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Mission accomplished

I did it.

I completed the 180-mile Trek Across Maine this weekend for the second year in a row. I feel a great sense of accomplishment and relief. I’ve spent the last two months feeling obsessed about training and preparing for this three-day undertaking.

We started at Sunday River on Friday and rode to Farmington. That was 70 miles. The first 25 were totally flat, so no problem. The next 25 were hellaciously hilly so that was painful and hard. The final 20 were OK.

On Saturday we rode from Farmington to Waterville by way of North New Portland. This was a fairly hilly day, 60 miles, but not too bad overall except the final climb up to my alma mater, Colby College, which is situated on Mayflower Hill. That makes it nice for scenery but tough to ride there on a bike.

Yesterday we rode 50 long miles from Waterville to Belfast in the pouring rain. It was hard to see the road ahead because the water was spewing off my front tire right into my sunglasses. as I went down the hills. It was also cold, and my feet became totally soggy. (Squishy actually.) The route was all hills, no flats, so you were always either climbing up or gliding down. The glides weren’t too fun because of the water in your face and the concern that your brakes might not work when needed. Luckily I had no incidents. One poor guy flipped off his handlebars in the first 100 yard stretch on the first day and broke his arm. I felt badly for him especially since I later learned that he had collided with his brother when he fell. I could tell that his brother felt terrible about it.

All weekend, my mom was my hero. She dropped me off and picked me up each day so I didn’t have to rely on the transportation provided by the organizers. She was my private valet and chauffeur. She has been like that my whole life actually so I am forever indebted to her. She has always ‘enabled’ me to do whatever I wanted to do, and along with my late father, they empowered me to do whatever I thought I could do, even if it meant driving me all over the place. Thanks to my mom and to my dad in Heaven for helping me be the person I am today — never quite satisfied with my current status and always striving to improve myself and others around me.

I was very nervous on Friday morning. My mom thought I was in a bad mood. I was actually overcome with anxiety about being able to make it through the entire ride. I felt the same way last year on the first day. But once I got underway, I felt fine. I even enjoyed myself. I talked to lots of people I knew (no surprise to those of you who know me, I tend to know people everywhere I go) and I enjoyed the beautiful scenery of our state of Maine

Now that I’m done with the Trek, I’m going to work on my golf game. I’m not a great golfer but my kids and my husband like to play, so it’s a good way for us to go out on the course and spend some quality family time.  There are four of us in the family so we make a good foursome.  In the winter, we can ride up the quad chairlift together too. That’s why I’m glad I have no more than two kids. If I had three, one would be left out!  (smile) And that’s why skiing and golfing are good sports for us. Now, if I had one of those four-person bikes, we could all ride together in the Trek. But that would be a bad idea because we’d probably kill each other by the end of the three days!

3 Responses to Mission accomplished

  • Congratulations. That’s a mighty feat. Christ, I can’t imagine the Waterville to Belfast haul. I’ve made that trip by car and almost didn’t get there. Way to go. Makes me want to get up and… Ah, who am I kidding.

  • Nicole says:

    I was thinking of you and my friend Stacy Treking all weekend. Congrads! I hope you take a much needed rest!

  • Bonnie MacPherson says:

    Congratulations on the completion of your Trek Across Maine. Your description of anxiety sounds just like me whenever I embark on physical challenges I set for myself. Last fall, I signed on for a four-day hiking tour in the English countryside with the Society of American Travel Writers. The tour descrition sounded idyllic … long days wandering along the fells of Lancashire and ancient Roman roads and footpaths of the Yorkshire Dales. What a wonderful way to build relationships with able-bodied travel writers who might also like to write about outdoor adventure in the Green Mountain State, where I live. The months leading up to my trip were spent tramping along the wooded footpaths of southern Vermont. I increased my daily distance goals in preparation for days of double-digit mileage and elevation fluctuations measured in thousands of feet. Although I was anxious about the physical demands of the trip, romanticized visions of Wuthering Heights kept me motivated. Anxieties aside, it all worked out fine and none of us in the group could have prepared ourselves for hours of slogging through moors, slip-sliding on sheep dung, or the acrobatics required to scale the hundreds of fence stiles. We pushed on under the direction of our guides and the support of eachother. My computer desktop is a photo from the group’s sunny Sunday-morning descent into a Wharfdale village. It reminds me, on a daily basis, what wonderful things I can accomplish when I put my mind (and a little muscle) to it. Keep challenging yourself, Nancy!

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