The Road Ahead

Hello, it’s been quite a while since I last posted on here; five months to be exact. Since I arrived in Denver at the tail end of summer, I’m sure you may have wondered if my journey was going to continue. The truth is that I wondered this myself, as I slipped into quite a depression over having to stop my journey so far from my destination. As I detailed in my previous entry, that decision didn’t come easy, but given the circumstances, I believe I made the right choice, as disappointing as it was.

That begs the question, of course, as to why I haven’t posted anything either here or on my Facebook in those five months. I hate to admit this, but I honestly was ashamed of “showing my face,” because I felt like a failure for stopping after only three months on the road; I haven’t even logged onto this website since October. I was mad at myself for not preparing more thoroughly, and not planning as much as I should. Sure, I did pretty well for basically winging the whole thing day-by-day, but there’s only so far you can get by improvising. I thought about returning to Phoenix and working through the winter, but that would have been such a symbolic defeat that I don’t truly believe I would have continued after that.

So, here I’ve been living in Denver for the time being. I leased an apartment with a roommate from Craigslist, and found work at Target, which is conveniently right across the street from my room; I can see the check-lanes from my porch. Most of my time I’ve spent unwisely: watching movies, playing videogames, surfing the internet, reading, playing guitar. I kept putting off what I was destined to do, trying to waste time and not accept the mountain of responsibility that lay before me. It was never going to be easy, the road I’ve chosen to travel, but I didn’t understand just how much of a burden it would be. I simply wasn’t strong enough to keep going, and the weight of that realization crushed me. So I wallowed aimlessly in melancholy and self-pity, until finally I understood what it was I had to do.

It was wrong for me to obsess over my weakness and failure, because there was so much potential for success. I was wishing for a lighter load when I should have been striving for stronger shoulders. I began thinking of how I could continue on. Because of my job at Target and the cost of living here, I wouldn’t have nearly as much money as I did last year, so I would have to either hitchhike a substantial part of the trip, or ride a bicycle most of the way there; I chose the bike. I could ride all the way to Roanoke, Virginia, and from there, hop on the Appalachian Trail and hike the rest of the way to New York City. 1,600 miles on a bike, and 500 on foot. Yes, it was coming together. I began hitting the gym in earnest.

My lease here ends on April 30th, so by that time I need to be in good enough shape to bicycle for 40 miles in a day without being too exhausted the next day. I can do about 15 miles now, so I have a bit of a ways to go, but it’s not impossible to accomplish. As long as I keep being consistent with my exercises, I should be able to reach that goal. And then, the hiking will be easy. Since I’ll be on a forest trail, I can set up camp wherever I need to, without having to push myself past my breaking point to find a place to rest. Even if I only do 13 miles on my first day, I can eventually reach 20 a day with no problem. If I leave on May 1st, I should see the towers of New York by the time the leaves start to turn.

So here I am. I have a purpose and a direction, and I don’t feel quite so ashamed anymore. For a very long time I was hesitant about writing anything other than travel entries on this website, but I’ve decided I’m going to put out a few articles while I’m here. They’ll be about things that interest me, analyzing some of the current events going, and telling a few stories about my life. But if that sort of thing doesn’t interest you, then no worries, I’ll be posting travel entries again once May comes around. In the near future, however, I will be publishing an article called, “The Truth about Swordfighting.” Swordfighting, and martial arts in general, was the key to how I started to truly discover myself for the first time, and it’s been an important part of my life for the last five years. It’s going to be an introspective look at the nature of fighting and how it affects your perception, and there’s a 28-minute interview video I filmed back in December to go along with it. So stay tuned!

Thank you all for continuing to read my words, and I look forward to giving you more to read in the coming months. May the road go ever onward.

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