There is a difference between young and old. Though we are not the fittest people in the world, Laura and I were able to defeat the Silver Comet Trail on a mountain bicycle with no prior training just because we are at the peak of youth hood, or so they say. Laura brought this point up late in the ride. Our couchsurfing friend, Megan, picked us up 9.5 miles past the border of Alabama, exclaiming, “Yall rode 72 miles on FAT TIRES?” Another part of being young is making semi-ridiculous, maybe stupid, decisions. This debacle definitely falls into the semi-ridiculous/stupid category.
Another conclusion I came to on this journey is that people can do so much more than they believe is possible… not to sound cheesy, but it’s true. This does not only apply to physical feats, but intellectual, musical, social situations apply as well. The other day, I began learning Comptine d’un autre ete on the piano. I haven’t taken piano in years and was never very good when I did, but I forced myself to focus and enjoy what I was doing and it came to me much more easily than I would have thought. Most things in life are determined by the amount of motivation and what sort of attitude a person has.
After a nice night of sleep on couches, Laura and I awoke to the realization that it may be past the point of insanity to attempt a repeat of the day before. (Dad, you may want to stop reading now). Our first thought was hitch hiking, but we soon found out that there was only a slim chance that we could find a combination of someone going toward Atlanta plus being able to take our bikes. There was a moment when Laura looked across the breakfast table and asked, “So, how valuable are these bikes to you…?” Megan found that amusing. Our hope rose when Megan enlightened us about a train to Atlanta leaving at four o’clock. That glimmer of optimism was swiftly smashed when we called and they informed us that we would not be permitted to bring our bikes on the train. The thought of getting back on those bikes made our backsides ache, so we kept brainstorming. Finally we decided to ask some of my college friends in Rome if they would like to take a little road trip to rescue us. Some of the most genuine people I know, Ann Christian and David, dropped everything to see that we made it home safely. They showed us one of the greatest forms of love, which is sacrifice, and I am so blessed to count them as friends.