Writing January 2015. My editor gives me the look. The look he gives everyone who comes up with a lousy idea in a bid to try something new, edgy and different for the paper.
Editor: “Look Evelien, I admire your… ahm… creativity? But we’re not gonna turn you into a cross cyclist. Why the heck did you came up with that idea anyway?”
Me being deadly serious over here: “Because I want to challenge myself, write about every detail and make people think, push them to step out of their comfort zones. In which ever way they want to.”
Editor: “(shakes his head with a big male chauvinist grin on his face) Let’s not, okay?”
“Now, let’s ‘cycle’ (ha-ha)
back to the daily reality guys. There’s been a murder 40K away from here. The wife apparently stabbed her husband with a pair of scissors and then tried to commit suicide but failed. She is now in the hospital where … ” His voice blurred into the background where it eventually muted. I was in my head. My silent bubble. My turmoil.
My choice for becoming a cross cyclist came forward out of frustrated ambitions, melancholy and heartache.
I wanted to rise above myself. Reinvent myself. Be proud of something I achieved.
I felt so damn ordinary.
Stuck in a daily routine. One where no one seemed to allow me to break free.
Not on my terms at least…
I was a woman shouting in the desert.
The idea was so pure and simple. And many times commercialized throughout my childhood years. I’m a kid from the MTV generation. And all I wanted was to be Made.
But nobody seemed to listen.
I gave in. I decided it maybe wasn’t the time or place to become something else. That maybe they were right, and I should just go back to being normal. “Being normal is already crazy enough.”
… They should just execute people who dare to say that out loud.
A couple of months later I crashed. Hard.
I had become so restless, I just couldn’t walk away from it any more. It was the big elephant in the room. Stampeding. I was looking for so much more. But I didn’t know what exactly. Or where to begin at all. I was scared as fuck.
It’s like jumping into the deep blue without knowing you can swim. Or end up piranha bait.
So -as you loyal readers of the blog already know- I quit my job and bought a ticket out of here. The furthest place I could imagine. Australia. And see from there.
People blamed me I was running away from things. As if it was a bad thing.
But there are two ways to look at the picture here. What does an athlete do? Does he run away from the start? Or does he run towards the finish line?
In my head, yes, I was running away from something.
To run towards something else.
That made sense to me. And that’s all that mattered. No matter how tired I got of explaining myself to family, friends and coworkers.
On my travels I adapted a minimal lifestyle. I shared a shed with deadly spiders, slept in the passenger’s seat of a car, drove around the Sunshine Coast in a Mini Moke, kept the social encounters to a bare minimum, threw away clothes, insecurities and comfort zones. I let go. Trusted.
I read somewhere that people who trust things to faith are happier.
I ended up in China in a Kung Fu school to gain more self confidence and defensibility. Better reflexes too. I reached Japan and realized I was out of money. I worked with what I had. And the universe helped me out with the rest. My long travels brought me back to cycling this summer. I was back in the circus where I got hooked on adventure and fell in love with bicycles two years ago while I was working as a one-time Tour de France reporter. The cycle of life…
And the idea grew back on me.
I want to ride my bicycle.
And participate in amateur road races.
Starting now my life will be concentrated to two wheels. Almost two years too late. But better late than never.
The greatest ticket to freedom, excitement, endurance, self knowledge, and the occasional fall on the face.
A metaphor for life.
“You make every tomorrow faster by acting today. So even if you aren’t at the same level as everyone else, there’s only one way to get there and it’s by staying optimistic and giving it a go.”
(Ella Cycling Tips)
Let’s not kiss the asphalt on the first date. Nor the hood of a car. Or the side mirror of a big truck.
Note to self:
Stay on your bike.
BIG SALE /
They’re all out of fashion guys. I’ve stepped out of mine. People are stepping out of theirs. (Have you checked out srprs.me? It is the best invention ever!!! Well… Since the wheel, obviously. People are purchasing holidays without knowing where they’re going. I think I will treat myself to a surprise trip for my birthday this month!)
Why do we build up comfort zones? Materialistic ones and psychological ones?
Just think about all the junk you could get rid of. And how much you could actually gain from it.
Namasté all the way!
You: Ahm Evyy?… Aren’t you forgetting something?
You: Weren’t you supposed to tell us all about your new boyfriend you referred to on Facebook?
Me: … I just told you all about him.
You: (…) Is … Is your bike your new bf…?
Me: … Mmyes.
To be continued.