|Riding through the Arctic Tundra|
Or not. At least to the Vogel family it wasn't. This Idaho family of four dared to ask themselves the question, "What would you do if you were not afraid?" The answer to this question resulted in a three year cycling road trip from the north edge of Alaska to the southernmost tip of Argentina at Land's End - with two children who were but ten years old when the adventure began. Changing Gears is a story of great courage, determination, and family teamwork. From broken or stolen bikes to sickness, injury, torrential rain, gale forced head winds, frozen feet, and even an incident with a large black bear chasing one of the boys, the book is full of adventure from cover to cover. Author Nancy Sathre-Vogel had me hooked from page one where she jumps right in with the Alaskan bear story. And at that moment, I confess - I looked up from my book and said, "this family's crazy!"
|Heading into the Southern Hemisphere|
As it would tour out, a lot of people accused the Vogel family of being crazy. Chapter one addresses the subject and is aptly titled "Crazy is not necessarily a bad thing," after a student in Nancy's class said:
"I call you my crazy teacher...Because nobody actually does what you're doing! People talk about riding a bike around the world, but nobody actually does it!"
|Reaching the end of the world, Argentina|
I'm merely a novice cyclist but I found Changing Gears to be incredibly powerful and inspiring. It reaches far beyond a road biking adventure to an epic journey with power to motivate and challenge us out of our comfort zones. In the final chapter Nancy responds to the question, "How did our journey change us?" She explains:
"The hardest part of the journey was in making the decision. Committing yourself to a big goal - whatever the goal is - is difficult. It will consume every moment of your life for years but, if your "why" is big enough, you'll make it happen."So, my challenge to you, my readers, is this - first, go out and grab a copy of Nancy's book. Be inspired, soak it in, and read about what it means to really pursue your dreams with all your heart, mind, and soul. Second, identify what your dreams are as a family or even as an individual. Your dreams might not involve cycling around the world with your children. Maybe it's much more simple. Maybe you just want to travel somewhere as a family, anywhere. Maybe you want to introduce your children to a new family sport or activity from climbing to backpacking or skiing. Maybe there's a trip you did back in the day that you'd absolutely LOVE to do again - with the kids this time. We all have dreams. What are yours? And what's stopping you from realizing them?
First step though, pick up a copy of Nancy's book and be inspired. Then take it from there.
Changing Gears is available in both paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
To follow Nancy on her blog, go to Family on Bikes.