Silence The Noise
It’s 6:02 pm EST on Friday, July 19th. Everything is packed, the song Hari Om by Janet Stone is on repeat, and I’m in my parent’s basement sitting cross-legged. There is no noise.
I’m prepared. I’m focused. I’m solid. I also have to pee. I found out I pee when I get nervous. That, along with slight irritability and restless sleep. This is how I’m spending the eve of adventure.
The past few weeks have been populated with emails, podcasts, test rides, artwork iterations, friends, flights and family questions. Replies repeated to ears hearing them for the first time. A woman at a local shop informing me that day 1 has a record-breaking heat index. A distant friend nervous about where I’ll sleep. Several strangers sharing unfortunate tragedies of people they have known who attempted similar rides. Commentary, delivered with the best of intentions, yet still unsolicited.
In these weeks, I’ve worn a consistent wardrobe of emotions. From excitement, commitment and extreme self-belief to nervousness, fear, and doubt.
As much as I thrive in social settings, I’ve chosen solitude. An attempt to escape curious but repeated conversations. In these conversations, I’ve been called a risk-taker, and the truth is, I’m not. I’m quite risk-averse. When I’ve jumped off bridges into water, it may have seemed “in-the-moment” but I’d scouted the area before. Every movement of my life is calculated, almost to a point of paralysis. I’ve done a lot of work to shield audiences from that because it’s simply sexier to be this wild man of wellness. But allow my integrity to speak for me. I don’t consider myself that person.
I lie down on my bed and just close my eyes. My attempt to silence the noise.
The noise, these conversations about the ride, should be flattering, but I’ve unfairly exited them abruptly. And, it’s because I’m nervous. Nervous because I don’t have the answers, I don’t know where I’ll sleep every night, I don’t know the weather, and I can’t name every road I’m on. I interpret these questions as concerns because I cannot, with conviction, stand a lion in my responses.
It is not the individual delivering but me, creating this noise. My inability to answer each question challenges my preparation and embarrasses me. It forces me to confront the truth that maybe I’m not prepared for absolutely any situation. And I don’t know how to navigate these conversations.
But, perfection delays action and I am confident in myself. Completely.
This confidence in myself silences the noise.
But then, there is this other noise. An even louder one. In my head.
Unable to escape the thoughts I create, it’s with practice I nurture a new language to speak to myself in.
And I sleep.
For the boldest moments of our lives, we will not be prepared, because they will not always be planned. With this adventure, an expectation to stray from the plan has been set, and it’s in these moments my perfectly authentic story will be told.
I am silently nervous, but I know fear is just excitement without breath, and this fear confirms exactly that I must do this. I have to ride now. Make all the noise you want.
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