Standing in a hostel in Budapest, my bike fully packed (it was totally unstable as the picture might show) I thought by myself: Ok, this will be a challenge to get home, 2000 km’s in a couple of weeks while making a film. Lets go! When I took my bike out on the street I almost fell down and thought: shit… This will not be easy!
This is part 2 of 4 about the reasons why I think people would go on a hard adventure or expedition. The previous part is about excitement of a adventure. Check it here.
The challenge is what drives me. I can do my skate trip trough the Netherlands (450 km) on a bicycle, but then it will be like my previous cycling trips. I know I can do that and I know how it is. I mean, its lots of fun and a great way to challenge yourself, but for me cycling 450 km in a couple of days not a challenge anymore. Thats why I have to make it harder, to keep a certain amount of interest in the challenge for myself. If a trip isn’t a challenge it hardly serves a purpose for me, and when it doesn’t serve a purpose for me, it also has no purpose for others.
A challenge is a challenge when you ask yourself: “Is the trip doable?” Or maybe your trip is barely doable. Setting a challenge for yourself is the most important. A challenge where you think: “Damn, I have to put some effort in this, and it will be hard!” The first day of my 2000 km cycling trip or my 160 km beach trip, I really thought: “What did I get myself into? I’ll never make it!” And there is the challenge, thinking that you’re not able to finish the trip, but to try non the less. Taking the risk and see where it all ends up. At the end of your trip you will look back and you feel the victory. Above all its a victory over yourself. You had the feeling you couldn’t do it, but you’ve managed! Now you know you’re able to do it again in the future when its necessary. It seems you can do more then you thought and you’ll take this with you in your normal (read: not being on a trip) life. If somebody would ask me to walk 30 Km on 1 day I think: oh yeah, no problem, I’ve done 50 km on the beach in 1 day so 30 is totally doable for me!
You will take that victory with you, forever. And the bigger the challenge is, the bigger the victory, the more you know you can do, the stronger and more confident you are about certain aspects in life. From each victory you get a little stronger, and now the phrase “what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger” is in full effect!
Struggling is a part of victory over a hard challenge. A victory never comes without a challenge, otherwise it’s not a victory. There doesn’t have to be struggle the whole time, but the struggle is the key that opens the door to the victory. The more struggling one inflicts on themselves, the bigger the victory is, but this doesn’t mean that the challenge has to be harder! But when the challenge is higher, it makes the victory feel better and probably there is a bigger part of struggle.
It’s a “three in a row”: challenge, struggle and victory. In this case the struggle is a way to connect the challenge to the victory. But this is different for everybody! Some people walk through the amazon for 2 years straight, other people sleep a night outside. It really doesn’t matter how hard the struggle is, as long as you see the challenge and have the motivation to go towards the victory. In 8 days I’ll be skating 450 Km trough the Netherlands, but I don’t dare to stand 1 full minute under a ice cold shower… How’s that for a personal challenge!
If you like, you can follow my skate trip on my facebook page here. I’ll try to post something every day.
This is part 2 of 4, the next part will be about the personal development that an adventure or journey brings you… Read it here.