Sunday, July 31, 2011

Perseverance and Passion

 It's been 18 days since I left the trip.  I've already gained back 9 of the pounds I had lost on the trip.  I am also still wearing the Desperation Conference wristband that I got the first day I arrived at that.  So what do you really take a hold of after spending 4 and half weeks on a bike riding half way across the country? The first thing I learned, by far, is perseverance.  Right from the get go, that first day of biking, your muscles already feel like quitting, but you have to just keep going.  Climbing up to Skykomish in the rain, wanting to stop as much as possible to warm up, but you have to just keep going.  Climbing up Stevens Pass as the temperature drops and snow is seen on the ground, wondering every pedal if you are any closer to the top, but you have to just keep going.  Biking 100 miles of hilly terrain, becoming delusional at the end, with your muscles shaking because of lack of energy, but you have to keep on going.  From 3 flat tires the next day, to getting lost the next, from going up 3 hills (one on gravel), to biking uphill in the heat, to biking through consecutive days of 80 miles in the wind, to having riding partners wanting to quit, to climbing 9,500 and 11,300 ft mountains, to crashing and having to get stitches, YOU HAVE TO JUST KEEP GOING.  Life isn't always going to be peaches and cream, in fact it might be lemons and cream (imagine with me that lemons and cream is the opposite of peaches and cream).  You might have obstacles that jump in your way, some that seem insurmountable, some that seem 11,300 ft in the air, but you can't give up.  Perseverance is the only way you are going to make it to your goal.

But it's hard to have perseverance for something you couldn't care less about.  so what is your passion? That's the other thing I learned most of all on this trip.  If you don't have passion for what you are doing, it is a lot easier for your mind to give in and give up.  Every day as I was riding was a different experience.  On mountain days, my passion was uphill climbing (that seems weird, but trust me, i love it!) so i bolted as fast as I could to the top of the summits and left nothing behind.  On flat, monotonous days, the passion that kept me going was God.  The fact that I was doing this bike ride for Him, and for His mission, was enough for me to keep pedaling, and pedaling, and hours of pedaling.  When the trip concluded, I got to cap it off in a very unique, awesome, inspiring, passionate, Desperate way!  The end of my trip concluded at the same time as the Desperation Conference in Colorado Springs started.  I was able to cap off a ride of desperate passion and perseverance with a conference that was all about being in desperate pursuit of God, of having no empty prayers, no singling lies, no token vows.  During every worship set, I saw a passion in the youth in that room to ignite a generation, to tell their friends, to change their schools, to change everyone around them and bring them to a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ.  That's our goal guys! "To go and make disciple of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. and sure I am with you always, even to the very end of the age."  Are you passionate about that? Are you desperate to pursue that goal?  or is that just something you skim over as you fruitlessly scan through the bible? If that is your passion, then persevere on!

"Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. " - 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." - Hebrews 10:23

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." -  Hebrews 12:1

"He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." - Revelation 3:5

So hold strong! Find your passion in the Lord, desperately pursue Him with all perseverance!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rabbit Ears named Berthoud

Segment 4: Where do I begin? (you get pictures this time)

Well Eastern Utah was pretty boring. After Salt Lake City we traveled over two 1500 ft mountain passes to get to the city of Heber which is a beautiful little place. Everyone got to swim in a crater hot springs. It was a delightful place. The city of Midway, nearby, is designed to imitate Switzerland. After Heber, we had 100 miles over a 2500 ft pass into the city of Roosevelt and then the next day we had 80 days into Dinosaur Colorado. pause. Did you say Dinosaur Colorado? yes, yes i did. A town of 300 people, 330 when we were there, where the main tourism attraction is Dinosaur National Monument. Other than that, the town is pretty boring. We got to celebrate a riveting 4th of July that night. (The lightning was a better show)

In Colorado, things began to look up (literally). We climbed gradually up to the city of Craig. We had a build day in Craig where we all seperated into 7 different groups and helped people with any thing they needed done to their houses. I picked "Scottie's" house for obvious reasons. Turned out Scottie is a grandma with a broken hip and leg. Wasnt expecting that one. We helped her oil her log cabin, mow her lawn, trim her tree, cut her firewood, weedwack, and various other small jobs. She was very thankful as she laughed it would have taken her twenty minutes to plug in the weedwacker. And I am officially a manly man now that I can axe wood. It's a pretty cool talent.

After Craig we started toward the Rockies where we climbed over Rabbit Ears pass at 9426 feet and then dropped back down to the city of Kremmling at 7000 ft. It was a very fun 94 mile day. During the day, we passed through Steamboat Springs where I grabbed a sweet little sticker at the tourist center. My bike is getting pretty covered. The next day we climbed even higher as we crossed over Berthoud Pass at 11,300 ft. If you want to visit sweet, awesome little towns, go to Winter Park. That place is the Beesnees. At the top of the pass, we were greeted with a torrential downpour of hail for 30 minutes, making us all scurry to the bathroom for shelter. Lets see, what else happened that day? OH, 6 miles away from Idaho Springs, I took a doozy of an accident where I dislocated my shoulder temporarily. After assessing the road rash, gashes, and getting my shoulder to move again, I carefully hopped on my bike and rolled the last 6 miles down hill to the church where I was taken to get 4 stitches in my left leg. That wasn't going to stop me from completing my last two rides though, so be sure in knowing that I rode the next day, 50 miles downhill into Downtown Denver, two blocks from the Capitol Building. Luckily, we had a day off in Denver which is a pretty cool city (Portland is still better though). And finally, yesterday, we biked to Colorado Springs in the wind, but it was well worth it as we descended toward Pikes Peak. This morning, I spent the sunrise at Garden of the Gods and got some sweet photos. Ill post those later so be looking forward to that.

