By know we all know that all the preparation in the world won’t prepare us for every situation. Nor is it the preferred way to live life – trying to control the outcome of your every move. We tried to be mindful about not over preparing but some amount of risk management and training was required before we set off in order to boost our overall enjoyment of the adventure. We both took courses to hone our riding skills on and off road. Accumulated and tested gear we thought we’d need. Prepared our bikes ready with tune ups and new tires. Shal bought a new bike three weeks before we were set to leave because she knew it would improve her experience. Steph got certified as a Wilderness EMT, and Shal became a Wilderness First Responder. Weeks before departure we both incurred injuries. Steph sliced into her index finger while cutting into an avocado resulting in six stitches and a severed nerve. Shal sprained her knee sliding turns during dirt bike training. Nothing like an impending trip to boost your rehab discipline!
Our pillow talk turned to what we each wanted out of this trip.
In addition to the pure pleasure of it all, we wanted this shared journey to inform and deepen our connection to ourselves, the world around us, and to each other. In the comfort of our nice cushy bed we said we would try our best to commit to good communication skills while on the trip…from being open and honest about our fears, really listening to each other, and promising to not argue over our headsets. Riding down the freeway in the freezing rain while lost, tired, and hungry definitely puts those ideals to the test!
We get a long great. We really do. Nine times out of ten an argument is caused by one us being stressed and not being able, or willing to acknowledge it. We both have a tendency to want to be braver than we actually are. This is something we are working on and getting much better at expressing our fears and needs. It does wonders, for our relationship and keeps us safer.