This story is about positive impact, self-sufficiency, maximum performance, initiative, and self-determination. It’s a story that tells, step by step, my last extreme adventure. I think the epicenter of everything is getting to instill an unstoppable attitude.
This year, after the charity race that I did from Cape Town to the Tankwa Karoo desert (333 kilometers fasting on the road and mountain bikes), after the success both at a charitable level, we surpassed 100% of the goal. I was at full performance and incomplete physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state at the end. When all of that happened, and as I knew I was going to attend Burning Man that same year, I decided to prepare, together with Bridges for Music and Valentino, a new social challenge. We thought of doing, in one go, the distance that separated Lake Tahoe from the Black Rock City, about 270 kilometers. The idea was to get a group together and embark on a charity group challenge. For reasons of timing, planning, and resources the initiative failed and was suspended.
Instead, my spirit and my mind had already begun to visualize and build. And I know from experience that, once this had started, I was going to go forward against all the odds, without anything stopping me. I wanted, just like every day, to go one step further, to do something that I hadn’t done before and, if I could be, something ten times bigger than me. I was building an unstoppable attitude.
After the first Burning Man Quest in 2014 (from San Francisco to Burning Man, 53 hours without sleeping on a bike, swimming and running), I had to invent something that challenged me. At first, I thought about traveling the distance that separates Los Angeles from Black Rock City by bike, with Valentino. One month to go Valentino told me he couldn’t join me, so I started doing it on my own, which means; without a follow-up team, without external resources, help or support of any kind. I took what I could by myself, that and nothing else. Well that, and all the supplies (food, drink, clothes.) that Elena, Juan, and Andrew took to Burning Man between them. Although, it is another story.
Visualized, thought (enough), said and done. On Sunday, August 19th at 1:00 pm, I left from Hollywood to cover the 910 kilometers that separated one city from another. I knew it was going to be an extreme adventure, but not so challenging, unpredictable and overwhelming — an excellent opportunity to test my mentality. In addition to an unstoppable attitude and everything, I have worked to achieve the highest possible performance. The objective was not to find new inputs (hacks) that will help me improve and grow exponentially. All while raising funds for the social cause defended on this occasion, education in the slums of Langa.
For me, it was a challenge because it is something bigger than me, something I haven’t done before, and something that implies a good possibility of not achieving it
It was an experience that contributed to something social, and this is the primary purpose. Create visibility and awareness about the work that my friend Valentino and Bridges for Music are doing, as well as raising funds to enroll ten young people in the future Bridges for Music Academy.
It was, without a doubt, a new experiment because I tried something new, analyzing and drawing conclusions and learning from the whole process.
What was new in Burning Man Quest (self-sufficiency mode)
It was a self-reliance social challenge that consisted of crossing the distance that separates Los Angeles from Burning Man (Black Rock City – Nevada), 904 kilometers to be exact. Almost 47 hours of road cycling, and in self-sufficiency mode. I faced this challenge alone, without equipment, without external help, and without additional support. I only counted on what I had with me and what I had on the road by myself; food, lodging, clothes. It was about developing the ultimate unstoppable attitude.
Why did I decide to do it?
As I said a few lines above, I created this challenge to generate notoriety about Bridges for Music. And raise funds to sponsor three young people from Langa who will participate in the first course of the primary school of entrepreneurship and arts in the slums of Larga. A non-profit project developed by the NGO Bridges for Music.
Two clear objectives were:
1. To raise $ 6,000 (of which we have already reached around $ 4000) which will be complete for the annual enrollment, in Bridges for Music Academy, of three young people from the slums of Langa. Donations are still open and, if you have not already done so, you can still contribute here.
2. Complete the challenge in the estimated time (7/8 days) with the agreed conditions (self-sufficiency mode).
Additional restrictions that I added to self-sufficiency mode:
- One meal per day – maximum budget of 15 dollars.
- Four hours max to work and develop your professional work.Only macrobiotic and organic food, 100%.
- Eight hours of sleep each day.
- It is prohibited to use GPS.
- The accommodation was not more than $30 per night.
- Zero sugars.
- A full day of fasting.
