I spent the summer of 1996 in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area working for a small Financial Services firm as an intern. It wasn’t that I was so interested in one day moving to Minnesota as I was interested in spending the summer with a good friend. One of my friends from college had gotten a job up there and so I applied to a couple places the previous winter to work as an intern.
The company I worked for, Franke, Laurion and Stanley, had a tradition of riding in the MS 150. It was a bike ride that went for 150 miles from Duluth down to Blaine. We took a bus up there on Friday night and rode down over the course of the next two days. It was quite the adventure. They have many miles of nice biking paths in Minnesota, particularly on the route we went. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time riding on the highway as I recall. I didn’t have a very well equipped bike for the trip but I thought it would be a fun experience so I did it anyway. My tires were of the mountain bike variety rather than nice road tires. I exerted a bunch of extra energy, I’m sure, but it was a great way to get to know the people I would be working with that summer.
With just an average bike to ride there were times during the trip that I wondered what I was thinking signing up for this thing. But the next pit stop wasn’t too far away. Enjoy the day, enjoy the weather, enjoy the ride, I tell myself, and keep pedaling.
I was reminded of this adventure recently when I showed up for our early Monday morning prayer group and there was a bike leaning against the small shed on the property our church sits on. Next to it was a little pup tent. Turns out, there was a young man working his way on bike across the country. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to meet him or talk to him but I was hoping to pick his brain as to why he was doing that and what kinds of experiences he had encountered thus far. I don’t know exactly where he started from or where he was hoping to end up. I don’t know if he was traveling east to west or west to east.
But I admire people like that who take such opportunities when given the chance. Different opportunities come up all the time. Many of these we chose to shut the door on but for those opportunities we choose to take, we usually end up learning a lot from.
I Was Running
This reminds me of the scene in Forrest Gump (1994) when Forrest decides to “go for a little run.” He runs to the end of town, figures he might as well keep on going, then runs to the end of the county, then the end of the state and eventually across the country. He just runs back and forth across the country for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours…approximately.
I sometimes wonder what an experience like that would be like or hiking the Appalachian Trail or something similar.
This journey of life can sometimes get arduous. Maybe you’re getting “saddle sore” from the long ride. Maybe the goal is still a long way off. Keep pedaling. You will get there.
What experiences like this have you had? Maybe you’ve completed a triathlon or biked across the state or floated down the Mississippi. Tell us about it in the comments section.