I would guess that you have been there. Recently returned from a bike trip. Maybe it was in Moab, or Fruita, or maybe it was from Moab to Fruita. You pushed yourself, you saw new places, learned new things and met new people. It was, on every level, an epic.
And now you are back home.
You are sitting at your desk, legs heavy, face sunburned, fingers and toes still slightly numb. The world becomes tedious, mundane, boring. Your mind drifts back to the desert, and for an instant you think you can feel the wind and the sun. Your coworkers are oblivious to your plight. They ask “how was your weekend?”, and you try and explain to them what it was like watching the sunrise from the crest of a 2,000 foot ledge over the canyon country. You laugh about being on your bike at sunrise, and that you were still pedaling at sunset. But they don’t laugh. They look bewildered and uncomfortable. They slowly walk away.
Yes, life after the euphoria of an epic ride can be dull for a few days. The jet-lag like state of mind and body can persist, turning you into an anti-social grump, only concerned with trip photos, gps tracks and other people’s blog postings.
It is hard to come down from that endorphin rush. Or is it a trickle during an all day epic? When things go right, when the weather, the bike, the trail, the fitness, and the company all combine to create those idyllic days out in the wilderness the everyday routine seems so…routine.
And of course that is why the epic days are so coveted. If everyday were epic, then epic would cease to exist. The contrast between a normal day, and a fantastic one is compounded by the brilliant light of the desert sun, or the quiet swaying of high altitude aspens. To appreciate being ‘out there’, one has to experience being ‘in here’. That is, inside your cubicles, your traffic jams, and your board meetings.
And while people who don’t ever see the ‘out there’ won’t ever truly understand what you mean when you start talking about cleaning Murhpy’s Hogback (they will probably think it sound’s dirty), you will understand. And as you sit at your computer, doing whatever it is you do, you will cast your mind back on those moments, and for an instant the sun, the wind, the dust, will all appear crystal clear. And for a brief moment, you will be back.