- Another in absolute silence.
- One day was saying “no” to everything.
- One day was saying “yes” to everyone.
A different restriction was established every day.
The keys to going beyond your limits, the secret for an unstoppable attitude
This challenge created to help three young people to have the education they could not afford, made me reflect on understanding what is beyond all that I have achieved in my life. How to be in constant self-improvement, transcendence, learning, growth, and improvement. My blessed obsession. Here I tell you, step by step, my adventure and also share with you 18 keys to learn how to go further and develop an unstoppable attitude. Everything that I received in this learning and reflected during this challenge:
1. Ask yourself: do you live to the max?
If you want to learn how to go further and transcend, you need to know why you will do it. What is it that excites you as you have never been before? And now, what mostly moves you and makes you excited to such an extent that you enter a state of absolute flow? I wonder if you can point out three events or stories from your childhood where you felt you were not good enough.
If right now nobody was watching you. Would the work you are doing make sense? If nobody saw your photos on Instagram, would it make sense to upload them? If no one cheers you up or keeps an eye on you, will you go ahead with your project, adventure or challenge? Why? Who are you trying to prove your worth to? Why? Who is the person you love the most? Why? What would it be like to do something with you if there was nothing to achieve? It’s again. Reduce yourself. Question yourself. Create a better version of you, the one you carry inside. We are waiting for you.
2. Building an unstoppable attitude
How to go beyond is something reserved for people who develop an unstoppable attitude, not for those who believe they are unstoppable. Being unstoppable is perhaps something very complex, which rarely occurs and in most cases it useless. Why? Because being unstoppable depends on the perception of other people, in 95% of cases. And that will be unattainable unless you’re not a pop star, an idolized athlete, a motivator with millions of subscribers or a legendary author. On the other hand, feeling unstoppable is something else entirely, feeling unstoppable has to do with your reality, with your perception.
You have to do with everything you do and can do to feel unstoppable. Part of some principles that you are developing and implementing, values that help you live on your terms. It’s little by little, improved, can lead to feeling unstoppable. Here is a list of all the principles that help me. Do you already have yours?
Stop trying to be unstoppable and start working on feeling unstoppable. It is part of the reason why you are reading this.
3. Fight “your” battle without end
How to go further requires knowing not only why, but to find what.
What is your battle?
The real battle, I believe, is against ourselves:
You fight against the bitter taste of not being enough.
You fight against your ego.
You fight against reaffirmation, against permission, against proving that you are valid.
You fight against the fear of being rejected.
You fight against the terror of appearing invisible.
You fight against the hidden need to love and be loved.
You fight against the feeling of being an impostor.
How would you handle your battle if you had the autonomy or security that nothing could go wrong?
4. Do it yourself
Do you want to go further? Exploring margins requires what many people do not dare to employ. Knowing how to go also is something personal.
It’s easy to excel when you have a platform ready to launch; it’s not so much when you don’t have it, and you have to build it yourself. If you are receiving this spark, it is possible that you are creating that shuttle, you have just started, you are about to finish, or that you have not even started yet because you don’t know how or where to start. What is clear is that if you are reading this, nobody has built that platform for you, just as it happened to me. It’s nothing alarming. The opposite, when you’re aware that nobody will do it for you, that you didn’t have that extra boost, or that you can’t have a renowned mentor or teacher or high impact, you only have one thing left. Do it yourself. Build it yourself. Devise it yourself. Develop it yourself. Launch it yourself. Try it yourself.
I never had that option, like you, but I had determination, willpower, insight and I’m daring. Look, just like you. It is how you will transcend.
5. Travel with the definitive resource
We never really know what we will find along the way, in what situation we will find ourselves or what we will need. We have the definitive resource: ourselves.
Whatever it is, we’ve already been there. Whatever it is, we will get over it. And if it weren’t like that, it was because that’s the way it should be. Come what may, we will adapt. We will jump. We will excel. We will overlap. That is human nature.
