Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Operation Bike MS: Part Six

This post is part of a series documenting my journey toward the Gateway Getaway Bike MS. Read Part Five HERE. To learn more about Multiple Sclerosis and to support me as I reach my goal of $500, please click HERE.

Taper week is finally here--and with it shorter rides, glorious rest, and butterflies of anticipation. 

How will I respond to a sea of cyclists on the open road? 

Will my body actually be able to do this? 

Will my gears de-rail properly when climbing a death-trap hill? 

How many expletives will I hurl into the open air if they don't?

Regardless of how I hold up this weekend, it's good to know that my team--and all of the other riders and supporters of Bike MS--are making a huge difference. Not only does our participation raise awareness and financial support for this debilitating disease, but it also serves as a reminder that I am  a tiny component of a much bigger story. What little pain I experience along the way will be such a temporary blip in comparison to the struggle millions of people around the world face each day. 

So, as I ride, I will be meditating on these verses as I pray for myself and others who face all kinds of trials:

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

And then, I'm sure I'll hurl a few more expletives. 

Better out than in, right?? 

And Now for the Training Update

I know you've been holding your breath waiting to read all about it.'s okay to breathe now.

Coach Erin finally let me swim---yay!

She also told me to focus mainly on kicking--boo!

So last Tuesday morning--in the wee dark hours--I was a good little trainee and kicked (and kicked and kicked) until I couldn't kick anymore. When I was finished kicking and my legs were jelly, the sun finally decided to emerge.

Coach's next order was to do flat bike rides. 

Flat rides. 

In Columbia. 


After I stopped laughing hysterically, I decided on the Katy trail and Stephen's Lake Park. However, just to GET to the Katy trail, I have to climb what I like to call "hospital hill" on Broadway. Those who live here will understand that one. 

And no, my gears did not de-rail properly and yes. I almost started to roll backward in the middle of the hill. 

But then I nailed the rest of it. 

Take that, hospital hill!

This was a pretty scene from Stephen's--a much tamer ride. 

My rides this week are to be super short--no more than 8 miles each--so on Tuesday I decided to take a new paved trail connecting my complex to a highway east of town, and happened upon these here flood waters. Luckily the water had receded from the trail--but the roaring rush was spectacular. 

I'm heading out tomorrow for my last ride before the Bike MS, and I'm more than a little sad. I've enjoyed training for this event (and previous events) so much that I will need to look for another amazing feat to conquer and a cause to support. 

Nothing beats pushing yourself to limits you never dreamed you'd have the strength to withstand---and I'm convinced I need a little bit of that in my life at all times. It keeps me humble, honest, and absolutely grateful. 

See you at the finish line!

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