The perfect time is right now.
“I trained for eight months. Then I just felt I was ready. I could have delayed it, to get fitter or secure more funding, but I might never have left. Many people postpone making their dreams a reality to wait for the perfect time. There is no such thing. The perfect time is right now”.
This quote is from Juliana Buhring, from an article about her record-breaking ride around the world in 2012. After her partner Hendri Coetzee was dragged from his kayak and killed by a crocodile in The Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010 Juliana needed something to help her overcome the grief she felt at the loss of her love.
Buhring hadn’t really ridden a bike since she was six years old as a child in the Phillipines, she had been brought up in a (now-disbanded) cult – the Children of God and lived in 30 countries across the globe. She co-wrote ‘Not Without My Sister’ in 2004 which partly contributed to the fall of the cult and after leaving she had nothing – no money, no formal education and nothing familiar to fall back on.
She says that she now has an inner-strength that allows her to appreciate a challenge after her tough, nomadic and unpredictable upbringing.
What is it that pushes someone like Juliana Buhring onwards?
What is it that makes her undertake challenges that on paper she’s not ready to undertake?
How does she prepare herself for amazing feats of endurance?
Well, what I gathered from the article by Rob Penn in the Observer (15th May 2016) is the following:
- She is ‘curious about our unexplored potential’ – what humans can do when our body is exhausted but you know there is an extra 20% of energy still left. How do we get to that 20%.
- Her ambition is ‘to push myself a bit harder, to see how far I can go…I’m experimenting, I keep stretching my limits’.
- She lives in the present ‘my childhood made me adaptable, independent and empathic’.
- She started her journey when she ‘felt ready’ but without enough funding – when she ran out people would send her small amounts on PayPal as a way of her keeping food and water coming her way.
What has this got to do with anything I think you’d be interested in? As an organisation that inspires young people and organisations to develop their skills and those of their partners and colleagues we often deal in stories to make a point. Juliana Buhring’s story is incredible, inspirational and parallels many of the stories and philosophies we promote – She’s curious about herself and surroundings, she’s keen to stretch her limits, she’s flexible and adaptable and finally – and crucially – her attitude is one of being an enterprising person…changing tack, finding resources, tapping into networks and trying new things. Constantly trying new things.
So, don’t wait for perfection – what are you going to try today?
Juliana’s new book ‘This Road I Ride’ is published by Piatkus Books on 19th May.