"To every man, there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared and unqualified for the work that would be his finest hour. "
-Sir Winston Churchill, emailed to me by Billy Ricketts
"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway".
-John Wayne, emailed to me by Billy Ricketts
Four days to go if all goes as planned! Three states to go after tomorrow: Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine! Jonathan and I have been saying to one another all day, "We're going to Maine!"
Once again the wind beat us up today. It has no mercy. Relentless would be a good word for the wind here. Tim, the owner at Shamrock Motel & Cottages, told us this morning that the wind usually would be blowing in the other direction. That would be at our backs! For some reason it is at our faces all the time. But we still know The Master of the Wind and we can still thank him for the wind, whichever way it blows. One of the good things about the headwind is that it's a constant air conditioner blowing cool breeze over us all day long!
Shamrock Motel & Cottages was a great place for us to stay and get some rest. Jonathan, Margaret, and I decided to do just that this morning so we didn't begin today's ride until 11:00 A.M. This also gave us some time in our cottage to do some route changes, figure some mileage, and just sit. We did leave at 11 and by 6:30 P.M. Jonathan and I pedaled 73.97 miles and made it to our target on the map, Ticonderoga, New York. We are thrilled! According to our calculations we now have 250.3 miles to go. That's an average of 62.5 miles per day but we'll try to do more miles than that tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday so we can make Saturday a short and easy pedal.
New York sure is green and beautiful. I guess whenever most people think of New York they generally think of New York City, Times Square, Wall Street, and Broadway. Today's ride took us through a totally different New York with some absolutely beautiful scenery. I'm so glad we got to see New York from our bikes. I now have a whole new appreciation for the state. I'm especially impressed with the roads we've ridden and the drivers have been very kind as well. New York gets an A+ from me as part of this cross-country bike ride.
Yesterday was a tough day. I was worn out after 44.88 miles. Of course I did a dummy thing and didn't eat breakfast. Then the wind beat up on us and we met some tough climbs. As I said yesterday, we had considered taking the whole day today as a rest day but something inside of me wouldn't put up with that. When I set a goal I have a hard time "unsetting" it. Some would call me stubborn (Margaret) but I call myself determined. Either way, stubborn or determined, I would have had a hard time taking today off.
Even as Jonathan and I started today, I was hoping that this day would not produce the same results as yesterday. This morning had the same wind, more mountains, and more miles on the schedule so I was concerned. Starting at 11:00 didn't help either because we had less hours to pedal. I was glad and surprised when we covered the necessary miles to get us to Ticonderoga and we weren't worn out! As I pedaled today, several verses came to mind:
" . . . the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).
"'My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me" (2 Corinthians 12:9).
"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).
I can testify to that dying bodies thing. There were several times on the ride when I was sure the numbers on my heart monitor disappeared . . . went to all zeroes . . . flat-lined! Yesterday, I know I was dead man riding! But how could I ever neglect the spirit within me? If I had listened to my body I would have quit the second day of the ride when we were in the cold of snow-covered Washington Pass. My body told me I was finished yesterday but my spirit told my body to shut-up, quit belly-achin', and pedal! I'm a much stronger person in my spirit than I am in my body! That doesn't bother me at all because I've learned a great secret about all this muscle stuff and strength and pumping iron: I can't do much of it. So here's my secret, every weakness I've got is a receptacle to hold God's perfected strength. The more weaknesses I have the more of God's strength I can hold. It's a swap: God's perfect strength for my weakness. Who wouldn't want to make that swap?
Now when my weaknesses kick in and my body doesn't want to pedal, the spirit kicks in and says, "Just do it. The joy of the Lord is your strength. His power works best in your puny weaknesses."
If you're dealing with any weaknesses today. Just look at them as storage boxes for perfect
Then just do it!