PER·SIST·ENCE in spite of!
Welcome back to SCOTOMAVILLE and what an absolutely fabulous episode this is going to be. I'm so excited we're finally going to get a dream we've been working on a long time. There is nothing like a good little journey with a purpose to expose places in your character where you can grow. We're getting ready for an expedition. We've ordered stuff from Amazon. We're packing things. It's all going in the truck. We are excited. It is finally come time after four prior attempts (this will be number five) to purchase our own Airstream. It's in Albuquerque New Mexico. It's the only one like it in the United States. It was built the week of the COVID-19 shutdown. It's exactly what we want for the price we can afford. Our banker assures us (in fact four of our bankers) that our scores are good. Our financing is set and we are off to Albuquerque.
It's exciting and I'm also wondering why is it going so smoothly because I've been on a few expeditions before.
We're in Baker City Oregon in the northeast corner of Oregon, headed to Albuquerque. We're on our first lunch break and we have butterflies. I mean Angelina is taking a video of butterflies flying overhead.
I have a story to share. During my 2005 Trans-Am I met Glenn Douglas in Fargo North Dakota. He knew all about the butterflies. It's a good omen for us.
In 2005, I had flown to Seattle to spend some time with my son. I started pedaling east from Bellingham, Washington up over the Cascade Mountains. Somewhere in the middle of Idaho butterflies began flying with me. No, not just across my path. They would actually come out from the fields and fly alongside me in one of four quadrants. That was strange because they flew just out of reach right in those four sectors. I thought this really weird.
I continued across Montana. At least a couple of times Sheriff and Police and other law enforcement had said to me; "you be a little careful where you're staying and where you're at because some tensions are going on amongst the tribes on your route and uh we've got a couple of missing cyclists and we just don't want you to fall into any trouble. So you watch yourself you take care that you're under a light and in a safe place when you camp at night."
■ Challenge is normal ■ Change is hard ■ AWRNSS of subtle clues will help ■ Butterflies know ■ Do not give up
TRANS AMERICA CYCLING
One morning, a weather front had just gone through and it was cold that morning. It was wet as I cycled into Fargo North Dakota. I went to McDonald's for a hot breakfast. As I went in I looked around, surprised that it was full of senior citizens. I mean there was NO PLACE to sit except at a table with an Indian - and you remember I was supposed to keep my distance, but I thought; 'there's plenty of witnesses - it's broad daylight, come on Daniel.'
I got my meal at the counter and I heard the Indian fellow; "hey... I need to talk to you!"
People began looking at me. I turned around to see the Indian gentleman sitting at the table pointing at me. "I need to talk to you," he said. So I thought; 'well okay this is interesting'.
I sat down at the table and we started eating. I asked why he wanted to talk as I focused on what Glen was wearing. He looked like a Walmart greeter. He's had a hat with pins around the brim. His shirt had all kinds of pins and medallions and ribbons and stuff. I recognize some as battle medallions of campaigns. I fumbled for the right question... "Who are you?"
He said; "I'm Glenn Douglas". I dug into his story a little bit. You might know the movie with Nicholas Cage called Windtalkers. Glenn was one of the original Windtalkers from the Korean War. At the time, he was the oldest living most decorated Native American Army Intelligence Officer. Glen had some interesting life experiences.
In the middle of the conversation, I asked; "why do you have to talk to me". He laid the paper he was looking at down on the table. Pointing to a picture of me in the paper he asked; "is that you?"
"Yeah," I said. "And is that you, Glen?"
On the opposite side of the paper was his face. Here we are sitting together and he's reading the newspapers with both of us in it.
We continued talking. Glen wanted to know what I was doing. I shared a little bit on cycling across America, Angelina being in a car wreck, and that I was trying to get the message out...
