Garden Route – Day 3

Tsitsikamma wolf Sanctuary to Plettenberg Bay

Day 3 is always the hardest
Whenever we start into a long distance bike challenge, day 3 is the hardest. The same applies to education. First we are excited about learning new things, but then repetition creeps in, the hard process of learning, revising, repeating, the frustration of having forgotten what we have learned. We want to give up, start finding excuses. But if we stick to it, we get into the flow and the joy of achievement will make it worthwhile. Everything hurts, exhausting kicks in, we’re not yet in a flow.

Today was no exception. Even more so, Brigit also underestimated the distance. It was 80 km in the end. And she didn’t expect such strong side winds as much as great heat we no shade on the way. Another challenge she encountered was that the route was boring. Nothing to see but a long stretch of pine trees, farmed for timber. 
This trip is as much to set an example as it is to raise funds. It is to be an example of how to handle challenges. Brigit had many chances to call it quits. At one point, at a toll station, where many an empty pick-up was stopping she could just have gone and asked for a lift. Nothing wrong with that. We don’t always have to prove a point. If we need help to get to the next stage, it’s a far better attitude to seek partnerships for success rather than give up and not reach our goals.
For this very reason we have coaches at empowermefirst, to help students to focus on their goals.
If Brigit had needed this lift, just to get to her third destination, if this was needed to continue the journey, yes, she would have done it.
Why did she go on despite the struggle with the heat and the side winds? Was it pride? Not really. It was more a certainty, that she could do it, the experience of having had gone through this hard third day in the past. The challenges are different, but in the end it all comes down to finding the flow.
Often it’s also a question of not underestimating the challenges of a seemingly easy task. The night before she had felt too relaxed, it had been a good day for cycling, not too hot, no wind and she had expected to do a shorter ride today, so she left a bit too late.
Another challenge is often the repetition of a task. The bike ride was mostly dull. Together with the aches in the arms from the wind and the rest of the body, motivation was low – a dangerous moment to simply give up.
So, what did she do?
She focused on getting into the flow by seeking focus points. For her these were the different flowers at the side of the road – and yes, she then arrived in a rather unexpected town of luxury.