This past week I was joined by over 100 cyclists as we road 250 miles down the beautiful coast of California from Santa Barbra to San Diego. They were 250 long miles that gave me a lot of time to think, to appreciate, and despite my tired legs and sore butt, to give thanks for the opportunity and ability to challenge myself and help a worthy cause.
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is an incredible organization that helps people with all types of disabilities to live an active life through sports and recreation by supplying grants and funding in the way of equipment, training, and other types of support, bridging the gap that disabilities cause.
Raising funds and riding hundreds of miles to support CAF was such a privilege, and I am so grateful. One pedal after another, one mile after the next, every drop of sweat, every sore muscle, gave proof that I was doing something that was making a difference.
As I talked to other cyclists during and after the long rides, the encounters were all very similar. Everyone had their own unique journey, but they also told of their common desire to help change lives.
One Gentleman who I met and got to visit with numerous times throughout the event, was so inspired by the mission of CAF that despite not having been on a bike for 50 years, stepped up to the challenge. He told of his painful hard months of training and was very proud of himself for doing the ride. His story was only one of many inspirational encounters I heard over the week as each person met and conquered one obstacle after another.
My friends, during this last week and the many miles that were traversed, and the time I had to reflect, I was more than anything grateful for the journey I am on. Just like a long bike ride, the journey of life is filled with ups and downs and even a few flat tires. Also like a bike ride, it is so important to appreciate and be grateful for where you are and be happy with your circumstances at each point along the journey. When you can focus on your “now”, and not on how far you still must travel, only the best is yet to come!