It’s hard to believe that I finished my 730km solo ride of the Waterfront Trail a few weeks ago. When one has the opportunity to spend several hours a day in nature and in the solidarity of their own mind, there is a lot of room for growing, processing, digesting, and evaluating of one’s life and of life itself. At least this was true for me.
I can’t really tell you why I chose to complete this ride, although I have been drawn to the Waterfront Trail since I was a child. I was always fascinated by how far-reaching it was. Completing it on a bike gave me a new-found appreciation for just how vast Lake Ontario is. From my bike, I was able to see my province from a new vantage point. And I loved it.
The adventure was enriched with stunning views of Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River. The water remained constant and yet the view was always different. At times I was in complete awe of the sights that I would stumble across. One moment I would be in an industrial area, and then a sudden turn of a corner and there were beautiful bluffs overlooking the early morning sun.
The journey wasn’t always easy. The days were humid, there were often impending threats of thunder (and hail!), mosquitoes, flat tires, exhaustion, loneliness, isolation, and the turning wheels of my own mind which all served as various challenges along the way.
Navigating the trail served as its own challenge at times. Sometimes I saw the signs clearly. At other times, I felt lost, like I must be far from the trail, and was ready to turn back. I would search carefully and often realize that the signs were there but hidden by a tree, or that I needed to go a little farther around the next bend. Sometimes there were no signs at all, and I had to go with my own intuition.
It’s funny, because in life, I often struggle with feelings of “Am I on the right path?” “Am I making the right choices?” “Am I where I am supposed to be?” This trip made me realize that yes, yes, YES! Have faith. Keep going. I was going the right way. I was exactly where I needed to be. Don’t get caught up in the small details, there’s a bigger picture at play.
The more I could step back and let go and just trust myself, trust the universe, I realized that even if things didn’t make sense now, in a few moments they might (or might not, and that’s ok). A lot like life itself.
I learned to be with my own thoughts. I analyzed, ruminated, laughed, and cried my way through my gruelling 730km of my adventure. And the rest of the time, I simply learned how to be.
Perhaps what this trip taught me is simple. Be. Do. Have faith. Love yourself. Love others. And don’t waste a single moment of this epic adventure called life.
Simply Healthy, Simply Strong