These things always start simply enough…

High Above Telluride, Colorado

Image via Wikipedia

This was certainly no exception. A short email from my friend Dave that said, “We’re going on a little bike ride. Want to come?” In this case, the little ride was a little over 200 miles and five days long. At 11,000 feet. Starting in Telluride, Colorado and heading west toward Moab, Utah. Did I want to go? You bet your ass, I did.

Only one little problem: We leave in 30 days.

The trip is one offered by San Juan Huts and is pretty ingenious. They have modest but stocked huts spaced about 30 miles apart up in the mountains. Starting in Telluride, you climb up into the peaks and start the trek. Each night you stay in one of the cabins, each morning you set out for the next one. Five days later (or seven, if you’re taking the longer trip) you ride out of the mountains tired, recharged, and very likely anxious to do the whole thing again.

All of this sounds absolutely perfect, except that I haven’t been on my bike for a decent ride in months. So can I be ready for this in 30 days? I guess we’ll see, because I’m definitely in. (I have to admit I’m at least a little inspired by my friend John White, who set out to pedal from San Diego to Hilton Head with little more than a few hours in the saddle and the sheer audacity that he could do it. Well, that and an aching sense of mid-life crisis, I think.)

I started riding in earnest a couple of days ago. This morning I went out for a little 20-miler from the house up to the end of the Monon Trail near 171st Street. Going to need to find a way to get a lot more saddle time and some trails rides in pretty quick!

If you’re interested (that is likely only you, Mom and Dad), you can keep track of the training schedule and, if you like, read a little more about the trip.

If you’re reading this, you probably agree. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Today’s #trust30 prompt is:

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

This may be one of the most thought-provoking things I’ve encountered and, I confess, I’m having a difficult time coming up with an answer. The problem isn’t coming up with things in which I strongly believe; the difficulty lies in finding one that my family and friends don’t share. But isn’t that the way of the world?

I believe, and I think my friends and family would agree, that our beliefs are what bring us together. I would have lots of acquaintances and friends who may disagree on a whole bevy of issues, but on the core issues– the closely held beliefs that essentially define who we are– we’re much more likely to be the same than vastly different.

In the spirit of the exercise, I’ll tell you a few of my beliefs and you can let me know if you disagree:

  • I believe the exuberance of youth is enhanced (not quashed) by the wisdom of experience.
  • I believe as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another man.
  • I believe that open, honest communication– even if it hurts– is better than the alternative.
  • I believe your future is only limited by the limits you place on yourself.
  • I believe in the power of dreams.
  • I believe we should help each other, not for the purpose of some future recompense, but because it’s the right thing to do.
  • I believe God formed you in the womb to be the person that you are and parents should follow the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.”

I’m sure there are others, but these are on my mind right now… What do you think?

#trust30 on Twitter; on the web; on my mind.