A few weeks back, I decided that I will not participate in the Mongol Derby.
I had been avoiding the relevant questions for a few months but finally had the courage to face them. By this, I mean, being brave enough to stop and manage not only what it meant but how it made me feel and how I perceived myself for taking this decision.
And it was ugly. It was not a hard decision, it was a heartbreaking process I had to go through and accept because for me it meant failure. Failure to try, to train, to be resilient, to push through. It was also failing the people who supported and believed in me. It was not being disappointed but being the disappointment.
Part of this process was also stating clearly the reasons for cancelling my participation and weighing if overall they really made sense or I was just backing up because I couldn't handle the unpredictability of life at the moment. A few things became clear. Unlike a true athlete, I can't train for extended period of times without certainty that the race will happen for me (it will happen for sure, but whether or not I, personally, can make it is another story).
2022 seemed too far, yet too close. When the borders finally open up here, visiting friends and family will be my priority before I can dedicate myself to a such an adventure.
In summary, was I ready to participate in the Mongol Derby next year?
The short answer is no. With no understanding of the travel restrictions and/or forecast of its easing from/to Singapore, it means getting to Mongolia still feels like a world away. I am not pessimistic, I'm being cautious. In July 2020, I strongly believed that in a year's time we would have managed the crisis at hand. And here we are, with the most recent restrictions just being lifted.
So what's next? For now, accepting the situation, my decision and being able to say it out loud (hence me writing about it in a public space). Giving myself the space to be disappointed while celebrating my achievements along the way. Welcoming failure however I define it and learning from it. And of course, keeping on riding.