Updated: Apr 21, 2022
My wife, Jennifer, and I are watching "Long Way Up" on AppleTV right now. It's an entertaining documentary with actor Ewan McGregor (he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars) and his friend, Charley Boorman.
Together they're traveling 13,000 miles from the southernmost point of South America all the way to LA on electric Harley Davidson motorcycles. They've done these crazy journeys before: "Long Way Around" in 2004, London to New York, and "Long Way Down" in 2008, Northern part of Britain to the southern tip of Africa. As you can imagine, in all of these journeys, there is massive planning, training, preparing, and a team working with them to get them through it.
Kind of like an athlete preparing for a big race, right? And, just like and endurance athlete, when Ewan and Charley's "race" begins, all sorts of unexpected things happen. The two start running into trouble within the first week of their three-month journey. They had issues with freezing weather that impacted their battery performance--difficulties charging the batteries and getting the full distance out of each charge.
With all the planning and the army of folks involved with the team, they still couldn't predict everything that might happen. Ewan and Charley quickly realized they had very little, if any, control over many things.
In the second or third week of their journey, Ewan struggled to maintain a positive attitude amidst so much unexpected adversity. Then he came to the somewhat comforting conclusion, "You know, interruptions are the journey!" And I quickly hit pause and wrote this down.
Interruptions are absolutely part of the journey. How we handle, react, and adapt to them play a significant role in the enjoyment, education, and success of that journey. Understanding that this exists in endurance sports is the first step of many steps you can take to enjoy every minute of every adventure.
Mark Sortino is a Boise, ID based Coach wi is a USA Triathlon Level III and Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, FIST Certified Bike Fitter, USAT Certified Race Director and Paralympic Coach for Team USA. From brand new Triathletes and MTB-ers to World Championship qualifiers, Mark enjoys working for and with all types of athletes as they pursue their dreams. Mark is also a US Veteran having served 20 years in the US Navy as a Naval Flight Officer and is a graduate of the US Naval Academy. He can be reached at mark@teamMPI.com.