Tonight was my shortest, slowest and most contemplative ride since I started training for the Ride for Refuge. I could blame my slow as snails play list, my shortened opportunity due to soccer games or my physical exhaustion but truly, I had a lot on my mind. The past couple of months have been earth moving for me. Decisions have been made that will alter my reality. Decisions that have me over the moon with excitement and others that paralyze me with fear.
Like I said, It’s been quite a month.
My mother attributes my commitment to pride. I couldn’t handle failure after committing to something because I don’t like to feel like I have lost. This rule applies to more aspects of my life than service. That is part of the reason that I made sure to announce my goal of 60 miles on Facebook. I knew that once you all knew, I couldn’t balk. No turning back. Money, meet mouth.
To my surprise, this experience has given me so much perspective. The actual ride has not even happened yet and I feel so gratified and so grateful.
I have thought about the refugees I serve every time I climbed onto my bike and rode miles on the river trail. They, along with the homeless and vulnerable, became a part of my daily dialogue. I thought about them every time a friend said how thin I was and I told them about the event. I thought about them when I considered buying expensive biking gear for my one excursion and realized how wasteful I could be.
I have no idea if I am going to ride the entire 60 miles on Saturday. I only get about 6 hours to do it. I do however, intend to ride that entire time. It will be my homage to my friend Chuck who kept organized the Michigan Darfur Coalition while literally battling the cancer that eventually took his life. I will be standing in solidarity with those refugees in Sudan and all over the world facing so many, many challenges.
I am not terribly athletic and so far, I have not been able to make good on my promise to fall from my bike (which strangely does not hurt my pride one bit). I have gotten used to the push it takes to get over hills. My shoulders no longer get sore from the jostle of the handlebars and…I have padded shorts!!!! I can even pull my water bottle out, take a swig and replace, all while in motion!
I have found something else that I can do. Something big, intimidating and out of character. I don’t have a bucket list but if I did, this would have been in it.
The work I am able to do that benefits the displaced, vulnerable and exploited makes me proud.
Then sings my soul.
P.S. For earlier posts about this “Ride”, click here!