Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Am Climbing Up This Hill

I am climbing up this hill. And I don't know when I will reach the top.
But it's no good standing still, and I will get there if I just don't stop.

That's a song lyric I started writing on my ride today as I was at around mile 45 of a 60 mile day. I needed a lot of reminders right about then. Maybe if I hadn't done 50 miles the day before, and maybe if it wasn't 92 degrees with a heat index of 103, the hills would not have seemed quite so challenging. There were other physical challenges as well, but I did vow not to complain, so I won't venture into a laundry list of what they were, but just as I would be feeling pretty low, a support car would drive past with yells of "You're doing great! Keep it up! Pedal power!" And then I would remember all the people who need the help of the organizations we were funding and the reason I was riding.

I am not as fast as Lanny, but he waited for me so that we could ride the last two miles in together. As we crossed the finish line there was a huge crowd of cheering volunteers who had all worked hard for two days to keep the riders fed, hydrated and safe. I remembered at that moment that just three years ago at this time, I was starting chemotherapy with no real idea of what was ahead of me. Tears began streaming down my face when I recalled all that we had been through together three years ago, and all that we had been through over those two days, and all the many people who have supported us along the way. Even though we are individual riders who all have our challenges and we have to get to the finish line under our own power, none of us are alone on this ride, and there is support at every turn if you just take advantage of it.

That's why I did this ride. Ride on my friends, ride on!

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