Well, the trip is over. I traveled 1800 miles over 6 states, climbed at least 10 major mountain passes ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 ft elevation gains, struggled through wind, basked in the sun, persevered through painful crashes, lived up every city to the best of my potential, but most importantly, I had numerous spiritual conversations with people, and I helped families in need that desperately needed it, all to the glory of God. It's taught me a lot about myself! I will definitely write another post about all the things I've learned and experienced but that's for another time. Thanks so much to all of you helped pray, support, or read along the trip. I couldn't have done it without you! Thank you for helping taking part in this story in my life, and in the life of our Savior's work.

Until next time,. . .

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wind and Potatoes

There is a lot to catch up on! I must get right into this. I haven't had much time to write . . . well you'll figure out why

So we got to Yellowstone and had a day off exploring the park which was (wait for it) AMAZING!!! We saw like 250 Bison and even had a herd surrounding our van as carefully meandered down the street. It was crazy. We also got to see the beehive geyser (which is bigger than Old Faithful) and Old Faithful erupt while we were there. I was so close to the bee hive geyser that I got completely soaked. Turns out later you aren't supposed to stand under the water. whatever. We also got to drive out to the Yellowstone Canyon and check out the raging waterfalls there. Turns out, that's where the "yellow stone" is. I also started a tradition of putting stickers of all the cool places I've been on my bike. So if anyone has a Seattle sticker, or leavenworth sticker, or Spokane sticker, or Couer D'Alene Sticker or Missoula Sticker, you get the picture. let me know, it would be awesome if you could send that to me.

After leaving Yellowstone, the real fun began. We had 4 days in a row of 80 or more miles. The first day we biked into Rexburg and got the VIP treatment by one of the BYU-ID professors and his students. They made us dinner, gave us a tour of their brand spanking new renovated campus, even let me break the dress code and run on their track. Of course I went straight to my events. Turns out, I can still jump 5' 8" pretty easily with tennis shoes on. That surprised me. Oh and astonishingly, I got to weigh myself that day and every day sense. I thought, with eating 7000 calories a day, I would have maintained or gain weight, especially since I don't weigh very much arleady. False, I have lost 11 pounds since I first started. I found the secret guys, bike 70 miles a day!

Rexburg was hard to leave, especially after being treated so nicely. But Pocatello was awaiting us, and so was a 35 mph sustained headwind. 80 miles? try more like 100 with that wind. It was a terrible day. I felt like quitting. I couldn't breathe, I ran out of water every 5 seconds. It was miserable. That's really all there is to say about that. God got me through it and gave me strength and mental perseverance when i had none.

The next day was a 95 mile day into Utah, more specifically into Logan. I got to sweep that day because I wanted to relax. So i took it easy in the back. Fortunately, nothing bad happened with the riders and I was just able to ride. Although, there was a 55 mph wind at one point blowing us sideways. But Logan was a beautiful city! The church made us a huge baked potato bar with everything imaginable! (ironic that we didn't even touch a potato in Idaho) I didn't get to do much else in the city because I was so exhausted so I ended up just watching a movie with my friend and heading to bed at 8:30

And finally, yesterday, We biked the last part of the segment into Salt Lake City. It was quite possibly, one of the best days yet. There's nothing like riding into the Salt Lake mountains and having a gigantic lake to your right. There was even an 1000 ft mt pass that we climbed. I, of course, went as quickly as possible up the thing. I think we should have a polka dot jersey on this trip, as per the Tour de France. I love climbing mountains. Most of the rest of the day was biking through cities, since Salt Lake is so huge! When we got here ( at 2:20 pm i might add, we made good time ) we even had time to visit around the University of Utah campus.

We are planning on making the most of our day off today. Me and a friend or few will be walking around Downtown Salt Lake (where I can finally take pictures THANKS MOM) I have been dying to eat at Rio Cafe since we left Washington. So that is of course on the list. Other than that, thanks so much guys for supporting me and the fellow riders on this trip. We couldn't do it without your prayers.

If you would still like to donate to help me out in getting to Denver, click on one of the links in my last blog posts. I still really need monetary support to get to Denver in the next week. So far my support gets me as far as the Colorado Border and I just need about 300-400 more to get to Denver. Thanks so much for all of you who can. And if you would like something to pray for, please pray for a few of the friends I have met on this trip. They have never really had a relationship with Jesus from what I've come to know and I have been talking immensely with them about what it means to be a follower of Christ and the importance and priority that has in your life. There's been some great conversations. I'll keep you updated how things go with that.