6. The wisdom of restrictions
The human potential is unlimited; the human being, worked holistically, can become an inexhaustible source of resources, can solve any problem in any context. One way to achieve this is to live with the restrictions. If you live limiting yourself continuously, if you narrow the area of movement, if you reduce your options, if you shorten your alternatives, if you expose yourself to risk, if you throw yourself at the opportunity you do not know, you will grow, you will improve, you will stand out, you will rise to another level. It happens because in reality, what you are doing is doing more and better with less; then, when there are no restrictions, you will sweep away.
The explanation? When you remove the restrictions, you will do more with more. Just look at the athletes who train with fixed cargo. The artists that come out of their specialty to play other instruments. All of them improve exponentially.
I don’t conceive life without self-imposed restrictions, in my work, in the challenges, in the trips, in my life. All types. How to do it? Through experiments, that is the key to dancing at the peak of maximum performance. They are a way of living in the margins: from 21 days in silence or 20 days of fasting to 120 days without social networks or 10 days saying “no” and another ten saying “yes” to everything.
Love adversity. Love the restrictions. Learn to live between the two, and you will find something fascinating unknown to the vast majority.
The limit, adversity, fear, doubt, absurdity, and uncertainty are our best teachers. In my case, I travel with these wise “gifts” everywhere.
Let the trip be continued. Let restrictions become a habit.
While I was in downtown Los Angeles, and I was in Whole Foods, I looked around. We walk through life taking, consuming, wanting. When we could walk through the life-giving, offering, giving away, sharing. A few years ago I realized this, a few years ago I decided to give as much or more as I would. To this day the balance is still unbalanced, I continue to take more than giving because the more I give, the more I seem to assume. I am living the dream of my life, traveling, working and living for the world, but it’s being overcome by the epiphany of reaching, every day, literally, every day, the best version of myself, to give it, share it and, on more and more occasions, giving it to others. I mean to practice excessive generosity.
What would happen if we changed things?
We are infinite. With unlimited potential. With an unstoppable grandeur. No, I’m not motivated, I’m just calling things by their names. But, what would happen if each one of us was motivated by curiosity? Because of the adventure? Because of the risk? Because of the bewilderment? Because of the complexity? For the problems? For the injustices? Because of poverty? And for practicing generosity without measure? If so, I think that, perhaps, we could see the possibility and greatness instead of fear and mediocrity. What would happen if each of us donated one or two weeks of our year to create a significant project with people who need it? Strategy: practice excessive generosity
I’m checking this out myself, with the 33 social actions, the 34 educational impacts, the Excellence Program for the unemployed. With Burning Man Quest 2014 or Ride to Afrika Burn. Even today, I start the most strong social challenge I have ever faced, Burning Man Quest (self-sufficiency mode). When people do something out of love for the cause, first there is a shy pause, then a chain reaction. When a foolish and insolent person like you (or me) begins to achieve unlikely things, the world stops and pays attention. Then, the posture changes, the mentality also. People realize that there is another type of motivation, one that generates a result that means something. It’s practicing excessive generosity.
We’re facing the choice of our lives, to change the course of things. I hope and pray that you will realize everything you can improve. Your choice will not only determine what happens tomorrow but how things will be done in the past. It will change history, one of the others and yours — the one that is outside and the one that occurs inside your mind.
Today is the day something happens. The magic of life that we have to live is that motivation depends on us. And if we want, we can change the sad story of many people, including ours.
If you decide to do it, the rest of the world could imitate you. We get more out of things we respond to.
8. You’re something else, for sure
Admit it, you and I are not like them. Not even close. You dress like them; you got to the same parties, you watch the same series, you eat the same food, you read these me books, you follow the same people. However, the more you try to fit in, the more you realize that you are not like the rest, you are a nonconformist, a map cartoonist. You begin to understand how “normal” people go to work and do the same as they did three years ago, we all go to self-pilot. We are disconnected.
For each eventual cliche such as “Have a good day” or “How are you?”, “How was your day?” Inside you want to say things that matter. “What are you worried about?”, “Have you thought about changing what you know you can and need to change?” Or “Tell me something vulnerable.” What is missing is that connection with people.
9. The relationship with people
Be honest, and you would like to talk to that woman/man from the elevator or knock on the door of that person who catches your attention or stop someone unknown in the middle of the street to ask something. Wait, what would happen if that elevator person or the one you knock on the door or the one you stop on the road (or the one who stared at you) thinks the same as you? Who knows what you could learn from talking to a stranger? And to interview your grandparents, parents or uncle and aunt. Remember, the connection with people.
We are all a piece of a great puzzle. No one appears in life by mere coincidence, that is why you are here, and that is why I am here. Trust your instinct.
Do the most unexpected thing. Connect with the world.
The Journey Continues. The challenge continues. And the positive impact too.
10. Dance with the unpredictable
The adventure is unpredictable; that’s the first thing that came to my mind. When I was on the second day of Burning Man Quest, in Ridgecrest, I did not know very well if I had to go that way, because it wasn’t on the route, but if I was there, it was because I had to go through there. I think that what I experienced at that moment was a faithful reflection of what life is. A succession of unexpected circumstances that you must learn to embrace with equanimity.
I will summarize some of the milestones that I had to face in this challenge, which I think can serve to illustrate what I try to argue above:
Losing my wallet with cards and ID, and finding it. I left it at a restaurant the night before, and when I returned the next day to check if it was there, it was there. North America, in no small extent, is very honest. I have already seen it a handful of times.
To leave quite late, at about 2 pm, due to my professional responsibilities. I have reduced by 70% the time and work I need to do, but the remaining 30% is essential to work.
- Overcome a stomach ache on the bicycle. The cause: aggressive food that I’m not used to eating; Pizza.
- Be obstinate with uploading some content (videos) that were impossible to upload, and ending up wasting time with not very good feelings, knowing that something external had dominated me.
- Slit two tires and puncture tree tubes just before reaching Mojave. I don’t know how it happened.
- Find the bicycle shop more than 80 kilometers away — the closest without having to back down.
- Look for alternative routes without GPS that will help me not miss the objective. And always be close to the 14 highway where you can not travel by bicycle, and the
- Google browser takes you along that route (even if you select the option “bicycle”)
- Make a quick stop for 20 min while walking on the bicycle. Until it worked. Travel to California City to see if you could find spare parts and mechanics. First in ACE Hardware where I ended up worse than I entered and then in Autozone, where they could not help me either.
- Call a taxi, pay 140 USD and travel to Ridgecrest to that bicycle workshop mentioned above. Find a motel and spend the night here.
- The adventure is unpredictable; there’s no doubt about it.
11. Exceed yourself
It is how I felt at the end of Day 3 of Burning Man Quest: overwhelmed. I think it happened because of the accumulation of so many emotions. Emotions such as worry, bewilderment or lack of control.
There are endless possibilities that can arise when facing an adventure like this. Both the positive and the negative. Although, we expected everything because we plan optimistically. On top of that, we rarely receive the ideal scenario that we had recreated in our mind.
You have to be equal to expectations. I felt overwhelmed at times. It was because of the amount of learning that I had to digest in such a short time.
During day 3, without going any further, I cycled about 123 kilometers, from Ridgecrest to Lone Pine. I didn’t know any of these cities nor did I know that I was going to reach any of them, nor did I know how I was going to get there, but I did. In between, I thought I could not continue due to the strong winds that lashed the 395US road, which is located right in the middle of the Valley of Death and Yosemite. Also, it was getting dark and, although I was provided with lights and there was a hard right shoulder, I didn’t want to risk it. I stopped again for 30 minutes, and nobody stopped. I had no choice but to follow myself.
I went through the town where I thought I was going to rest (Plancha) and there was nothing. I came to the next, Carthage; it’s a ghost town. To all this, I started to cycle faster to get there quicker. It was one of those moments where I would have stopped because I didn’t feel safe, but I continued until the end. Against my instinct, against my mind, that was still more savage trying to sabotage me.
Finally, I arrived at 21:15h at Lone Pine, and there was a McDonalds here (I didn’t eat here, of course), and I found the Motel Timberline by Booking. I arrived, I took a shower of cold/hot contrasts. I drank my vegan alkaline protein. I did 20 minutes of Yin Yoga and went to dinner. My mind and emotions were collapsed. It was not until I sat down to meditate that I discovered why …
I felt overwhelmed because on that occasion I had gone beyond my physical safety. I had ignored the amygdala and also my instinct. I don’t know what it is that made me go on, but I went on, and I had never felt the same feeling.
12. Go from less to more
Once I reached the 460kms, I was better. That, despite the difficulties, the unexpected, the fatigue and the muscular load. In the Titan Desert 2016 test, I discovered something, unconsciously adopted the strategy of going from less to more. From less to more in many things, work, party, activities in my free time, but especially in the challenges, adventures, and experiments. When I realized it, I started paying attention, which helped me to improve the strategy and the process.
Already on the fourth day of the challenge, I came across a smooth day, 100 kilometers, cycling at a good pace, 33km/h on average, I went from less to more as my friend Ibon Zugasti said. The landscape was incredible; The Sierra Mountains are endless. With the wind in my favor, all in favor, except the three punctures I had. In spite of everything, the fortune decided to smile at me, because help was only 6 kilometers away from Bishop. I was able to hitchhike and Justin, a cyclist who was going to Mammoth Lakes, stopped and left me in the city.
Already in the city, without the Internet signal, I went into a store to ask for Wi-Fi and look for the most optimal motel. Then he recommended a very special hostel, and I went there — the California Bishop Hostel. I arrived, I got good recommendations. I met Ethan (a guy who has been mountaineering for three months from Mexico to the United States). I practiced yoga, I had dinner, and I worked on everything I had pending for the previous two days.
For day five in this social challenge, I came away with absolutely everything I had. No aces up my sleeve, no plan B, no fear, bare-chested. To count kilometer after kilometer, to savor it, even if it is fucked, also if it punched four tires, even if it had to walk 5 km until the next town. Even if I had to hitchhike and I didn’t get picked up, nobody else did, I went on. From less to more, undoubtedly.
13. To continue in spite of the adversities
I persevered because I know that I always go from less to more, and that, in the mid and long-term, it builds an unstoppable attitude. Even short, for the confidence that you have in knowing that you are going to multiply, whatever you are getting.
I continued because I wish someone had taught me to lower my arms and leave. I wish I had known what it is to be satisfied with what there is. I hope someone had explained to me that there are an end and a limit. Unfortunately or fortunately it didn’t happen, because I have never allowed it. So I have no other to keep pushing in life. More so if I have a reason like the one I had; I can help three young people to have the education they can’t afford, you can still help me and participate with your donation.
How did I get to feel? Uncontrolled, entirely out of my control area, comfort and safety. I am overwhelmed by so many unforeseen events, emotions, uncertainty. It’s sensational, but at the same time scary. You feel naked; it is a form of vulnerability that you haven’t explored until now.
I go from less to more so I can go from more to more.
14. Unstoppable attitude (and mentality)
At the end of Day 5 of Burning Man Quest: from Bishop, through Benton and “Hot Springs” to unintentionally reach Lee Vining, things became more “interesting” than they would have been likely in a typical case. Of course healthy is never normal, that is essential. I can almost assure that I would have left on the third day, I would have decided not to continue, but for my tireless nature at critical moments. The high-performance work I have done in these last two years and the unstoppable mentality that I have been building since I became aware that the best strategy is to believe in oneself, mainly because of the great work that the mind does and how this affects the physical, emotional and a little less, spirituality.
Everything that I write on my blog is always based on one or more facts that support it. On this occasion what I deal with could not be less:
Distance: 110 kilometers of cycling. Adding a total of 590kms.
Ascent and ascent: +3,900 meters of altitude, to be more illustrative; 4 mountains climbed, and descents.
At kilometer 20 I broke both cycling shoes (both soles took off). Or they were abandoned or followed in some way. The way was to force the pump down when pedaling, while the bottom was hooked in the coves.
I had to travel 10 kilometers on a stony road with a road bike (5km one way and 5km back).
All for a mistake of GPS and mismanagement of the one who interpreted those maps (me), without excuses.
By “luck” I had the wind against during 70% of the way.
