Our homecoming back to the US was not exactly what we had in mind. We were expecting to hit the ground running as we had a big expedition race to put on and then a few weeks later we were to go to Canada to compete in my first expedition since the birth of Revel. However, like everyone around the globe our plans for the future were halted abruptly with no idea when anything would re open.
Uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty, fear and grief started to rush in and I didn’t know how to deal with them. For about a week both Jason and I were glued to our computers at any free moment. After putting the kids to bed, we would stay up late reading each other numbers, news updates and more. It was very, very exhausting. In late March, we announced the cancelation/postponement our Expedition Race, a race that had taken up most of our year with preparation, route setting and logistics. The race was sold out, and we were tremendously excited about it. In the days that followed we hit a big time low. While we knew it was the right thing to do, we were both devastated. We let ourselves grieve in our own ways for a few days. Jason played video games and got even deeper into the news. And I tried to run away by quickly latching on to another Acro project. However, after a few days of promoting it, I could tell it was not the right time. Among other reasons, it felt rushed, and it was making me even more anxious.
Jason suggested, “Babe, let’s chill and focus on staying healthy and having fun with our boys. This can be a blessing in disguise. This is our pause, our time to reconstruct our values “
As usual when it comes to these things, Jason was right.
Thanks to our background in adventure racing, we’ve become somewhat adept at navigating highs and lows, uncertainty, getting lost and then finding our way. To make it and really thrive in this sport, you HAVE to be adaptable if you want to make it to the finish line. So, that is exactly what we did. With no end to the shut down in sight and with everything canceled (races, teaching trainings, coaching, team camp, etc) AND child care gone, we made new plans and new goals. Every day we would do the Daily, a 20 minute workout program that we started years ago on FB (eternal thanks to those that kept it alive in our absence!), everyday we would take turns going outside to enjoy nature somehow and do a bit of acro, once a week we would each have a full day to ourselves, and at least once a week we would go camping and explore new places close to home. And instead of training for a big race, we replaced it with a new goal: bike packing the Oregon Outback Trail as a family. It would be every bit as logistically challenging as an expedition race, and the teamwork required…well lets just say it will be a bit of a relief to be able to pick up a screaming, hungry and whiney teammate and just put them in the stroller. We don’t usually get that option in our normal events!
Since starting this plan of ours, we have seen a major shift in our relationship to each other, our boys and ourselves. While it’s been hard not training for an actual race, our new big goal of bikepacking 350 miles with the boys has us training our legs, dialing in our gear, planning the route so that is CoVid safe, and every couple days we have been testing out our packing and camping set up by bikepacking somewhere with the boys. So far our longest day has been 60 miles with 3,000 feet of elevation gain. It was a LONG day, but so worth it. Our transition times (aka snack breaks) could use some work, but overall we find that the constant chatter and laughter from inside the chariot fuels us up many hills and our killer remote camping spots make it all worth it.
This week we are doing our last smaller bike mission before our big trip to dial all the rest of the bits and pieces like who’s going to carry the cook kit, what tent/ sleeping bags should we take, and how many cars does Max get to take. All the rest, we know will fall into place…. or rather we will make the best of it because that is what we do!
While I do still have bits of anxiety and grief come up around the future, I do not let it take a hold of me. Just as I did with Spirit B’s loss, Meditation, connecting to nature and having goals are a huge part of how I have been able to keep grounded and calm in the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty.
If you feel so inclined, please tell me, what are your new goals? Or if you need help finding your way during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
I’d love to hear from you.