A Story of Determination

When catastrophe strikes… what I did when the unthinkable happened.

This story will resonate with you if you have ever felt like you’ve been in a situation where disaster struck. It seems like it’s game over. That’s it. You have no other option but to quit.

* * *

So there I am on a quest with a friend of mine to cycle across Canada.

We’ve just set out. We started that morning at Mile Zero in Victoria, BC to travel the Trans Canada Highway across this beautiful country of ours.

I was tiring out and feeling my muscles and we weren’t even 30 kilometers into our trip. I decided to pull over, rest, and stretch to stave off what was sure to be excruciating stiffness the next day.

I pulled my heel to my butt to stretch out my leg when my knee made a horrible sound. A crunching sound. I thought, “Oh crap.”

I couldn’t straighten my leg. I couldn’t put any weight on my leg. I couldn’t walk.

On DAY ONE of what was supposed to be an epic trip.

What was I going to do?

My friend and I had been planning this trip for months. I had quit my job so I could do this trip! We had told everyone about our plans. Imagine! Quitting on the first day.

My friend was further up the hill, by this point probably wondering what the heck was going on.

What was I going to tell her? “Oh hey, no biggie but we’re going to have to quit our trip.” Yeah right. That was so not happening.

Quitting wasn’t an option for me.

My hobbling wasn’t improving and in fact, I could feel my knee swelling.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Or so I thought.

I remembered then, thanks to the great bicycle tune-up the week before, that I didn’t need to straighten my leg to ride my bike. When the bicycle guy was adjusting my bike seat, he told me the cycling is easiest when the seat is positioned so that the leg isn’t fully extended.

With nothing to lose, I hopped to my bike, put it in the easiest gear, and gave it a shot.

I couldn’t walk, but amazingly, I could ride!

Can you imagine what would have happened if we had thrown in the towel on day one of our epic adventure?

If I had given up that day, I would not have the amazing scrapbook full of pictures of adventures upon adventures. And I would not have the photos of me, a deep tanned brown hugging my mom, grandma, and grandpa back at my hometown airport being able to say, “I did it!! I cycled across Canada!”

I keep a piece of the chain that carried me across Canada on my desk to remind me of the incredible strength, determination, courage, and perseverance I have within me.

In life, in business, in your career, you will be met with obstacles that seem insurmountable. It will feel like something you won’t be able to overcome.

You have incredible strength, determination, courage, and perseverance in you as well.

Even when it looks like things have gone to pot and there are no good outcomes, there is always a way forward. Trust that you will be able to find your way through.


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10 thoughts on “A Story of Determination

  1. That is such a cool achievement….you should be extremely proud of getting to that goal.
    Determination is a formidable part of character..and wow you showed it.
    When I spoke of my mom at her memorial service, I spoke, with every anecdote, of her determination…that was my word that captured all the wonderful things she did for her life and us as a family. Maybe that will be a word that you are remembered for.