“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality”
― Lucius Annaeus Seneca
I had never biked across the country, let alone more than one day at a time.
The Northern Cascades in the background. On day 2 of my bike trip, I encountered crested 3 peaks for an elevation gain of 9600 ft. I cried on the way down because I didn't think that I would make it.
It was at the lowest point in my time at Stanford. Working 14 days straight, less than 4 hours of sleep a night with constant pages, and being overworked. It was worse than working in the prison. The nurses thought it was by chance I was working the same days they were when in reality I was, it was just every day.
I needed a change. I needed a reset. I decided to bike coast-to-coast.
It was life-changing. From learning how to deal with very stressful situations differently to realizing that most pain is self-inflicted, I became someone better.
Being in a situation where you are alone all day with your thoughts forces you to recognize parts of your life that you may overlook. For me, it was easier to suppress and blame my suffering on others than really own how I felt as a person.
I no longer have hoops to jump though. I no longer try to earn more money to buy shit I don't want to impress people I don't like (not that I had the money in training anyway).
I could go on, and may in the future, but my message is that if you are able to and see the need I did, go out and discover yourself. I've slept better ever since.