The One Thing
Day 56, Aug 24, Near Hopkinsville, KY.
We crossed the Ohio on a ferry and got off in Kentucky, our 8th state. I was greeted by narrow roads, chasing dogs, more hills, and a sweltering heat index. We got the miles in, but it doesn’t feel very good in that heat. And how is it dogs know they scare you more when they come at you quietly from behind? A rider a few weeks ahead of me was hospitalized from a dog attack in western KY so it is not something to ignore.
Another landmark occurred today as well: we are going rogue, off-map. So far we have mostly followed the Western Express and Trans America routes from Adventure Cycling, but in Marion, KY we veered southeast toward TN. This comes at the recommendation of two friends, #HeangUy and #TerryFoxworth, Trans Am cyclists who also wanted to come through Asheville, NC which is not on the standard route to Norfolk, VA. So I need to veer south sometime, and since so many cyclists (5 so far), and the map itself(!), have warned about KY, we’re doing it now.
I’ve reflected recently that this project is all-consuming. I mean that everything during the day is connected to the crossing. From the riding itself, to preparation for the next day, planning, repairs and maintanence of Elliptigo and rv, communications, campsite chores, transportation, etc., it is all InJoelSteps. It is for now the main thing, the one thing. In fighting substance addiction, each person needs to reach the point where they adopt the attitude that recovery is the one thing. Unsuccessful recovery and the rest will not matter. The coast to coast journey I am making is to represent the long and difficult journey faced by those recovering from substance use disorder. My journey is the easier one. But in both, the journey needs for a time to be “the one thing”.
Addiction is a treatable brain disease that disables decision-making.