A college scholar from Greece learning in Scotland cycled from Aberdeen to his house in Athens in the course of the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this 12 months.
Kleon Papadimitrious was stranded in Scotland because the nation went right into a lockdown and closed its borders as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. At first, Kleon tried to guide a flight from Aberdeen to his house in Athens, however it obtained cancelled. He then thought, even when he managed to discover a connecting flight someplace, what if the second flight obtained cancelled? That would depart him stranded removed from house, leaving his household very fearful about him.
However since Kleon is bodily energetic, often figuring out 5 days per week doing operating, swimming and lifting weights he considered a (loopy) plan – why not cycle house?
Lockdown wasn’t going to cease him and the route was straight ahead. Cycle down south, by to England and take the ferry throughout to Rotterdam. From there, he would cycle by the Netherlands, into Germany after which Austria (with a couple of stops and detours to do some sightseeing), adopted by a tour of the Alps into Italy. As soon as he reached the coast of Italy, he would take a second ferry to western Greece and from there he would merely cycle to his hometown.
Kleon packed all the important, together with a jacket, a tent, a waterpack, chargers and a few biking clothes. Remember the fact that every thing he packed, he must carry for round 2000 miles. He would maintenance his hygiene by cleansing himself utilizing moist wipes, although “not each evening” he admits.
Kleon set off on Could 10 and instantly began to expertise issues. First, his knee began to harm after which his neck from turning round to look at for site visitors. So, he performs it good and begins his day gradual, first warming up his knee earlier than choosing up tempo. He additionally took relaxation days, often simply as soon as per week. When he reached his grandmother’s house in Germany he took extra time to relaxation and recuperate – permitting his granny to pamper him a bit throughout his go to.
It was a sensible method to deal with his biking journey like a exercise, quite than a commute. It allowed him to keep away from the ache in his knee, nonetheless his neck nonetheless damage! Quitting midway was not an choice, so he saved telling himself on a regular basis: “I’ll simply make it to the tip of the day, and I’ll stop tomorrow”.
The difficulty didn’t finish there as he punctured his tyre in a forest in Germany – his fifth puncture in simply 2 days. Drained, drained, with a flat tyre and nonetheless over 1000 miles away from house – it’s secure to say Kleon was feeling overwhelmed.
He had packed a tyre puncture package and spear interior tyre tubes, however it cease any future punctures from occurring. Indignant, drained and really annoyed, Kleon was mainly prepared to surrender at this level, however he had no alternative apart from to repair the tyre and get out of the forest.
“I needed to take a couple of breaths,” he says, “I needed to let loose my anger by throwing a couple of rocks and breaking some sticks. I had no alternative however to repair the flat and maintain going.”
Kleon managed to repair up his bike and get again on the monitor, ultimately getting out of the forest and pushing by to proceed his journey to Athens. He makes a fast pit cease to replenish his vitality ranges with some canned sardines and bread with some peanut butter.
The height of his journey up till that time should have been lastly reaching Italy and having the ability to bask in some scrumptious pizza and an ice chilly pint of beer! Higher than canned sardines and peanut butter sandwiches, certainly?!
The journey took him 48 days to finish and he misplaced some weight and bodyfat within the course of. Kleon didn’t achieve any muscle and when he ultimately reached Athens, he discovered himself to be a lot weaker within the gymnasium than earlier than he left. Weeks after reaching his ultimate vacation spot, Kleon’s blood checks nonetheless signifies muscle harm – which can take weeks of a mixture of relaxation, vitamin and train to get well from.
He intends to return again to Aberdeen in September to proceed together with his research as soon as the lockdown is lifted. However till that point he’s working in a seashore store in his house nation of Greece. Evidently regardless of the issue and frustrations on his final journey, he’s eager to tackle a brand new problem. Kleon plans to scale Aconcagua in Argentina – at virtually 7 km, it’s the tallest mountain on the earth exterior of Asia.
He has some recommendation for anybody seeking to tackle a problem:
“Set a purpose that’s exterior of what you suppose you’ll be able to obtain. Do your finest to get there. Even for those who don’t, the truth is that you’ll have already gotten out of your consolation zone, and that’s progress, and that’s actually important.”
You’ll be able to be taught extra about all the journey from the beginning of the lockdown to him reaching Athens on Kleon’s Instagram.
This text first appeared on GYMNASIUMPOST.com on twenty sixth August, 2020.