A college pupil from Greece finding out in Scotland cycled from Aberdeen to his residence in Athens throughout the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this yr.
Kleon Papadimitrious was stranded in Scotland because the nation went right into a lockdown and closed its borders because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, Kleon tried to e book a flight from Aberdeen to his residence in Athens, however it acquired cancelled. He then thought, even when he managed to discover a connecting flight someplace, what if the second flight acquired cancelled? That would go away him stranded removed from residence, leaving his household very frightened about him.
However since Kleon is bodily lively, often figuring out 5 days every week doing working, swimming and lifting weights he considered a (loopy) plan – why not cycle residence?
Lockdown wasn’t going to cease him and the route was straight ahead. Cycle down south, via to England and take the ferry throughout to Rotterdam. From there, he would cycle via the Netherlands, into Germany after which Austria (with just a few 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 the entire important, together with a jacket, a tent, a waterpack, chargers and a few biking clothes. Remember the fact that all the things he packed, he must carry for round 2000 miles. He would maintenance his hygiene by cleansing himself utilizing moist wipes, although “not each night time” he admits.
Kleon set off on Might 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 selecting up tempo. He additionally took relaxation days, often simply as soon as every week. When he reached his grandmother’s residence 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 wise strategy to deal with his biking journey like a exercise, fairly than a commute. It allowed him to keep away from the ache in his knee, nevertheless his neck nonetheless damage! Quitting midway was not an choice, so he stored telling himself on a regular basis: “I’ll simply make it to the top of the day, and I’ll give up 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 residence – it’s secure to say Kleon was feeling overwhelmed.
He had packed a tyre puncture equipment and spear interior tyre tubes, however it cease any future punctures from occurring. Offended, drained and really pissed off, 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 just a few breaths,” he says, “I needed to let loose my anger by throwing just a few 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 observe, ultimately getting out of the forest and pushing via 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 will need to have been lastly reaching Italy and with the ability to take pleasure in some scrumptious pizza and an ice chilly pint of beer! Higher than canned sardines and peanut butter sandwiches, absolutely?!
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 fitness center than earlier than he left. Weeks after reaching his closing vacation spot, Kleon’s blood exams nonetheless signifies muscle harm – which is able to take weeks of a mix of relaxation, vitamin and train to recuperate from.
He intends to return again to Aberdeen in September to proceed along with his research as soon as the lockdown is lifted. However till that point he’s working in a seashore store in his residence 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 this planet outdoors of Asia.
He has some recommendation for anybody seeking to tackle a problem:
“Set a aim that’s outdoors of what you assume you’ll be able to obtain. Do your finest to get there. Even for those who don’t, the fact is that you’ll have already gotten out of your consolation zone, and that’s progress, and that’s actually vital.”
You’ll be able to study extra about your entire 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.