In July this year, Ian Lacey, a former intern with ReachOut.com, will undertake the biggest physical challenge of his life. However, he believes the mental aspect will be the greatest test in his voyage.
I’ve just finished my internship with ReachOut.com after spending five fantastic months working there. Now, I have a new challenge! On the 15 July this year, I will begin a bicycle journey with a friend from the northern tip of Alaska to the southernmost point in Argentina. This trip is over 17,000 miles and we aim to cover it in a little under a year. Needless to say, I’ve never tried anything like this before.
Physical and mental wellbeing
I decided upon this trip in January 2010. I wanted a big adventure that would really put me to the test, in every capacity possible. At the beginning I believed this would be a physical one in that my body would be pushed to the limits. Now I realise that looking after my mental wellbeing on the journey will be as important as anything else to get me through it.
In preparation it has been very easy to get stressed and even doubt myself at times. Can I actually do this? Am I strong enough? What if I fail? These are all questions that recur in my mind on a regular basis and I’m sure they’ll come back to me on the road again. To overcome these I have set small goals to take me closer to achieving the bigger ones. This might mean cycling 5km more than the day before in training. This lets me know that I’m improving all the time – and these are things we can do in everyday life too, whether it’s in college, work or anything else.
With just three months left until I hit the road, I’m still motivated. Helping me stay motivated is that I’ve decided to raise money for the Carer’s Association of Ireland through the trip. Having such a worthy cause with us and knowing that we can help so many others just by cycling has kept me going. It has a feel good factor to it, remembering the trip is more than just getting from A to B and it lifts my spirits when times get tough.
The road ahead
Although I can’t predict everything that will come my way on the journey, I know that I’m preparing for it the best way I can. Having a project like this to work towards has been great for me physically and mentally. It’s a long road, but one I can’t wait to get on!
You can follow Ian’s journey at Facebook.com/350South or www.350south.org.