I am woman.
This is what I say in my head as a picture my semi-athletic body biking down the west coast, or even just biking up one of these monster hills in Seattle. I also picture myself flexing a pretend arm muscle and grimacing at a crowd of awed spectators. Or grimacing as my bike topples over into a heap.
Surely what I am about to do, bike 450 miles, is an impressive adventure that I am aloud to brag about. This is the first time in my life I have been able to confidently describe myself as an athlete. It’s a simple word to most people who picture themselves on middle school basketball teams or wearing those gym shorts with the word “athletic” printed down the side.
I never earned a pair of those shorts for playing sports, I just sneaked them out of by brothers clean laundry basket. But here I am in Seattle, Washington typing away on a Dell computer in the basement of a public Library, preparing my mind for this new adventure.
The thought keeps coming back to me, it’s about time I do something difficult. I want to earn the bike shorts I purchased, I want to participate in a goal bigger than my own comfort.
To start, I left my laptop at home, this will be the longest period of time since 2010 that I have gone without my computer. It seems like a silly sacrifice, but for me it means slowing down my thoughts to the speed of a pen. I think it will be good for me, obviously I could not resist typing every thought up the minute I found a computer.
Technology consumes my life, it’s the center of my career, my hobbies, my lifestyle. Disconnecting for a few weeks will be a bizarre but needed cleanse.
I don’t know fully what to expect out of this experience, biking from Seattle to Portland but I desperately want to discover something. Anything, maybe a new island, or type of mushroom. But more importantly something about myself or about International Justice Mission or perhaps about God.
I want to be open to the potentials of discovery.
In a notebook I have written down some predictions for the next week, but so as not to jinx myself, I will wait to tell you until I finish.
This is the thought in my head as I mount my bike this weekend:
“In a world where people believe they are not hungry, we must not offer food but rather an aroma that helps them desire the food that we cannot provide. We are a people who are born from a response to hints of the divine. Not only this, but we must embrace the idea that we are also called to be hints of the divine.” – Peter Rollins