By the last day we were all in our element and once we took the packs off it was no problem to just go. And go. And go. And go… It was a long, hot day. Reaching the finish line was a little stressful since we got lost two or three times, but seeing my mom and Phyllis there at mile 0 was amazing. I think when my mom asked me, “Well, how does it feel to be done?” I said, “Hungry.” and then proceeded to consume an entire party sized bag of Chex Mix and two glasses of champagne while standing on a street crowded with wild chickens.
I can’t tell you what it meant to me to be able to do this ride. And especially with my dad, after all he’s been through. I’ve said it before and it’s true: we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support from my mom and both our families and friends. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I know I’m blessed to have the life I have and I don’t take it for granted. My family in particular means the world to me. I’d be lost without them.
This really has been life changing. Not in the way that one might think, though, it’s much more subtle. I didn’t have much time on the ride to think about my life, or anything else really. Literally all I was thinking about was riding: cadence and pedal pressure and riding a straight line and dodging potholes and signaling hazards and staying hydrated and breathing. That’s about it. Then at night it was shower, eat, chores and bed. Reset. My best guess is that allowed my subconscious brain a lot of time to work out all the kinks in the system. Or maybe it reprogrammed my stress-triggered neurotransmitters, who knows.
Since the ride I’ve gained a lot of clarity. It’s hard to describe, I guess the feeling is peaceful. Or that’s the closest word I can use to describe how I feel. My dad and Carl kept telling me, “If you can do this, you can do anything,” the entire ride and I didn’t really understand that until now. Even so, I think I’ll really begin to understand that more and more as time passes. I have much more level energy, perspective on what I want from life and how to get it, and a really solid sense of self. Plus I had no idea that I’d enjoy cycling this much. In fact, we already started planning the next trip and I’ll be doing the NYC Century on September 18!
In the mean time, I’m ready to get back on my bike and I’m anxiously biding my time until I have it back with me. As soon as I can get it shipped up here I’ll be riding up and down Long Island like it’s my job. There may even be a trip or two to Bear Mountain. Autumn leaves, here I come!
Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support, you guys were what kept us going.
Until the next time…