On the flight home the guy next to me asked, “How are you going to decompress from this experience?” I had not really thought about it. Now I’m realizing what a good question it is. The only thing on my list was to shave and see my wife! Karen’s comment on this shot was who is this old guy? The beard had to go. Physically we all lost between 5-9 pounds. Not bad considering the physical demand day after day. I’m still eating like I did on the road, eating like a teenaged boy, as Jacquie described it. That can’t go on for long! I feel good and my body looks a bit like a teenaged boy, no extra pounds anywhere. How about keeping a goatee and side burns? Maybe not…Mentally, I feel like I’m in a bit of a fog. I played a strategy board game the second night at home, I was surprised how hard it was to concentrate on the game. Plus I find I’m a little overwhelmed with trying to process the experience… Every night since getting home I’ve dreamed about cycling. Most of the dreams have been about pushing to make a presentation, do an interview or board a ferry. The first morning I woke up in a panic, thinking, “It’s day light– we should be on our bikes!”
Reflecting on the wonderful people and connection points along the way has helped me process the past two months. On some level I’m having difficulty comprehending that the ride is over, and we really did cycle across Canada.I always know when I need some space emotionally when I want to be alone. By nature I’m a people person. The past couple days I have really enjoyed alone time in the form of yard work and odd jobs around the house that have given me some emotional space. Fifty plus days of talking about kids dying because of the lack of clean water is an emotionally taxing task.
Speaking of overwhelming… my inbox had over 1000 emails plus my personal Facebook posts. As I began working through them I discovered a really special birthday note.., “Hey Mike Woodard we want to give you a special birthday present. We will cover the cost of one well. Happy Birthday!” I continue to be so touched by the kindness and generosity of so many! That message brought a few tears!