By: Ethan Maurice
(Originally posted on crazyguyonabike.com)
I wrote the last post of my cross country ride journal on February 28th, 2014.
Today is October 25th, 2015 and 604 days have gone by without publishing this final post. I've put it off because I wanted to link this great new website idea I had at the end of the post. To allow the followers of Pedaling With Purpose to come along on my next adventure.
The problem was, it took me 604 days to get that idea right. To create something I felt was worth following up the success of Pedaling With Purpose with. I'd actually built a whole other website and deleted it when it was almost ready to go. It wasn't good enough...
Today, 604 days after writing it, the final journal post is going up where it belongs. About time.
A Final Note
Today is February 28th, it's been exactly 210 days since we finished our cross country bike ride in Astoria, OR.
Upon our return to Phoenix we did quite a few interviews for various media outlets as a final, big push for our fundraiser for Phoenix Children's Hospital. Rob, who took the stunning photos featured a couple posts back in this journal, put together an incredible video clip for 12 News Phoenix highlighting our trip and arrival at the Pacific, in addition to a full page article in the Arizona Republic Sunday Paper.
We had a huge welcome home party at which probably 200 people attended. The guy who Reid bought his Trek 520 from owned a catering business and called us up to let us know he followed along with the whole ride, thought what we did was incredible, and wanted to cater the whole party for us. Goodness continued to pour in for us. You get what you give.
I spent the fall and winter of this year slowly working my way through finishing out this journal. Coupled with an intense semester of classes in my senior year here at Northern Arizona University, it was slow going, but I wanted to complete the journal without taking any shortcuts. In January, I finally finished and the journal was featured here on Crazy Guy on a Bike, which made all the hard work on it more than worthwhile.
It would also be worth mentioning that last week, we presented one of those big checks to Phoenix Children's Hospital for a total of $96,281.24. Pedaling With Purpose was a success in every possible sense of the word.
My life has been slowly drifting back down into the unremarkable since returning home though. My bike still sits in the garage of my parents house back in Phoenix, sand from the beach of the Pacific can still be found between the rims and the worn, flat tires. Classes and studying have taken up most of my time. I work out at the gym four or five times a week with headphones on. The weekends are my release from the monotony of the hours tied to my notes and laptop memorizing information that will have no effect on my life besides the “A” I want printed on my college transcripts.
My life situation may not have changed all that much, but I have. There is a void inside me that this experience once filled. Every second of memorizing the structure of amino acids for biochemistry absolutely kills me. As I stare at my notes I cannot help my mind wandering off to some specific place or experience on our ride. I would venture to say that although I'm more than 6 months out from the ride ending, it still consumes a third of my thoughts throughout the day. The old, pre-ride life, which I still inhabit until my graduation this May is no longer good enough for me. I crave adventure, excitement, and need something meaningful to put my all my efforts towards. Normalcy will no longer cut it, I need to live at that higher level now. I've had a taste. All I can think about is getting back to it.
I miss the simplicity of the road, the openness of the country, the scorching hot days in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains where not a single square foot of shade could be found, the headwinds we fought, the tailwinds that propelled us, the days we rode over 100 miles, the meditative state of riding down an empty road with complete disconnect from the internet, but most of all I miss the sense of purpose. I worked so hard on Pedaling With Purpose and loved every second of it. Whether it was asking a website to donate stickers to our cause, speaking into a camera, or losing 5,000ft in elevation coming off the Cascades, I was so happy. It was my dream I was working towards and as long as I was working on making it a reality, nothing could bring me down.
So whats next for me?
Well, major growth requires a leap of faith. I took that leap August 4th, 2012 when I made the decision to make Pedaling With Purpose and this cross country bicycle ride a reality. I decided there was no going back, only on and through to the other side. Well, I'm here on the other side and now it's time to do it again. So why not make a public declaration of my leap of faith here and now?
I want to be extraordinary. I want to continue giving back and I want to inspire the world. Upon graduating in May, I'm going to begin a life of adventure and purpose. I'm going to start a website about living your dreams in which I will write articles, share living out more of my own, and helping others achieve theirs.
My first project will be to backpack the John Muir Trail with my younger sister Haley this summer to raise money to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. It will be a continuation of the extreme endurance/adventure style fundraising that Reid and I fell in love with this summer. Haley has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for seven years now. She has walked for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) raising money to research for a cure ever since being diagnosed. I told her that I was going to hike the John Muir Trail back in January and she exploded with enthusiasm and ideas of us going backpacking together and raising money for the cause she is ever so passionate about.
We've only got one life to live on this earth. There is no redo or second chance, every second of every day, you're writing your own history. Join me, and let's write something worthwhile:
[INSERT LINK HERE]
*After 604 days, I've finally come up with something worthwhile to fill in the empty [insert link here] space. It's an unconventional website about life, adventure, fitness, and creating one's own path. I call it The Living Theory. Check it out. If you've enjoyed this blog, you'll like this too: