• Dan Mularski

Knowledge Gap: Intellectual Let Down Post Trans America Adventure

Updated: Apr 15

Let down from an intellectual perspective after the Trans America Adventure is real. Returning from any trip, things that have been idle or not directly addressed need taken care of upon returning. An old car battery with only a few starts in three months has met its demise. Seemingly simple fix, but not so after an intense adventure.

Upon returning home, a priority is transportation. Now one more item added to the scramble to get so many things back in order after 70 days of pedaling on purpose. Simple solution, jump the battery, get to the garage and replace it. Things get complicated when the hood of the car is seemingly jammed. Time to think, “what are the options at this point?“

Try to personally unjam the hood with a high possibility of total frustration, buy a cigarette lighter charger, pay out the yahzoo to have someone come and do the job? None of those options seem good.

At one point mom observed, “why is your gas tank cover opened?“ Why does this not register until later? Call it a knowledge gap. Pulling on the gas cap cover opener does not open the hood!

As an owner of this vehicle for five years, how can this happen? Is it stupidity? Amnesia? An unknown knock to the head? None of the above.

A strong possibility is a post adventure let down (see https://ta2020.bike/pedaling-on-purpose-letdown-solution-post-trans-america-adventure-2020). An absence of driving this or any car for three months resets the mind. The distractions of re-organizing and recovering are substantial. Memory of the hood latch location got buried deep in the Mularski brain archives to create a knowledge gap.

A circumstance like this can be joked about or an occasion to beat oneself up. The latter is of no value. The former is healthy and a way to move forward especially when a lot is on a person’s mind.

The choir of “You’re just getting old Mularski” is singing right about now. Getting older is one thing, but memory loss or brain dysfunction as the years progress is not a given (You – The Owner’s Manual by Michael F. Roizen 2003). The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (2009) is an entire book written on the value of checklists. Checklists are for everybody and all ages because human beings forget.

Research shows as people get older, thinking slower happens (Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain’s Potential by Richard Restak, 2001). Taking longer to retrieve info is way different than believing not only is the body deteriorating, but the mind as well. Memory improvement is up to the person, but takes effort (Made to Stick by Chris and Dan Heath, 2007). College professors are so “sharp” because of consistent use of the brain and not from watching TV.

Stop the spiraling downward attitude that memory loss is inevitable. Mental lapses are more likely a temporary intellectual let down. The secret is this happens to everyone. Shift the negative self-talk about memory loss into an “It’ll come to me” response. Extensive research isn’t necessary to prove this because it works!

Turn things like this into a learning experience. Realizing this was in a time of post trip let down is important. Mercy and patience were two post Trans America Adventure priorities and worked for the shaping of a preferred mindset. Remembering this as a funny story is a much better option.

Instead of a premature decision, meltdown, and embarrassment, the solution eventually came. Anticipation of let down challenges makes a difference. Lay aside the old mindset just like a used up battery. Replace it with a new one.

You can do this!

I get a kick out of your comments so let us know some of the knowledge gaps you’ve experienced.😀

#letdown #knowledgegap #transamerica #PedalingOnPurpose #TATeam #adventure

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