It’s been five months. Five months has passed since I’ve been back and I still stick by the same morning routine. The song “Stolen Dance” by Milky Chance wakes me up in a panic, just like it used to, as I scramble to turn the alarm off. This time I can dismiss it, but I used to have to sit through that awful song. I still lay in bed for a few minutes after, although that’s just time to ponder on what type of music I’m going to play to get me going. Back then if I felt like I was going to cycle like Lance Armstrong I would play 50 Cent to get me pumped, or if I was sad and knew it was going to be a tough day, Bon Iver would be my choice.
After that selection, it was time to get dressed for the day. I still put a bracelet on my wrist before I leave. In the summer it was a bracelet advocating awareness for a children’s disease, but that bracelet is tucked away and locked up for safe keeping as if it were 100-karat gold. Now the bracelet is a band that says “To the Stars With Difficulties” in Latin. I flaunt it around like a championship ring, because to me it is. It stands for something way greater than myself and represents thirty-four other outstanding men along with a journey of a lifetime. A journey that each day would start with a circle up after we all were ready.
Nowadays I sit at my computer, go through my emails and plan out the day. Months ago, our project manager would circle us up and inform us on our day. He would provide the weather, how many miles to cycle, what city we were going to, how we would get fed, and what friendship visit we had. I can remember his voice like it was yesterday.