I was excited about finally crossing the New Mexico border for a couple reasons: First, I knew that it was a huge milestone, since I skated about 800 miles through Texas. Second, my sources told me that the roads in New Mexico are generally smoother and the wind is a little calmer than in Texas. The comment about the wind did not hold true on my third day in the new state.
Yesterday, I skated from Hatch, NM to just outside of Deming, NM. There were some pretty serious hills toward the beginning, as I increased my elevation by about 500 feet in the course of roughly 5 miles. That, however, was not the big challenge of the day. The wind was back in full force, and I essentially skated 39 miles head-on into 20 MPH winds. Anyone who has ridden a bike into heavy winds would have a pretty good idea about just how fun that was. Except carrying a 3â€™x5â€™ American flag is much like dragging a parachute through the wind.
As I was preparing to get back on the road after my first pit-stop, about 13 miles in, I was trying to mentally prepare myself for the next 25 miles of punishment. With wind like that, skating with that flag is comparable to running under normal conditions. I was essentially preparing myself for a marathon effort after having already skated 13 miles.
Just as I stepped out of the RV, I had an interesting thought: â€œWhat if, for each of the next 12 miles before my next pit-stop, I celebrate?â€ I decided that the natural tendency in physically difficult situations like this is to think about how negative and difficult the circumstances are. It was clear to me: I would have to create my own strength and happiness for the next 25 miles. I would start by defying all negative thoughts for the first 12.
For the next 12 miles, I would get myself as hyped and pumped as possible each time I crossed a mile marker. My plan was to get progressively more excited the higher the numbers got. It wasnâ€™t easy, and I even thought about scrapping the idea a few times, but I kept it going. â€œI promised myself 12 celebrations, and I will have them!â€ I told myself with resolve.
Thereâ€™s something remarkable about the human spirit: It is not so important how difficult or painful a given task may be. The real important factors are the motivation, the energy, and the â€œwhyâ€ behind what we do. We can put up with almost any â€œhow,â€ if given the right â€œwhy.â€ I needed immediate inspiration and strength to press on, and I found it by creating positive energy around what I was doing. In case you were wondering, the 12th celebration did in fact bring an incredible sense of accomplishment. I will never forget my â€œ12 Celebrationsâ€ in defiance of the blasting winds on highway 26 between Hatch and Deming, NM. Iâ€™ve never felt so strong in the face of true difficulty.
Distance Since last Update: 122 miles
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 2646 miles
SKATE LOCATION: 8 miles east of Deming, NM
STATUS: Enjoying a much needed day off in Deming, NM