Prompt 002: Cherished Past Memory
2. What past memory do you cherish the most and why? If you could trade that memory for something amazing to happen in the future, would you do it? Why or why not?
In September 2008, I rode a solo trip on my bicycle for the first time ever. The distance was about 165 miles, stretched over about two and a half days. I had never done anything like that before in my life, and I do feel as though it was a formative experience of mine. The process of training in the months beforehand; ensuring I had all the equipment I needed; plotting out the route; the flat tires; losing my phone and backtracking five miles to find that it had been run over, and having to replace it... Then, to finally arrive at the shore, and sinking my bare feet into the sand for the first time. It was an unforgettable experience.
How could I trade in that memory? It is a linchpin that informs me nearly every day of what is possible. I use it as an example of goal-setting and planning with clients at my day job, letting them know that such amazing things are possible to average folks like myself.
If I didn't have the memory of that experience, I doubt I would be the same kind of person that I am today (and I do admire myself for that accomplishment). That being said, I am quite certain had I not the accomplishment to look back and ruminate on, I would find a way to achieve a goal of similar significance. There's always been a measure of curiosity and wanderlust within me, so I would have found a way to make something happen to fill that void.
There's much to be said about calculating and executing a test of one's own abilities and fortitude, where you depend upon no one but yourself. It's also a mark of luxury: I had vacation days from my steady day job, and I was able to accommodate food and lodging along the way. Channeling one's resources, time, energy, and effort into a goal of that magnitude (even if just personally, and no it doesn't have to be bicycling) is something that everyone should attempt at least once in their lifetime. They come out of the experience wiser, more knowledgeable, and resilient. I know I did.