So here's what I did: for fifty miles, I biked from my home to Sioux City. I was surprised to find myself getting sore the first few miles out. The bike also broke down at least half a dozen times for the first half of the ride alone. The bike wasn't the only technical problem. In my backpack, I had a bunch of supplies that I deemed useful for such a trip, although the downside was that they weighed down on my shoulders and strained my neck muscles the whole way. My entire back got pretty sore by the end, and that's to say nothing of how exhausted my knees were.
Worse yet, there were winds. I mean, seriously, there were winds. They were so bad that going downhill was an uphill battle, which is about as literal as that phrase gets. I even experimented and tried turning around, tucking in my shoulders, and making myself nice and streamline, and the wind was so strong that it blew me along at ten miles per hour. There were times when I even got down off my bike and walked it along, and it was difficult to even walk against that wind.
Furthermore, there were hills, and the shoulders for the first half were narrow. I also knew ahead of time that there was going to be a thunder storm. Fifteen miles away from my destination, it began pouring. It would have been nice, in a way, since rain can be a comfort when you've been in the sun for too long, but it was a thunderstorm, and the rain was heavily ionized and tasted more bitter than my own sweat. Furthermore, there were points where, once I reached Sioux City, I got lost.
However, after ten hours of biking in wretched conditions, I finally came to the praise group I said I would visit, shivering and suffering from hypothermia. Someone fetched a blanket from her car for me to wrap around my shoulders.
I had a friend there, who I could have called at any time but decided to surprise. He thought it was incredibly cool. There was another friend there, who's in the Air National Guard. She was the person who constantly told me to go for it, even when my family had momentarily talked me out of it. A little bit of encouragement goes a long way. Fifty miles, to be exact. I also brought her a birthday present, which was highly rewarding for me because normally my presents for people go unappreciated, but she loved it and even gave me a hug. There was another friend I made, and she majored in art, so I showed her my most recent portrait, which I had completed the day before (and had fortunately been safe inside a waterproof container during my bike ride). Then several friends helped get me and my bike over to a friend's house where I could sleep over. It was a great time, and I will definitely do it again.
Unfortunately, I did not have the energy to bike back the next day, so I called up a ride to pick me up. Before that came, however, I spend a couple of hours volunteering to move furniture, helping clean up my friend's house, and doing some plumbing for him.
Then my father arrived in his pickup truck. I wish I can say that I did a job well done, but he didn't have any praise for me. I'm used to it by now. At least I proved to myself that I can do it. And I'm going to do this again, and again.
You can talk about something a lot, and dream of doing it, but eventually you have to get out on the open road and stop thinking, and just make it your life.