Greetings, my wonderful supporters! It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since my first two blog entries. Oh boy, has a lot changed. I have gained a tremendous amount of strength and endurance while training for the amazing adventure of IRide.
IRide is an all-inclusive bike ride across the state of Michigan and, I did it: A hundred and eighty-five out of the two hundred and forty miles, to be exact. Don’t get me wrong, this didn’t happen overnight. I trained my butt off; I was in the gym twice a week and cycling twenty-five to thirty miles a day, every other day. That’s around a thousand miles over the summer.
When I first wheeled into the bike shop to sit in my brand-new bike I was anxious, excited and freaked-out all at the same time, and I started wondering if I could really pull this off. It took many weeks of finding the right adaptive foot pedals to put my body in the right position to be able to cycle to the best of my ability. I must admit that the beginning of my cycling days were very frustrating, but when I got my adaptive pedals it was like I had bionic legs. I had a new lease on this cycling thing. Pretty soon I was mastering cycling and couldn’t get enough.
This was honestly the best summer of my life because I was able to see the outdoors differently. I love cycling because I feel free. It’s nice to move from place to place without using my wheelchair. I actually had to work hard to get somewhere. I couldn’t have done this without the loving support of my family. Many thanks to my sister for giving me a very spirited pink jersey, skull and crossbones flags and bandannas; my mom for her TLC and OT expertise in modifying my bike (aka the Green Hornet); and my dad for being the best cycling coach and mechanic there ever was. Thanks for being there for almost every ride, and especially on the IRide adventure! Thanks to my loving husband for soothing my aches and pains, making executive decisions on when I needed to call it quits. and most of all, for just your calming presence. (Also, thanks for being my chase car when necessary during the IRide adventure!) Thank you to my gifted personal trainer, CJ, I would not have been able to do this without you. Thank you for pushing me harder and harder every workout to get me ready for cycling and, most of all, for improving my overall health and independence. I was reliant on support from other riders to hook up with. as my bike operates on a tandem set up. Thank you to all that made this possible–Cherri, Michelle, Kris and Derek. We went many miles together.
I feel so lucky to have so many people that wanted to share the dream with me. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs Sarns. I certainly would not have been able to achieve IRide success without you and your wonderful NuStep machine. NuStep has changed my life and I continue to use it as a major part of my overall fitness regime. As we move into the winter months, I have put away my bike and am dreaming of the next time I’ll be able to ride. What a sweet dream it is!