The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.
I spent the first 11 days of July on my honeymoon. Spain, France, Switzerland provided lots of amazing food and wine…and some crazy adventures!
The craziest adventure involved the Tour de France.
I first started loosely paying attention to this race in the days of Lance Armstrong. I always had it on my bucket list to ride to the top of one of the climbs in the Alps or Pyrenees to watch the riders with the thousands of other rabid cycling fans.
Thankfully, JoAnna is a gamer and was up for the adventure.
So, on July 5th we rented bikes for the 5th stage of the Tour. We’d be climbing the Col de Soudet.
It was HARD. Physically, it’s over 16 kilometers at an average of more than a 7.0% incline. Even living in Colorado, this was steeper than anything I’m used to biking.
But, logistically, it was also hard. The Tour is a HUGE event and they have motorbikes and police everywhere. It was directionally challenging enough to find our way to the base of the mountain, but we did. Then we started climbing.
Shortly after, we were stopped by a police officer on the side of the road. He said we couldn’t ride to the summit.
“Can we walk our bikes to the summit?” we asked.
He responded, “Uh…I guess. But it’s 13 kilometers away.”
That’s a long distance and I really didn’t want to walk my bike 8 miles up a mountain. We stood there, contemplating our options.
JoAnna asked me, “What is your intention?”
She already knew my answer: “To get to the summit.” I was serious.
At this point the police officer turned to us, shook his head, smiled and said, “Ok, go ahead and get back on your bikes. BUT BE CAREFUL.”
Noted. Thank you, Mr. French Policeman 🙂
We rode another few kilometers up the road and saw another police officer.
Uh oh, here we go again…
“You can’t ride to the summit.”
“Ok, do you mind if we walk there?”
This policeman didn’t speak English very well (and I speak ZERO French) so when he told us we could continue, we walked our bikes about 100 yards up the road, got back on them and pretended we didn’t understand what he wanted us to do.
Motto: Better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission!
After one more run-in with a police officer about 3 kilometers from the summit (“we’ll be careful, we promise!”), we were finally in the clear.
Not literally – it was foggy as heck up there! But we made it to the summit of the Col de Soudet and cheered the Tour riders as they came through.
This might be a strange tie-in but there is something incredible about the confidence of knowing you’ll figure it out.
How many times have you been in a strange or challenging situation, known your intention, and somehow by the grace of God, you figured it out?
Plenty, right? It’s what makes you an Outperformer. And if you did it before, you can do it again.
I’ve rarely experienced a time in my life where this willingness to get uncomfortable - and the belief in figuring it out - didn’t result in something epic and memorable.
And, yeah, it made all the amazing food and wine taste that much better 🙂