Trails Open TODAY
AB_FH Photographer: Cooper Lambla Location: Manzanillo, Cuba

I'm a planner, an organizer, and admittedly, a control freak. I've developed my personal life and built my professional career out of knowing and understanding that attention to the sum of small details typically leads to positive outcomes. ”What can I do now that will make things more efficient and easier down the road?” is my daily thought process.

When the opportunity to ride bikes across the unknown of Cuba with a few co-workers presented itself, everything I've known and have been comfortable with for 33 years was thrown straight out of the window.

But wait, where are we going to stay? How are we going to communicate with the locals? What if all hell breaks loose and we find ourselves in a less than desirable situation? Can I even ride 800+ miles in a week? Thought after thought gave me anxiety. Not knowing if we would secure our visas within a week of the trip gave me anxiety. A first-time pregnant wife that I wouldn't be able to communicate with gave me anxiety. What was I doing? “Stay in your comfort zone, you idiot!”

But deep down, that is fundamentally not what life is about. A true life experience had just presented itself, and I had to take advantage. It was an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and simply let each and every moment dictate the next move. The initial discomfort of the unknown was quickly displaced with the fascination of new experiences, heightened emotions, increased appreciation for others, and a greater sense of the world around all of us.

-

Adam Bratton is the Sponsorship & Events Manager at the U.S. National Whitewater Center

AB_1
AB_2 Photographer: Cooper Lambla Location: Sancti Spirtus, Cuba
AB_3 Photographer: Cooper Lambla Location: Playa Larga, Cuba
AB_4 Photographer: Cooper Lambla Location: Majagua, Cuba
AB_5 Photographer: Cooper Lambla Location: Playa Giron, Cuba
AB_6 Photographer: Cooper Lambla Location: Sancti Spirtus, Cuba
AB_7 Photographer: Cooper Lambla Location: Highway 12, Cuba