Sunday, October 24, 2010


posted by Danni

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of seeing Scott for the first time since his return from Spain. We discussed his trip at great length, including talking about the 'rocky' start. (You read the blog - bad trails, bad weather, too many flies, etc.) I commented that after the 3rd or 4th day of such bad conditions, I would have decided to ship the bike back, do the route via public transportation, and take more time to see the sights in each of the villages. His response to me was, "We're not quitters!" OUCH!! Since then, this comment has been weighing heavily on my mind. I mean, I normally don't think of myself as a quitter.

However, the very next day I dropped out of the weekly upright group ride. I wasn't feeling 100% that morning and I had a lot of studying to do for a class on Saturday, so I called to say I wasn't going to join the ride. Afterwards, while driving my daughter to school in Concord, I was so completely struck by the beauty of the vibrant fall colors against the cloudy, gray sky that I changed my mind. I called the ride leader to say I would be joining the ride after all.

The ride was extremely hilly with a lot of very intense uphill climbs. I found that I was working so hard that I wasn't really looking at the beauty around me, which was my primary objective for doing the ride. I started to get more and more grumpy as I realized that, for the first time ever, I wasn't having fun on my bike. So, 10 miles into the 24 mile ride when I got to a major street that I knew, I made the decision to find my own way back to the start of the ride. I informed the ride leader and set off on my own.

I turned the corner, reprogrammed my GPS, turned on my music (I'm not allowed to listen with headphones on the group rides) and started off in my new direction. Immediately my experience changed. The road was only moderately hilly, the scenery was gorgeous, the music was energizing, and I was able to ride as fast or as slow as I pleased. I was having a WONDERFUL ride.

Later that day I had the chance to download the data from my GPS to my computer. I compared the original route to the route I ended up taking. It turns out my ride took me through much more conservation land than the original ride plan. I believe I had the prettier ride!

After this experience I reconsidered the question of quitting. Should deviating from the original plan always be considered quitting? I think I've decided that it has everything to do with the original goal of the endeavor. In the case of my aborted upright ride, my goal was to see beautiful scenery. My deviation from the original plan was not quitting but, instead, changing the plan to fulfill my personal goal for the endeavor. As for Scott and Barb in Spain, they set off with the goal of doing the pilgrimage. If they had given up it would, indeed, have been quitting.

So I've decided that I am not a quitter - it’s just that my typical vacation goals vary quite a bit from Scott's vacation goals. I, like Scott, tend to take outdoor adventure vacations. I travel to atypical, non-touristy places like Honduras and, even scarier, Belgium! However, for me, vacations are sacred. My goal for vacations is always the same; enjoy myself as much as is humanly possible, pretty much 100% of the time. To that end, although I love my friend Scott dearly, I don't think we will be taking vacations together any time soon ;-)

Happy Travels,


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