I'm probably only going to only get one shot at this. To paraphrase the lyricist Eminem, "Lose yourself in the music.. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime..." I'm leaving for Virginia tomorrow; that means one more night on the town in Athens to celebrate the culmination of Junior year. Two thoughts linger in my mind as my focus fades from drinking this Lake Erie Monster (Great Lakes Brewing Co.). First, I'm grateful for not only being in the position in life to make this happen, but also grateful for all the events (good and bad) in my life that have made me aware enough to grab this moment as it passes.
There are many occurrences that have served as a prelude to this adventure. One in particular is burned in my memory. When I was 16, my dad took my brother and me on a trip out west. After touring the Hoover Dam we embarked on a tour down the Colorado River. At one point in the trip the guide pull up onto a bank to allow the guests to walk around. He mentioned that we were all welcome to take a dip in the river. It was something I will never forget. It was 110 degrees Farenheit (570 degrees Rankine) in the canyon that day. The river was a cool and apparently constant 55 degrees. This was probably the catalyst for the bike trip across America. Out of the 40 or 50 people that could have enjoyed how special that feeling was (the temperature change, the crystal clear Rocky Mountain snowmelt, the scenic river gorge), less than a handful jumped into the water to appreciate the moment, to lose themselves in the music. If so many people, who had traveled all this way, who thought they were seeing the true beauty of the world, missed it. What else were they missing?
The second thought, which by the time I've gotten to this point (the beers are 9.5% alcohol), has almost faded. I am so grateful for all of the support and positive feedback I have received from my friends. It really reaffirms your faith in humanity when people wish you well. It's even more motivating to have this much support.
I'm going to give this the 'old college try' and I promise if something is going to stop me on this trip it's going to be the loss of a leg or death itself. So if you don't hear from me for a couple of days and they find my body just off the side of some road in Kansas, tell them to put my ashes in the Pacific and give my Playstation controllers to Walsh.