Whilst reading Al's first book about the first half of his epic round the world bicycle ride 'Moods of Future Joys' recently I came across one particular passage that really spoke to me and managed to highlight and reiterate thoughts and feelings that I have myself on the the ease of western living and the need for a real challenge to feel like you have really pushed yourself to your limits and felt truly alive. Living rather than just existing.
"I began because England was too easy. I wanted something that I did not know I was capable of. I would never know unless I tried. I wanted unpredictability. I wanted to demand more of myself than I could demand of others. I wanted open space. I wanted anxiety and insecurity, storm and strife, even if I did not always have the courage to cope with them. I wanted to strive, to seek and to see whether or not I could yield. I wanted to overload my senses. I felt that I would only know my strength if I took the strain, that I needed to taste blood to know if I was hurt, needed to be thrashed by a gale to accept it was windy, needed to taste lung to believe I had pushed myself hard. I needed to confirm that I was alive".
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