Wonder-Could

“You accomplish anything you fully commit to, so I knew you’d be able to.”  ~Coach

Thoughts float to the surface randomly. But they mostly are in response to a constant question.

“I wonder if I could….?”

The “wonder-coulds” are mostly personal challenges that I create for myself — seeking transformation, or maybe new opportunities.

“I wonder if I could ride this? I wonder if this is possible?”

I’m no Alexander Supertramp, but there’s no denying the magnetic pull of the American wilderness, and I love a good adventure, and I want to be strong. The Kokopelli seed was planted a few years back and sat dormant, waiting.

Two years ago I followed the adventure of The Queen of Pain as she tackled the Kokopelli Trail in one day — 142 miles running between Fruita and Moab. I remember thinking that it seemed insane. She finished in a record time of 13 hours and change. At the time I’d never even heard of any of the long mountain bike individual challenges like White Rim, Colorado Trail or Ride the Divide. And I’d definitely never heard of the Kokopelli Trail.

Maybe the seed would never have begun to grow except for a strange mix of happenstance and the mundane.  A friend signed up for a Bikerpelli tour of the Kokopelli — a four-day supported ride of the trail and she wanted me to join her. But then our sewer line broke and that consumed any possible Bikerpelli funds. At the same time I had entered the lottery for a bucket list race, The Leadville 100. I didn’t need to enter — I’ve ridden 100 miles cross country in the high country — but this one offers a belt buckle.  I love belt buckles.

But, no lottery success for me. And there I was — it was the end of January, and I didn’t have a goal.

It was like a perfect storm — the Kokopelli idea and the other events pushing me towards — “I wonder if I could ride the Kokopelli Trail in one day self-supported?”  And just like that, the seed began to grow.

I recently finished a different “wonder-could” that I felt I had to do as part of the preparation for Kokopelli.  In an arbitrary fashion I had arrived at the conclusion that I had to do this thing in order to be successful at a bigger thing.  It doesn’t matter what it is — it can be anything — just something that seems insurmountable.

Two days before finishing that “wonder-could” I’d asked my coach, “Did you think I could do it?”

Coach replied,  “You accomplish anything you fully commit to, so I know you would be able to.”

It is now the end of March.  The Kokopelli-Wonder-Could is a month away. And I’m remembering what Coach said.

I am committed. I just came back from Moab where I scouted the start of the challenge, did some more training, and then re-conned some points along the route via car.

I took some simple videos and in them I hear myself say with a twinge of anxiety, “I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea?”  But I know. It’s because I want to be strong.

“I read somewhere… how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong… to measure yourself at least once.” ― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild.