Out of the Pit
The road to Angie Across America has never been easy. I knew it wouldn’t be - how can it be easy when I’ve never cycled more than 150 miles in a single day (prior to June 2014), never filmed a documentary, never raised tens of thousands of dollars to film a documentary, never approached television broadcasters, and never asked influential people for help. I knew the journey would be likened to a salmon swimming upstream, with deep currents lashing and beating down on me. It truly was as I expected.
I don’t think I’ve given my personal journey from merely having a dream (in December 2013) to making it a reality (between June and July 2014) proper documentation and justice. I conceived the dream for Angie Across America wanting to document the entire process of having a dream, asking for help, approaching broadcasters, raising money, searching for camera crew, planning the logistics, doing the actual ride, cycling over 100 miles a day, encountering horrible weather and mosquitoes, sleeping in one budget motel after another, navigating tensions with my cycling companion and camera crew, overcoming self-doubts, discouragements and self-loathing, completing the journey, only to sink into several-month-long of post-ride depression (which I am still struggling with today, unbeknown to many).
I try to mask my despair with lots of running, cycling and exploration of the great outdoors of California where I live. I’m running longer distances than I did before, constantly heading out for 10-15 mile runs several times a week for no rhyme, reason or a race in mind. I do that because I don’t know what to do with the warring thoughts in my mind to which I find no answer or solution. I’d go for bike rides with friends and get tired of the same routes in the area very quickly. I constantly feel a desperate need to get away to somewhere I’ve not ridden before, as I did when I took to the open routes from Astoria, Oregon to Baltimore, Maryland, traversing 4,000 miles on bicycle across America from June to July last year.
At home, I’ve been causing my husband much grief and heartache as I operate out of a narrow, tunnel vision on matters concerning our priorities in life and money. I grew up frugal and would impose my frugality on him, to his despair, because he places relationships above money, while I was the opposite. I’d nitpick on small matters, because I’ve lost my sense of a larger vision after experiencing one of the most trying and enlarging experiences of cycling unsupported across America.
I had attempted to write a book documenting my ride and the experiences I encountered. After a month-long spree of focused writing earlier this year, I lost steam and now my book is left dangling without any semblance of life or hope of revitalization.
I had hoped to promote the documentary in which my husband and I have poured a substantial portion of our savings into, and I have not done my utmost to spread the message of the documentary through every possible means and avenues.
I had believed the documentary to have the potential to inspire others into action and pursuing their dreams - now I am less than inspired myself. I have lost my drive and vision and forgotten how to ask or hustle. I am dejected and loathe the state that I'm in.
I’ve fallen into a pit. But then I realized, the bottom of the pit isn’t such a bad place after all. At rock bottom, I have no choice but to look up. If I want to live, I have no choice but to climb up.
So today, in desperation and in fear of slipping further away, I decided to climb up the pit.
Today, I made an action plan for what I will do in the next weeks to promote my documentary, write my book and seek sponsorship for my next adventure ride.
I wrote to several trusted friends, advisers and mentors to have them hold me accountable to my actions.
My journey from out of the pit has begun. It starts today.