Contentedness on the Range

In the time leading up to this cross country ride, I was bombarded with stories, pictures, videos, and all sorts of media that, as a whole,led me to create an abstract idea of what riding with the Illini 4000 would be like. And, for months on end, this abstraction was something I clung to. At times, it was solely a source of excitement. Occasionally, it seemed like the only thing that made going about my daily routine doable. Either way, though, at these times, what I believed in was still distant, remote, and just the sum of anecdotes and photographs. Quite recently, I began to reflect on how I felt leading up to the ride, and I was reminded of my abstraction and how it made me feel. This small bit of reminiscence did much more than that, however. It also allowed me to be more perspicacious about how my expectations were affecting my behavior day in and day out on the ride. What I found was that, in the beginning, I had an idea of what I thought places would look like, notions of how my time would be spent. With this said, though, I am satisfied to say that I can’t recognize the point at which I no longer had any sense of expectation when I woke up in the morning. Simply put, I find that I have finally begun to understand that each day of this trip is unique, and that no matter what preconceived notions I may have had, I am bound to be both a passive recipient of surprise as well as a dynamic force in shaping my own experience. And accordingly, I have never been so prepared to allow my eyes to widen and my legs to pedal.

Comments (3)
  • Gayle Winters says:

    Connor, riding a bike across America most certainly gives you a perspective like none other. Being able to slow down and take the time to witness the beautiful lands and generous people in America…PRICELESS!

  • Nancy Replogle says:

    Connor, it sounds like you are soaking it all in — not many people get the chance to experience an adventure like yours This is truly special! It is good to hear that you creating many new pages of memories in your book of life. Enjoy the rest of your ride!

  • Mollie Rapp says:

    A blog! And, as expected, it was said a little more eloquently than the texts. I’m proud of you buddy! I am looking forward to your blog that documents the bathrooms across America. I’ll keep you updated on Selena. Miss you! Love you bud!

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