either, but how are you going to handle the days when nothing works?
So I don’t want to say I jinxed myself…. But I jinxed my self. 7 miles into my ride I tried to cross an intersection only to hear a dreaded noise of rubber being smashed between asphalt and the rim. A popped tire. I tried to patch it, but 3 holes later I gave up. I tried to remove to back tire but my wrench kept stripping on the second bolt. NOTHING IS WORKINGGGGG. My leisurely 4 hour drive is turning into a now 1+ hour tire change. Luckily, there was a home depot 1.5 miles away so I was able to push the bike there. After another 45 minutes I had the tire changed, pumped, and back on the road.
Time for the everything works out. 3 miles later I was on a road for 12 miles straight with nothing but train tracks to my right and beautiful spruce trees to my left. If the tire went flat there I would’ve been SOL. I couldn’t have picked a better spot for a flat to happen. I realized my tool didnt fit and I was able to test my batteries. I travelled 60.7 miles today and was all out on the large battery until it died with 20 miles to go. So I now know I can go roughly 40 miles all out on the large battery. I switched to the smaller battery and had a little juice left after the remaining 20miles. The route, however, did not have many hills the last 20miles. My legs are burning my, eyes are drooping and day 2 awaits me tomorrow
Here is my warm Showers feedback:
Sally and Bob were a wonderful introduction to WarmShowers. Getting a flat 7miles into the ride and putting me back an hour she was very patient. Upon arriving I was welcomed with a warm smile and fantastic tips. Dinner time was excellent as Bob’s running mate was a fellow Little Giant and we shared similar stories about Indiana. I could not have asked for a better first stay with warm showers
For more pictures follow me on instagram! Jrmoore165
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