The People Make the Journey
Being open to opportunities for positive engagements is a personal goal for this project. So many people have so much to give and are really just looking for ways to spread that energy to others. Last night, a week before I begin peddling, I'm with Connie, my hairdresser, getting a REALLY close cut. (Yes, she knows it's gonna be a few months until the next visit.)
At the end of the appointment she asks if it would be ok to offer a prayer asking for Divine protection, strength, and blessings while I'm riding. I've never experienced this spiritual spontaneity at any time before in the middle of a business, during work hours, in such a public setting. That is such an honor to have someone extend such an act of kindness in such a loving way. I am so blessed.
Little over 12 hours away and I'm really not worried about the physical part of the 3,000+ mile journey. In fact, I'm more on edge about what's in store mentally and spiritually. Last week Erin from Colon Cancer Coalition and I were discussing how this project got to this point. Putting something together for their website, she wanted to look back at what created and sustained this energy for the last 3 years.
At some point in life we all eventually have challenges and circumstances that test, stretch and hopefully make us stronger individuals. Working in local tv news for decades I've been amazed at how resilient and positive some people are in the face of incredible adversity. One common denominator is that they will not see themselves as victims and refuse to wilt, but will use their heartache to inspire and guide others.
Going through my own life-challenges a few years ago required me to search deep within myself. What actually defines me? What am I doing to make things better for my neighbors? It's been pretty hard at times to be genuinely honest about myself. What insecurity led me to act that way? It's all obvious stuff, but it's not always easy to correct under stress.
While working on these personal internal drivers, I also wanted to tackle a larger life goal. It's been a dream to ride a bicycle cross-country ride. Why not use this opportunity to give credit where it's due. Even during chemo treatments Donna is putting others first. I get this FB posting this afternoon from her about collecting funds for a special meal for first responders on Christmas. "Isn't this a treatment week?" I ask her husband. "Yes" came the expected text. Donna is living the talk.
It is this energy I try tapping into and paying forward. What can I do to" live the talk" like Donna. How can I make 2022 better than 2021?
T minus 14
Amazingly down to less than two weeks until D-day. The biggest change from 2020 is the actual route. Looks like the segment between Phoenix and suburban Houston will be adjusted to a more northerly route. Now, I'll get to go through Albuquerque and Gallup, NM and Dallas, TX. December at elevation in the Rocky Mountains might be a bit of a weather gamble. At a minimum, probably won't have to worry about overheating during those long climbs. I'll be more concerned about actually making it over some of those climbs at 7-9,000ft
It's rarely the miles ridden or the mountains scaled that are memorable. Rather it's the people you meet along the journey that highlight meaning.