I’ve Been Through the Desert with a Horse with No Name

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I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name

It felt good to be out of the rain

In the desert you can remember your name

‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

La la la la la la la, la la la, la la

The words echoed through my mind.  Distant voices of people that weren’t really there. I could hear the soft strums of the guitar.  A guitar that wasn’t really there.

There really wasn’t anyone to give me any pain.  Just me.  And my bike.Upon first glance, there was nothing out there.  But if you took a moment and really looked, you could see a lot of life.  I could really see everything.  The sand and rock landscape offered comforting earthy tones with bursts of red, and smooth contours that gave way to juts reaching for the vast, open blue of the sky.

If only I had been able to stop and really see about an hour ago…

I was surrounded by open desert.  The sun beat down on me.  The wind was strong, pushing against me, a barrier between me and my destination.  I could have been working as part of a team, working together to get us to our place of rest, taking in the beauty surrounding us along the way.

If only I had been able to stop, see and hear about an hour ago…

Neither my body nor my mind had really shown up for this ride.  We had started at Newspaper Rock.  We had made it Needles Point without anything too eventful.  We had stopped for a bit to take in the wonders at the look out point.  But not too long as our journey back would be a long and tough one.  I didn’t realize any of this at the time.  I was so focused on myself, on what I was experiencing and what I was feeling, that I completely missed the bigger and much more important picture.

needles-point

The reality was that a tail wind had blown us down a slight incline all the way from our start point to the turn off to Needles Point.  The ride from the turnoff to the look out point was short.  Therefore, the logical conclusion was that most of our ride back would be uphill and into a head wind.  Furthermore, we were in the desert. It was hot.  It was dry.  We only had so much water and so much fuel.  We needed to take all of this into consideration.  We also needed to work as a team. 

Again, I was so consumed with my own inner turmoil and happenings that I missed all of this.

I may have learned as many or more lessons on this ride than any ride I had ever done.

My mind and my body hadn’t really shown up for this ride.  I chose to focus on this.  I chose to focus on how I was feeling.  I could have chosen differently.  I could have chosen to acknowledge my feelings and the state of my physical body.  I could have then chosen to work it out.  To find a place where I would could work with what I had and push to the right place to stay with my partner.  Yes, my partner.  We were a team.  Or we were supposed to be.  The whole point of being out there together was to help each other through this difficult ride so that we could enjoy the beauty of this open desert in a safe manner.

Consumed by myself, I chose to ride alone all the way back.  It was a poor choice.  I didn’t believe in myself.  I didn’t believe that I could cycle as a team with a strong partner who was there to support me.  I let my emotions get the better of me, I became difficult to communicate with, and chose to bike alone. Through the desert. All the way back.

So, there I was.  In the middle of nowhere.  Surrounded by the wide open desert.  Sand, rock, trees, quiet.  I was suffering. It was very windy, I didn’t feel strong, and I was becoming depleted.  My limbs felt heavy and the horizon was blurring.  At a point where I knew I needed to regroup, I stopped.  I had my snack.  I planned out how to portion my water.  I took a deep breathe, and I changed my outlook.  I chose to view the entire thing differently.  It was far too late to leverage the strength of a willing partner by that point. So, I dealt with it on my own.

I let the peace of the desert engulf me. And I just kept on pedalling, one foot in front of the other.  As the lines of stress on my face softened and the pulling strands of anxiety in my back vanished, I took a long, deep breath.  I found whatever flow I could muster.  I hadn’t worked as a true partner should have.  But I could still focus and make it to the end in a reasonable time so that I wouldn’t cause worry and concern.

I made the best of the rest of the ride.  I took in the beauty surrounding me.  I let the desert soothe my soul.   And I appreciated being on my bike.

After the ride, we found a place for a drink and a nice meal.  Shoulders slouched and heart sinking, I looked at the lovely dinner in front of me, and finally opened up.  We talked, and talked, and talked.  I cried.  A lot.  As I truly listened to the other viewpoint in this situation, I realized that I could have been a lot more open out there in the open desert.  I could have communicated, I could have chosen team work.

It was a big lesson for me that day that my feelings and concerns are not the only ones out there.  And that being consumed by them can cause me to miss much bigger and more important things.

Strava Route – Newspaper Rock to Needles Point


This really was the song going through my head on that day, in that moment.  When I wrote this post, I listened to the song, and watched the lyrics as I listened.  Click on the link.  Listen.  Follow the lyrics.  What do you see, what you do get?

On the first part of the journey

I was looking at all the life

There were plants and birds and rocks and things

There was sand and hills and rings

The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz

And the sky with no clouds

The heat was hot and the ground was dry

But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name

It felt good to be out of the rain

In the desert you can remember your name

‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

La, la la la la la la, la la la , la la

After two days in the desert sun

My skin began to turn red

After three days in the desert fun

I was looking at a river bed

And the story it told of a river that flowed

Made me sad to think it was dead

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name

It felt good to be out of the rain

In the desert you can remember your name

‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

La, la la la la la la, la la la , la la

After nine days I let the horse run free

‘Cause the desert had turned to sea

There were plants and birds and rocks and things

there was sand and hills and rings

The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground

And a perfect disguise above

Under the cities lies a heart made of ground

But the humans will give no love

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name

It felt good to be out of the rain

In the desert you can remember your name

‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

La, la la la la la la, la la la , la la.

 

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8 thoughts on “I’ve Been Through the Desert with a Horse with No Name

  1. It sounds like a tough and beautiful situation to be in. You learned about yourself and that very tough realization that needing people requires getting over the awful feeling of vulnerability…
    If what I am writing doesn’t make sense….I haven’t had enough coffee yet and I also need time to mull this over. I just wanted to write something positive from your struggles (which of course you already know) in support.

    Like

    1. Thanks!!! And YES this does make sense. The situation taught me a lot. I have since been learning how to lean on my riding friends, especially my husband, and truly display good team work.

      The situation was also beautiful. There was so much about being out there that was truly amazing.

      Hope you got another coffee!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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