Hello from Lincoln City, Oregon, a tourist and retirement community located on the Pacific coastline. I finally made it to the west coast, and the views in this town are breathtaking and have made the miles I rode well worth it. I can see why it’s a tourist attraction and why people choose to retire here. And I must admit after taking more than 3 years to get here I thought about putting down some roots and just staying here, but once again the uncharted road is calling out to me. So my stay here in Lincoln City will be brief.
After getting my tent set-up at the Devils Lake RV Park, I biked on over to the Pacific Ocean. Yes, I know I was camped right by this lake, but I wanted to dip my toes into that awesome ocean. It was an inspirational feeling. At that very moment in my life had I not already believed in God, I would have to believe in Him now for there is nothing greater than feeling this mighty ocean crash against your legs bathing them in its cool refreshing water. The salt smell in the air was euphoric. No way could I say this mighty ocean was not a creation of God.
I sat on the beach for several hours thinking about my life, my journey, and my family. I felt peace where peace hadn’t been for a while. I knew that the fatigue of riding these past 2,190 miles had taken its toll on me, but now sitting here seeing the Pacific Ocean made all that fatigue melt away. I had accomplished something I never had been able to do before. So many diets I’d been on, so many attempts to make exercise a part of my life and yet each time I found that my lazy side would win. But here I am, sitting on this beach knowing that I had just made it the first leg of this trip I started over 3 years ago, a trip that was supposed to help me lose the weight that doctor of mine had said made me a candidate for weight reduction surgery.
Okay, so I’m already delving into my real life as I talk about my doctor recommending me for lap band surgery. I’m sure he meant well with his sage advice, but I know that most of those drastic weight surgeries give one a quick fix, but doesn’t allow the brain to recognize that the body has lost a bunch of weight. At my age my mind is confused enough I didn’t need to add in quick weight loss to add to the confusion. Besides I have still managed to shed over 30 pounds.
And I know that this ride has not only helped me lose weight, it’s helped me through a lot of other life issues. I no longer argue with my mother about the number of beers she’d like to have each day, but rather I simply tell her “this is how many you get.” It irritates her that I won’t raise my voice giving her the opportunity to argue back and blame me for starting a fight. When one remains calm with someone who is angry, it’s hard for the angry person to stay angry.
I guess that’s why so many counselors are so calm when they are counseling someone, much like our wonderful Life Connections counselors at Catholic Charities. These women are such calming forces not only with the clients they see, but with day to day work issues. I’m blessed to know and be a part of each of their lives.
I’ve had people recently tell me how proud they are of me for staying dedicated to this ride, for caring for my mother, for taking on the whole process of writing a book about this journey I’m on all the while I’m working a full-time job. And I thank them all for their compliments, but really, isn’t this all just a part of life? Isn’t this what God wants us to be doing, to not take life for granted, to utilize the talents He’s given us, to be selfless with the way we live our lives? I don’t see anything I’ve done now or in the past as being any greater or lesser than anyone else on this fine earth. We all are just one big family of God and if my little blog stories help someone through a difficult time or if it can impart a smile on someone’s face then I feel I’ve accomplished a task given to me by God. Thank you all so much for following me on my journey as it has all been well worth the effort and as always, let’s keep going the distance.