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Crossroads

A friend we met in Dublin Ireland told us "you won't regret the chances you've taken, you will regret the ones you never took."

There are no guarantees in a world full of fun. But surely most guarantees are not very fun. And in reality, not much of anything is really guaranteed at all. The fear is always there. Doubt awaits at each crossroad. On day 5 of the Adventure, halfway up the Wicklow mountains, we succumbed to pushing our bikes for hours up the mountain side. The pitch was incredibly too steep to cycle with our fully loaded bicycles. I thought to myself, "Have I bit off more than I can chew?" I felt I might have made a terrible mistake. Again, another trip begun and I'm in question that I might be insane.

It didn't start gracefully either. Lydia and I shared numerous falls into the ditches climbing steep roads, exhaustion to the point of immobilization, being chased by dogs and the sorest back-sides we've ever known. The Universe looks out for us all though. The moment I quit pitying myself things turn around.

One evening we asked for a bottle of water and were invited in for steaks on the grill and a bed to sleep in. It really is hard to ask for anything because we chose this arduous task. There is an element of responsibility that comes with being a pioneer. One must carry the humility to rough it out some days and not be totally dependent on others when things get rocky. But just about when you think you're at wits ends you unknowingly pull up to an oasis. The trick is to not resist the rough and reach only for the comfort. Unfailingly the two oppositions will always wax and wane. The suffering comes from trying to clutch one and expel the other - simply because when you have what you want, the fear of losing it exists. And when you strive for your desires, you pain for what is not.

The balance of good and bad, relief and distress, or pleasure and pain is always in accordance. The joy of living through it all comes from acceptance. Suffering is always a result of not accepting what is. A good friend of mine always says, "you can be as happy as you want to be." Not by controlling what happens, but by accepting what does. We all have choices, so we are free to pursue whatever great or small endeavors we wish, but what the roads look like along the way is not up to us.


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