August 11, 2015 Osoyoos, B.C. Luxuriating by the lake after finishing the WABDR.
I’m reflecting back on the event of my bike landing upside down on the edge of an embankment on a rugged jeep trail in 100-degree heat, off the beaten path of section 2 of the WABDR. Checkout the video of it all below. The scariest part was that we were low on water and the closest reliable water source was 6 miles away. This experience taught me a few life lessons and reminded me what I already know but chose not to practice for one reason or another.
WHERE ATTENTION GOES, ENERGY FLOWS
Do not, under any circumstance focus on the obstacles. In this case, the big rut to the left and the steep embankment to the right. I focused more on the embankment so of course that’s where I went. I know this, but apparently the fear was too enticing. I’m reminded of that scene in Bug’s Life when Harry the fly is uncontrollably attracted to the glowing blue light of the electric bug zapper? “I can’t help it, its so beautiful…” ZAP!
PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED
Don’t assume I’ll come across a water source just because there have been rivers and creeks all along the route. Carry more water than I think I’ll need.
Carry a recovery system when in the backcountry. Rope and pulleys might have given us a chance of pulling my bike up from the embankment. And perhaps one day I could help someone else in trouble.
TREAT YOUR BODY LIKE THE TEMPLE THAT IT IS
I’m stubborn and I sometimes take my health for granted. I was so focused on getting my bike out that I didn’t take a break in the 5 hours of strenuous work. Not one break. Even when it got dark it was still hard to call it quits. When it was time to gather gear to walk the 1/2 mile to set up camp I was confused, thirsty and depleted. That feeling caused me to panic.
ITS OK TO ASK FOR HELP
Everyone needs a hand sometime. I know I have caring and generous friends but there was something in me that resisted asking for help. I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. I moved through that belief and made a phone call. Several of our friends, and even strangers spent a good portion of their day to help us. People are good and want to help. Thank you Tad, Gaila, Ian, Greg, Phoenix, Richard, Amy, and Joe.
NOTHING IS “WRONG”
It is what it is. When I started to let go of the idea that my bike upside on an embankment was wrong, I could think more clearly on what to do to get it back on the road. Life will always have occurrences of unappealing events. Its my thoughts about those events that makes me uncomfortable – not the actual event.
FOCUS ON YOUR PARTNER’S STRENGTHS
My partner ROCKS! I got to witness a full range of Shal’s capabilities – she is strong, courageous and creative. The fact that she even got on the bike to attempt to ride it up the steep, soft embankment left me with my mouth open in awe. Believe me, we didn’t always see eye to eye during this stressful challenge but ultimately we were able to put aside our egos and focus on the teamwork that was required to do what we needed to do.
I’m sure I’ll forget these lessons from time to time but life will surely be interesting trying to practice them.
Check out the video of this event.