The Spirit That Wears Clothes

Or, rather, the importance of spiritual maintenance while biking across America.

As I write, I am in a private room in the back of Boonville’s (Missouri) petite town library. After a few verbal exchanges, the nice supervisor asked if she could take my picture for their website. Looking down at myself, I realized the extent to which my appearance has evolved into a state of ludicrousness. I’m wearing a yellow biker shirt, American flag shorts, black leather dress shoes, and carrying a red water bottle that reads “ROCKY”. So much for my plan to blend in while in conservative middle America.

And now to address the topic.

As of recently, I’ve come realize the true importance of staying motivated enough to finish biking across America. Even though my muscles are wound and pronounced like vines on a tree, my cardio endurance is the best it’s ever been, and I’m consuming the proper food, there are often times when I want to just walk away from my bike and stop this fanatic pursuit. As necessary as my equipment is to the journey’s success, it can often like a ball and chain.

It’s during times like these that I rely on a bag of psychological tricks and inspirations to keep me going. Most often, I simply smile and draw upon a primal energy that is naturally within all of us. It is that same feeling that you may feel when you hear about injustice in the news or see someone being unnecessarily rude. By harnessing this same energy, you can overcome short term obstacles, but it is easy to burn out quickly with this technique. Undoubtedly, passing drivers feel the emotion being conveyed through my wide eyes and joker smile as I climb a hill.

Other times, I remind myself of the words of encouragement from my fellow friends and brothers in order to stay motivated. Chris, Luke, Josh, Rob, Kyle, Matt, and, of course, Mom, thank you for telling to keep going. For all those who’ve inspired me on the way, all the record setters, gas station clerks, Olympians, bar regulars, bike fiends, and soldiers of God, I feel your support. When the going gets rough, I see your faces and hear your voices telling me to keep going.

The importance of encouragement from others is invaluable, however, it is ultimately your own inner voice which you need to rely upon. While everything else can provide momentary support over a monster hill or mountain, it’s an an uncompromising will to obtain your goal that will get you through to the end of the trial. All else is fleeting except for personal resolve. The stability of that will-power depends, oddly, on the degree to which you can remain calm and peaceful. In order to achieve this sort of peace, you must have a clear mind and a pure heart. There are many ways to achieve this. Personally, I meditate daily and try to avoid unfounded negativity.

Ultimately, it is from a strong, peaceful center, from which power seems limitless.


This is the picture posted on the Boonslick Library website along with "Boonville: Starting from L.A., this cyclist travelled 40 miles in one day just to visit the Library! 6-9-11"


2 Responses to “The Spirit That Wears Clothes”
  1. Linda Hannibal says:

    I’m proud of you Nick and I’m glad you are home safe.
    PS nice outfit and very patriotic

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