I am fortunate.
I have so many fans out there strewn across this land that their collective power is often the only thing keeping me walking steadily forward along my path.
I know this, and I thank them all from the very depths of my soul.
there's a concept I wrote about last year when discussing lotoja: you have to do this ride by yourself---no one can do it for you---but you also are never really alone while you're doing it.
a paradox, isn't it?
besides the obvious times when I was benefiting from someone else's draft, I was always drawing from a universal energy that rests inside me only because it was gifted by others.
the only kind of islands we are is the kind that connect below the water's surface, land formations spreading far and wide in support of the small isles that stretch skyward above the shoreline.
we are simply an archipelago, irrevocably woven together though we appear to stand alone.
part of my archipelago offered up some words of wisdom today, as I was bemoaning my disheartening ride last saturday and its seemingly far-reaching ramifications.
these words were written and voiced almost 100 years ago, long before anyone dreamed of riding a bike across 3 states in 1 day just because they could.
but these words support anyone who has ever dared reach further than they thought they could, who has ever pushed when they didn't quite believe it possible, who has ever tried and possibly succeeded but just as possibly failed.
and I pass these words along because we all need the support and encouragement that comes from interconnecting roots and shared foundations.
thanks john, and thanks, theodore:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt, "The Man in the Arena Speech" at the Sorbonne, Paris, France, April 23, 1910.