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Serge Roetheli October 08, 2013 TWEET COMMENTS 0

The 25,000 Mile Love Story - Page 4

Leonardo da Vinci wrote that feet were “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” And the man was right. It’s a madhouse down there—each foot is constructed of 28 bones, which is equal to one fourth of all the bones present in the human body. Not to mention the 107 ligaments, 30 joints, and 19 muscles. And all of those separate, unique pieces work together to move us forward, creating an unthinkably efficient, powerful, and strong composition. Our feet are our own integrated locomotives.

More than that, though, no two feet in the world have the same blueprint—not even your own. And they’re always altering, adapting to your height and weight, whether you’re standing or sitting, moving or pausing. Our feet are intuitive. They understand us. They want to help us get from point A to point B—whatever we decide those points might be, whether it’s a block away or worlds apart.

People might gawk at the feats of the Lance Armstrongs of the world. And there’s reason to, of course. But, like most modern-day endurance athletes, he hasn’t once mounted a bike or launched a feat without the diligent, watchful eye of his team who constantly screens, assists, and pampers. His training, schedule, and eating regimen are tackled with an uncanny precision. A Band-Aid always in wait for the most freshly developed paper cut. He has sponsors, physical therapy, the most advanced equipment, and techniques.

While I ... well, I had Nicole. The beautiful, strong, courageous Nicole who rode beside me patiently, who could massage my feet to health, and who could scold me into persistence. She carried me in a way no amount of modern technology or knowledge ever could.

When I felt as though I should be wasted, as though my feet could not possibly carry me another inch, she recharged me. She got me back onto the road and surged me forward with all the simplicity and ease of a raging current.

It should be no surprise to me that two of the most natural human instincts—love and running—have propelled me through these six continents, these 25,000 very long miles. That they have intertwined to make the impossible possible. But if I have learned anything from these five years on the road, it is that while the world can be remarkably small, it is always infinitely vast in its miracles and beauty.

 

Editor's Note: Serge writes that though he and Nicole separated after their "World Tour" together, his memoir is nevertheless a love story—"a love for the world's roads and all the people who inhabit them." In the epilogue, he writes, "People wonder how a couple that has been through so much can fall out of love. They think the World Tour tore us apart. But in the end, they're looking at it in the wrong way. It is quite the opposite. The World Tour is what held us together for so long. We were bonded by a journey, by a hope and a style of life, and when that road came to an end, we gradually realized that ours had, too ... I look back on our 18 years of marriage with a distinct feeling of thankfulness and pride."



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