I was rescued at nightfall, in the middle of nowhere, by a British father and son traveling through California. The reason for the “rescue” was because Google Maps was taking me back along an unpaved road when it was almost dark. The dirt road meant 15 kilometers, the other that was planned, there was merely no road because there was no sign or did not mark an option available. I waited 30 minutes until the first car passed, which fortunately stopped.
I was driven to two Google routes by an unmarked road that was unfeasible to access. Deviation and necessary route change. There I lost almost 2 hours.
It takes an unstoppable attitude and mentality to resist. How can you deduce, it was a stoic theatrical day. Mental from kilometer 5 to the last. Enduring mental and emotional daze. Beginning this 6th day, the physicist starts to feel a bit of resentment, unusually high back, neck, lumbar and gluteal muscles.
Everything that could happen is happening, something to be expected. The key is in the position adopted in the face of unforeseen events and adversities. They take you by surprise because you think it won’t get you.
When you think that one day can’t be worse than the other, you are wrong, and you will pay for it. There is always a worse version.
There is only one way to do it, expose yourself again and again, to everything that holds us back, as it is and for all. Obsessively It is paradoxical, but you need to breathe and live from what you are trying to escape.
Before starting this next day 6, I had experienced unforeseen events and things that could reduce my motivation, but it wasn’t like that.
The trip to Burning Man continued and, for that moment, 360 / 390kms remained.
15. Impulse yourself and those who need you
From Lee Vining to Hawthorne, jumping state, from California to Nevada I was cycling measly, wind in favor. Everything more “normal” and it is appreciated. No puncture, no loss, no rescue. I was cycling and enjoying myself… Of course, with cramps already in the neck and back a little crushed, but nothing that I couldn’t stand. As I rolled through the desert plains of Nevada, I felt awake, feeling and meditating. What I am telling you now is what most strongly appeared in my mind … “Why do we not help more in situations of inequality or disadvantage, whatever nature?” We have the opportunity to encourage others.
For every opportunity we have at our disposal, we waste ten, another ten we don’t even see(because we do not know how to see them, or we do not want to see them) and finally, we let escape the only one that seems we could take advantage of. Every person I have met, whether in Spain, in other countries, or the United States, has more influence and ability to impact than anyone thinks. Imagine that each person you meet gave at least one day of the year, or a few hours dedicated to the month, to help improve the quality of life of people who do not have the same opportunities as us.
I ask you to take a moment as soon as you can and answer these questions for yourself:
- What is your commitment to a positive impact? (we must all have one)
- If you could ask for help in something, what would it be?
- What disadvantaged people resonate more with you and could you help right now?
- What do you think, correctly, that you could help with for those who need it?
- How much time (hours spread over days) do you think you could dedicate to the month to give yourself the opportunity to boost the less privileged?
- Who else could you count on to take this micro-movement forward?
You have the opportunity, the responsibility and obligation to give back to the world a little, just a little, for everything you take every day. The opportunity to promote people who need you, and with minimal effort, you can change for the better.
We have the opportunity to promote the people who need it most, not only an opportunity but responsibility and an obligation.
If you are already sharing your time, talent, skills and effort with those who need you, my most sincere congratulations and admiration, if you have not yet started or you are hesitating, now is the right time to start. Commit yourself and start, very little by little, but start to drive the disconnected.
Now in the final stretch of this challenge, I reflect on my call to action for you … If you are reading this, please dedicate 5 minutes of your time and a minuscule budget, to donate to the cause that I have been defending and giving from 2013, as much time, an effort, as money. (Donations are still open).
Do it. Add strength, contribute, help, promote, improve, empower those who do not enjoy the same opportunity as you. It is necessary for having an unstoppable attitude.
16. There is no choice but to do it
Being in Fernley (Nevada), at 00:40h, writing about the 7th day of the social challenge and self-sufficiency Burning Man Quest. Thought I realized that this day had been longer than usual, also considered, because it was more hours. However, it was one more completed. You have to make what you want to do happen, even if it’s seemingly impossible. You have to repeat and convince yourself that you can make it happen. If you get it, you’ll get it.
This how it was that ay, roughly:
- 175kms – 8:30 h.
