Hurl yourself into the Unknown

When the name Maah Daah Hey first flashed on my radar screen, I dismissed it out of hand.

Chris said: “We should ride it!”

And my immediate answer was: “No f**king way!”

There’s apparently no other place in the US with this much contiguous singletrack (almost 150 miles of it!) passing through badlands, and I am well known for being quite a chicken when it comes to mountain biking. So I scanned a couple of articles, mused for a moment at the funny name, and promptly forgot about it.

Or so I thought.

A mind is a funny thing. Have you ever noticed how your mind can neatly file away information, and drop that file open at your feet at the precise moment when you need it most?

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Routine is killing us: knowing when to wake up, how to start our day, how that and each day will go, how it will likely end, brushing our teeth, eating, shopping, commuting, slogging through our work, consuming, producing, occasionally accomplishing, coming home to our couple hours of freedom, and a favorite TV show or nightly cocktail a keenly anticipated reward for (escape from?) the life we live. A predictable trail —known, dependable, comforting— we can walk it practically in our sleep, day in and day out right into oblivion.

Sleepwalking through the few decades you’re allotted. Unless you wake up one day and realize that you don’t always want to know what’s next.

Not knowing is scary.

Not knowing is also necessary for each of us to become the best self we can be.

Think about it this way: the best stories are the ones with twists you didn’t expect; your favorite childhood moments were probably flashes of new discovery; it’s better to —I’m going out on a limb here— not know if you’re going to have a boy or a girl! The pivot point between not knowing and knowing is learning and adaptation and growth. The latter are literally not possible, unless we are willing to put ourselves face to face with NOT-knowing. Learning to adapt to the not-known is how humans thrive.

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is my unknown. We’ve never met, but a year from now, that will change.

How? I don’t know.

But here, I commit, leap, begin.

Coming up next: Maah Daah… Whaa?