by Austin

November 30, 2010

November 29th, 2010

Total Distance for today: approx. 50 miles
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 553 miles
STATUS: Enjoying some hospitality at Dillon’s uncle’s place

Strong Legs

When Dillon and I were trying to decide how to divide up the rest of the skate to Raleigh last night, he suggested that I skate what we expected to be the last 43 miles today and just get it done. I didn’t think it was a good idea, as I had just finished the longest skate of the tour at that point, 38 miles. I felt that over 80 miles in two days may be pushing it a little too much at this point. So, we planned to have me skate 31 miles into Wake Forest today and just finish the skate tomorrow. Well, as I was approaching the finish line in Wake Forest, I realized that I felt exceptionally strong. To be honest, by the time I skated up to the motor home, I felt as though I had just started the skate and could easily do it again.

I opened the door to the motor home and told Dillon to pull-up Google maps and start getting the directions to our final destination in Raleigh. It turned out that we wanted to go to a different Wal-Mart than originally planned, and I was already way out of the way by going to Wake Forest. It was going to be another 19 miles, but I felt strong and decided to go for it. By the time I skated off, it was around 3:30, and I estimated that I had about 1 1/2 to 2 hours max of light left to skate. Needless to say, I skated like a madman. I made great time, despite the fact that the first six miles were extremely hilly with lots of traffic.

I ended up getting all the way to the last 2.5 mile leg before it got dark. Of course that last road was the worst one yet, in terms of traffic. In any case, I was able to use the shoulder, skate during openings in traffic, and generally eek my way to the end of those last 2.5 miles. I rolled up to the “Freedom Mobile” at about 5:45 still feeling strong and in good humor. Over all, it was a great skate, and those 50 miles honestly felt like 30.

To top it all off, we were invited to enjoy warm showers, an incredible homemade dinner, some brownies and ice cream, and a movie at Dillon’s Uncle’s house. It’s funny: I’ve enjoyed these same luxuries in the past without even a second thought. Even when I said thanks in those times, it was a forced and false thank you. I was scarcely thankful, because I had so much already – I had too much. I’ve lived most of my life only vaguely aware of the fact that I lived luxuriously. That’s the value of the strenuous life: It allows us to appreciate the very things we once took for granted.

Your Noble Duty: Laugh

Yesterday, I wrote about some ideas I took away from the movie, “Fight Club.” Though I didn’t even touch the surface of the stuff that was floating through my head because of that movie, I did talk about the most important concepts. One of those concepts is the power of daring great challenges and dangers with a playful and joyful attitude and laughter in your heart. I really focused on doing just that today, and I’m quite certain that it was the primary reason why I felt energetic enough to skate 50 miles. The power of maintaining good humor and a playfully energetic attitude cannot be overstated. We all have our ups and downs, but showing the courage to laugh, even when it hurts, will give you a strength beyond measure.

Today, my challenge to you is simple: Laugh and laugh fully. Laugh in good times. Laugh in hard times. Laugh when you feel you don’t have it in you to laugh. Laugh when you feel weak, and you will be made strong. The next time you are tempted to complain, I dare you to laugh instead. People will not know how you have so much energy, but they will know one thing: They’ll know that they want it too.


About the author 


From a 3412 mile inline skate across America for Freedom to a pilgrimage halfway around the world, speaker and life coach, Austin Szelkowski has lived an intrepid spiritual journey. Over the last 11 years, he has skated across a continent, built 3 successful businesses, been enlightened by a mind-bending spiritual awakening, and endured a terrifying dark night of the soul journey in 2017. His story brings courage in the darkest places – providing a sense of spiritual adventure and hope.

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