Last weekend my friend, Brooke, and I rode our bikes 100 miles in an event called Pelotonia in Columbus, Ohio. I wrote about this in my most recent post last week. I had been feeling motivated and excited but also apprehensive about whether or not I could complete the ride. On Saturday morning Brooke and I were up early and I told myself that we were just going on a long bike ride. In one sense that’s what it was. I didn’t expect it to be so much more. The purpose of the event is to raise money for the James- a cancer research center at OSU. From the opening ceremony the night before to the end of the ride, you are constantly reminded of why you are riding. “One Goal…End Cancer” signs are everywhere including on people’s shirts. “I’m riding for…” is also on every rider’s shirt (in the back but I accidentally put “Mom” on the front of mine). Along the entire ride there are people, sometimes entire communities (like Granville, Ohio) out cheering us on. People everywhere are saying “thank you” to the riders. Many of the riders have “survivor” written on the back of their shirts. I hope I never forget the man standing alone next to his car around mile 75 with a sign that says “Because of you my wife lives”. Words can not express how inspirational and moving this event was. I feel truly blessed to be a part of such a great cause.
As I often write about, my husband and I like to do races of various sorts. I’ve done two marathon walks (for breast cancer), run one marathon, run a few half marathons, done a classic distance triathlon, and now a 100 mile bike ride. I’ve found that personally I enjoy these events a lot more if I don’t get too competitive with myself or anyone else. I’ve also learned that if I’m doing the event for a cause it has a much greater sense of purpose. Sure it always feels good to cross the finish line, but it feels a whole lot better knowing that the event is so much bigger than me.
I was able to raise almost $2,000 and because I was on the Limited Brands team (thanks to Brooke), they will match every dollar I raised. I don’t know how far $4,000 goes in terms of cancer research but I believe that every dollar counts and that together we are making a difference.