When was the last time you considered yourself worthy and precious enough for a challenge?
This summer, I wanted to step outside of my norm and go on a solo adventure to get in touch with myself and reclaim the confidence and self-worth I had been letting get dusty on the shelf. I am a happy, active person in my everyday life but have a demanding job that can sometimes leave me weathered thin. Luckily it affords me the summers off. Early in the fall, I knew I wanted to plan an adventure that was rejuvenating and empowering for the
following summer. I also knew I wanted to do it alone.
I could think of no better option than a solo bike trip. My salary limited me to a domestic trip and after considering options, my heart was set on the west coast. Originally, I
planned to venture from Vancouver, BC to San Diego, CA. A few other variables were thrown my way and I ultimately altered my itinerary from Seattle to San Francisco. I had been to the two cities book-ending the trip, but nowhere in between. Guidebooks, trip
reviews, and blogs hailed the route as scenic, majestic, and diverse.
As the trip came closer and closer, I started to get equally nervous and excited. “What if you can’t do it?” I would ask myself, “But, what if you can?” the internal optimist in
me always countered. Still, the anxiety lingered.
I set out from Seattle with my best friend who would be accompanying me to Portland. From Portland, I had a vague plan of getting to the Oregon coast, but nothing really set in stone. My plans were uncharacteristically open, and I was ready to embrace everything I was about to experience.
My trip took me from Seattle to Portland to Tillamook and all the way down to San Francisco. Over 12 days I biked every day somewhere between 50 and 90 miles per day through pastoral farmland, coastal fog, sunny beaches, misty redwood forests, screaming traffic, and rolling vineyards. The scenery along the Oregon and California coasts was breathtaking and possessed some of the most stunning landscapes I have experienced.
Riding this route was as physically demanding as it was beautiful. Fueling myself through 800 miles of challenging and diverse terrain and weather was essential. I did so by eating healthy and hydrating with Cocogo.
Beyond the physical, the trip allowed me to discover my own strength. I set out with a plan to be fiercely independent in attempts to find out exactly what I was capable of and build up my own confidence. I would come to find that the most poignant moments indeed came in those unexpected times of personal strength, but they also came in moments with other people I had just met and found myself cautiously yet deeply trusting. I found myself simultaneously building my own confidence but also confidence in the goodness of people in this world. No matter what town I was in, people, I met people who went out of their way to assist me or others with problems, from cleats worn to the nub to assistance with disc brakes. While discovering my own power, I also saw the power of people to form positive, impactful communities, and realized that despite the suffering and despair we see everyday, goodwill and empathy is still the foundation of being human.
Biking the west coast gave me my mojo back, and I am grateful for the support I received not only on the road, but also through social media, including the SweatPink community. I encourage you to find and conquer a challenge of your own—you are indeed worthy and precious enough. I, and many others, will be here to cheer you on the entire time!