KARE 5 NEWS CLIP
"On the same day, Lance Armstrong rode into Paris for the final time a cyclist from Seattle rode into the twin cities for the first time. Daniel Comp is traveling cross country on his bike to raise awareness for women in business. The long-time cyclist got the idea after his wife was injured in a bad car crash. She was an entrepreneur and he's riding in honor of her. 'Through peer support and mentoring they all sort of network together and share their business ideas and help each other in business and incredible things are coming out of it. We're trying to bring it out of Texas and up across the Northern U.S.'. Comp started his journey in Seattle just after father's day. He figures if he travels 80 to 100 miles a day he'll reach the east coast by the end of August."
I said; "oh... Glen, you're an Indian!" I still remember that awkward blurt. I get goosebumps on this because it was like the most obviously inappropriate social statement to make out loud. "You're an Indian!" I said excitedly. What's with the butterflies? I asked.
Glen said; "oh... the butterflies. They know."
They know? They know what?; I asked.
"Your mission," Glen said.
Glen said; "you're changing and you're helping people. The butterflies are there so you don't quit - and the horses too."
I still get goosebumps recalling this because I had not even told Angelina about the horses. By that point of cycling across America I had had three small pelotons run with me. Pelotons of horses. They would see me and get inspired to run with me. Apparently, it's not so uncommon. Horses ran in the Tour de France once, but for me, it was quite unusual to be out in the middle of the Dakotas and have horses running parallel with me.
It turns out that butterflies had saved my life on that expedition. Glen said they were there in Native American folklore to protect me.
I had later met with Clint Hackney with one of the tribal (SPIPA) groups in the Pacific Northwest. He had shared what he knew about what he called a Medicine Wheel. The four quadrants of the wheel have meanings. Butterflies represented 'new birth'.
A TOUGH LESSON
I pretty much sat on that story for decades. Here we are headed to Albuquerque with a butterfly reminding us to NOT QUIT.
Angelina and I have been trying to make a difference for others for a couple decades together now. It's been a long long journey. What does this mean to us as a couple?
Once you fully commit so you can't turn back, then all sorts of manner of things occur that we never would have expected. In the most wonderful ways, people and resources, and events turn up. I finished the first Trans-America believing that at the right time the butterfly story would be valuable. It's a whole new world now. We can't do things the way we used to. The whole world had to change. You're not just aware of COVID, you've had to start changing your habits. and pay attention a lot more than before.
We continued our trip from Salt Lake City to Grand Junction. On day two I got on the elevator by myself and at the last second as the doors are closing a man without a mask sticks his hand in the closing doors and jumps on the elevator with me. Boy did I give him a little stare. You don't shove your hand in the door to get on the elevator when there are people already on it. I had to insist that the family of seven could not ride the elevator with me. Ahhh new habits...
W.H Murray; "concerning all acts of initiative and creation until you're committed you can always pull back but once you are fully committed then providence moves."
It's not until you're fully committed that things happen. We are all constantly being resisted, opposed, and challenged. We're learning more about financing a 'recreational vehicle' than the actual people responsible for approving the loans. Apparently, credit reports lag. They do not have real-time information, nor is it accurate.
It seems we have to fight for what we want. We really can't just wait until it happens. We have to put the initiative and fully commit before some things can happen. When you're on an expedition you rope into each other. You get to experience some of the stumbles of everyone else. When you're in a marriage partnership you get to learn together.
One of the hardest things for an 'Achiever' to do is sit around in a hotel room. I think this is five days in the hotel. We didn't pick up our Airstream today. I don't yet think that people intentionally lie, but remember the saying that "everybody needs something to believe in - even if it's not true?" I think that most people start telling 'stories' when they are cornered when they're being found out. Their habits are becoming known. People tend to fill in the 'gaps' with beliefs and words they have been told that just aren't true. We shouldn't have acted on what well-meaning bankers said as fact. Don't do what we did - drive across the country having been told that we are pre-qualified to pick up your Airstream. Some people simply pass on 'stories' as facts. That's a hard lesson. It seems you can't get up Mount Everest on a bad weather day - no matter how much you plan, prepare and practice.
Persistence - a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Don't quit. Butterflies say so.