On Friday, my dad and I rode our bikes on Upriver. Since the dude is ancient (65) I opted to ride my heavier, slower mountain bike. And was hopping off ruts and curbs like a twelve-year-old. So, when I saw a gravel path, I got all hyper and dashed off. The gravel path quickly became large beach stones, and then roots and rocks, and then downed trees and then nothing. No path at all. At each of these transitional points, I considered, and dismissed, turning back. I’d already ridden this far, why lose time and ground going backward. Uh huh.
Sheer. Loose dirt climbing straight up to a high fence on my left, and the Spokane River on my right. Yes. Brilliant. Luckily, I had my heavier mountain bike to throw over my shoulder and heft uphill. Whatever the hill was made of, it wasn’t solid. It crumbled with each step. It tried to pitch me into the river. I kept hoping no one could see me. Or hear me.
Good work, genius. Why keep to the known path? Why take a moment to consider or alter course, when pressing heedlessly forward is so rewarding?
Once I made it up the hill, I only had to walk along the disintegrating crest for 30 yards to rejoin the paved path. And eventually found my father. Who was laughing at me, and talking about search and rescue teams. But the thing is, I found my way back. It was only a detour, after all. So, you know, seen from that vantage, maybe we’re really talking about perseverance.