- + 3,500mts slope, four mountains with their respective ports.
- Face wind 90% of the travel.
- Route: Hawthorne – Fallon – Fernley.
- Food: I didn’t eat anything substantial and endured great based on natural juices of vegetables and fruits, coconut water and alkaline water. On the 100th kilometer, I ate an organic energy bar.
- Sensations: it was the longest day, but I didn’ have that feeling. When I was filming, I wasn’t thinking about anything. I was immersed at the moment … So much, that I didn’t8 have space for other things. Also, I finished this day in the best possible way: with people. I was meeting with two terrific friends, Juan Romera, and Lyndsey Garrill. Juan helped me move my luggage from Los Angeles to Burning Man, amongst other things.
Creating an unstoppable attitude also comes from having no choice. Period.
17. You have to make it happen, seriously
Sure, you have to want to do it, then you have to need to do it. Finally, you have to make it happen, yourself. And the best way to make things happen is to make them happen. Without rest, progressively, always more. One step every day, millimeter by millimeter.
You can miss, you may not arrive today, you can defraud, you can get frustrated, you can fall, it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t stop on your way to make something happen. Because the feeling of giving everything you have and know is the only sensation/validation that you should look for.
18. Put determination ahead of everything
Tell me what you want to achieve, tell me what you aspire to, tell me what your dream is. Tell me, and I’ll let you know that you only need one thing to achieve it: determination.
It is the first thing that came to my mind when I started writing after being more than a week disconnected in the alive desert on the planet, right after writing and publishing the last impressions of day 7 of my previous social challenge. The determination was the most valuable and critical I had to be able to reach the end of day 8 and finish the challenge.
This image was just taken at the entrance to the desert of BRC, the desert city where Burning Man is celebrated. It was Sunday, August 26that 7:30 pm. You could say I was three kilometers from the imaginary “goal” of the last stage of BMQ.
Eight days after the adventure, in its broadest sense of the word, I noticed that this was a challenge of a nature that I had never before faced. A trial against myself, against any obstacle and the unpredictable. Whether internal or external. Either because of the bicycle, the luggage, the distance, the weather, the land, the wind or my physical, mental or emotional state. Whatever it was, there was no one but me, my resources, my ingenuity, determination, and insight, to face any adversity that might arise along the way.
It is what I experienced on the last day of challenge:
- Route: Fernley – Dixon – Pyramid Lake – Gerlach – Black Rock (Nevada)
- Total distance covered: 174 kilometers.
- Time: 8:15h – from 11:45h to 19:30h.
- The importance of determination
Why the determination for building an unstoppable attitude?
It happens because you need it when you think you can not continue. Because it will help you get up when you fall. Because it will be the only thing you have when there are no more options.
It is possible that the outcome of day eight would have been different without having used my determination. The wind was blowing so hard on the stretch towards Gerlach, that it threw me off the bicycle three times in a row. I couldn’t just cycle, when I fell for the first time, I didn’t want to get up, but there was no other option, I got up and went on. When I fell for the second time, I became discouraged and cursed the wind, but I got up and continued peddling. When I fell again the third time I hurt my knee, but, I got up and went on, but I could not stay much longer. Even so, I wanted to keep.
At that time a caravan going to Burning Man stopped to rescue me. They were two guys from New York, very kind and committed. I got in, traveled about thirty kilometers and arrived at Gerlach. There they detained us for an hour. The doors were closed because the strong wind had raised a massive sandstorm and it was not safe for the volunteers and attendants. We waited for the green light of the Nevada patrol, there was a broad line, and we could not continue.
It is at that moment where I set the determination to work again. I said to myself, and to the occupants of the caravan, “I’m not going to enter Burning Man with a caravan. Not after all lived and overcame, not for the cause, and not for me. ” So I got off, got on the bike and continued the last 25 kilometers until I reached the very entrance. I even did the 5 kilometers of the desert with the road bike.
That was how I arrived at the end of the last day of the challenge, with determination. It is how I developed an unstoppable attitude. The more I perfected my optimal performance, the better I was able to build a stronger mindset to face everything.
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