It seems to me as if I decided quite suddenly that I am going dive in with all of my resources (physical, financial, time or otherwise) to become a cyclist. To take off on the journey of a lifetime as I prepare to ride my bicycle (which I did not even own until last week!) across the United States of America - 3172 miles in 8 weeks. Riding as many miles as 113 in a single day to make our way across, it will certainly prove to be an intense challenge unlike any I've experienced before, and yet I couldn't be more excited.
I'm excited because though this decision was unexpected by many (myself included), I have discovered I absolutely LOVE riding whenever I can. I'm excited because it is going to challenge me in diverse ways and will do so in intense and demanding ways. I am excited because my sacrifice this summer (physically and financially) are going to support people I have never met before. People who themselves are spending hours each day walking to get water that is killing them because though it is better than nothing at all, it is unsanitary and full of disease. I am excited because this is something I can do with a group of strangers (our team is 19 and I only know one other) who will soon become family, and together we will be caring for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. We will be working together toward doing something Gregg talked about so much on last years's tour: loving people we have never met.
While I should be spending more time wrapping up the final papers to be written before completing a Master of Divinity Degree (graduation is 18 days and counting!), this is where most of my thoughts wonder to. What will the team be like? (will it prove more difficult b/c I know how amazing last year's team was? I don't want to compare them...) Who are the people the water and sanitation projects will reach? What are they doing right now? What about the folks we encounter on the road this summer? More than asking how we may affect them, I ponder the reverse of how my life will be different as a result of meeting them. I ask not with anxiety, but with excitement. Change is never easy, but I always walk away from experiences like this changed for the better (cue For Good from the Wicked soundtrack).
As I continue to prepare for this journey in just over 6 weeks, I couldn't be filled with a greater mix of emotions. Thankfully, the most abundant and overwhelming emotion is EXCITEMENT. I know that the money will work out (I'm a ways away, but its coming slow but sure - to donate visit my Ride:Well Cyclist Profile Page!), and though it seems to be coming slowly, I think I will be prepared (enough) physically as well. Prayer support is always welcome, now and throughout the summer. I hope you'll join me on the journey, track our journey, and if we come through your town, come out to an event and say hello! We will be posting updates, blogs and journals on the Ride:Well website all summer long.