Zen On Dirt


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The Hole, that no one talks about

So here’s what drives me nuts about trip reports – No one talks about the post-trip let down. Post-trip blues. Post-trip depression.

We read these stories of people riding around the world, or across a country, or continent, or going on a trek, or riding the CTR, or TD, or whatever. People go do something big, there’s elation at the end, a sense of satisfaction, congratulatory beers, blog posts summing up the trip, talking about the trip, etc.

But no one talks about the hole that a huge percentage of people who do stupid/awesome stuff fall into when all is said and done, the gear is packed away, damage to the bank account assessed, and life moves on.

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Weekly Wasson 

I’d love to say that this is a Ez-problem, that I’m spoiled rotten and I should learn how to find adventure in everyday life and realize that I’ve had opportunities to do some really amazing things. I do realize all these things rationally. But humans aren’t always rational. That’s the beauty of being human. 

But it’s not just me. I know this because you see small snipets and mentions of The Hole on FaceBook. Maybe a sentence in an interview with someone after a trip. Snipets like – What’s next? The best way to fight post trip depression is to start planning your next trip. Coming back from this trip has been harder for me because I don’t have my next trip planned. 

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Agua Caliente Round #1

I think we don’t really hear about it because when people fall into this hole, and I’m speaking purely from personal experience, we find ourselves entirely uninteresting. Our art-form in the form of movement and exploration, has been locked away. Maybe we’re given a dull pencil to doodle with on the back of an envelope in the form of short runs or rides while bodies rebound, but really who wants to share a doodle. And so I bet if you looked at people who blog regularly, there’d be a huge drop of in words produced after a trip.

These trips become more than a ‘vacation’ or ‘exercise’ or ‘time away from the real world’, they become our passions.

It’s a time of recalibration. Maybe it’s forced processing time.

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It’s been a rough couple of months for me trying to rejoin “normal” life, whatever that means. On some level, I’ve just been tired. I feel like recovering from tiredness is worse than recovering from injury. There’s no PT to do. No stretching. It’s just a matter of waiting. Which can be maddening for people who express themselves through physical movement.

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Baby saguaro!

I’ve got no deep, enlightening point, (like I ever do) about this. I just got to thinking about recovery and lack of inspiration after seeing Scott’s CDT trip report over on Pinkbike this morning. We did a damn cool trip. Sometimes I find myself wallowing in my lack of inspiration and forget why I’m laying on the couch staring at the ceiling wondering why I can’t think of a bikepacking route that’s inspiring me, and then I get reminded, and the wallowing doesn’t seem as bad anymore.

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Agua Caliente Round #2. They rode. I ran. I beat them by an hour and a half. 

Because I went out and blew all of my energy and passion points in one sitting. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And I guess, on some level, I want other people sitting in, or trying to climb out of The Hole to know that you’re not alone on the venture. Because I fully get how alone it can feel.

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