The wheels go round and round…

When you wake up and have a bad day (like the one I had yesterday), the end of the day cannot come quick enough because you know you get to go to sleep and wake up and hopefully start over. Have any of you done that? Yesterday I had a rough day at work… my daughter who was home sick lets me know that there is no power in the house, crews are clearing power lines may have damaged something I am not positive that is what happened but that is my guess. The power did not come back on until almost 3pm. My truck picked up a screw somewhere and it ended up with a flat tire in the parking lot of my work. There were other more personal things that went on yesterday but if I keep listing complaints it would just get petty and old… I only said all this to make a point not just to complain and force anyone reading it feel sorry for me.

As I sat on the couch waiting for the first pro football game of the year to start… ummm which was delayed due to weather and I knew was going to put me to bed wwwwaaaayyyyy later than I needed I started to think ok… what else… I mean really did someone forget to call the NFL, Mother Nature, who ever dropped the screw, whatever guy cut the power off, whoever it was that took their time to fix it, my bank, my boss, my co-workers, my family, people in my city, state… did someone forget to tell them that the world… no scratch that… the universe in all its infinite glory was created to revolve and only work around me? How selfish… I mean really it’s not like there are people living every day of their lives with MS. Who cannot wake up tomorrow and start over again. It is not like there are people who just wish with all their hearts they could just hold a cup of coffee without the shakes spilling it all over them and burning their hands. It’s not like that the person sitting on the couch with MS much the way I am at this very moment wishes they get up and run to the bathroom during the commercial and grab a drink without a walker, or power chair, or assistance at all. I mean really…

So with that in mind I started to feel a little guilty and started to reflect on my life and the people who have moved me. People I have met that have given me a lump in my throat and curage to face things most people don’t dare on their best days. I have been truly blessed in my life with the supporting cast that has become the people in my life. The people I have tried to keep there and the people that have gravitated toward me for one reason or another.

When I did my very first MS ride it was nothing more than a challenge to see if I could actually do. The following year I had major knee surgery and the bike sat unused and taunted me so I sold it. Not thinking much more about it than that. As fate would have it one day I decided I needed an outlet and I looked into writing a blog, my life was really mixed up and I just needed to get things out. I found an awesome little community and started following blogs from other people. One person I was drawn to at the time was a girl from the UK who I thought at the time just dropped everything only out of a desire to help, and went to South America and worked with the Red Cross. I was only after some time that we became more close through email, IM, and out blogs that we begun to share more and more about our lives. I was inspired by what she was doing, a girl who seemed to have it all together just to give up what many would consider a life of privilege and work with the Red Cross. Well that was when I learned she had MS, she had chosen not to share this with the people following her blogs she said she did not want to be “The girl with MS”. She did not like how her friend and family treated her sometimes, and was very independent, so the blog was just a way to be herself. The girl she was on the inside not the one who would have physical issues from time to time. Well she disappeared for a while rather quickly without a word. Then when she returned it was at that moment she come forward with her story. How when she found out she had MS and the doctors said it was aggressive, that she quit university and wanted to do something meaningful before she was not able to do anything at all. Shortly after hearing her story she told us the doctors also found a brain tumor… then shortly after that she passed away. For those of us in the smallish blog community that had gotten to know her it was a tough thing to deal with. One min she was there and the next min she was gone. There were even, as there always is, people who considered if maybe she was not a “real” person if it was all just made up. For me… I believe… her story and who she was touched my life and inspired me. And honestly changed my life in many ways. Shortly after her death I decided to attempt to ride again. It had been a few years and now a couple knee surgeries sense my last MS ride. I no longer had a bike, but I told the blogging community that if they would help support me I would ride. And boy support me did they ever. I think I got donations from 5 or 6 different countries, emails and words of support poured in. I was not doing well financially at the time so I was training on an old mountain bike, trying to get enough money together to purchase a road bike. Finally about 2 weeks before the event my cousin loaned me the money to buy the bike. I pushed hard, I was heavy from all the knee work I had done and lack of motivation to do much else, but I was determined to do more. Well I ended up doing 200 miles… 100 miles each day of the event. It was a miracle and I know that without the motivation and encouragement of my friends and family from all over the world I would not have been able to do it. Several times I just wanted to stop… I just could not figure out why I was doing what I was doing. With me though I carried a printed email that was from her sister… some of the lines have always stayed with me…

“You hold within you so many of the qualities that people admired in Sydney, an endless amount of compassion for your fellow man, selflessness, a determination to DO something rather than to sit back on your laurels, putting others’ interest before your own. If Sydney was the feminine embodiment of an angel walking the earth, surely you are the masculine equal. I see why you and Sydney thought so highly of each other.

When you ride in the MS150 I know you will have Sydney along for the entire journey, she’ll be watching over you, encouraging you and reinforcing the sentiment of “The distance you ride is of no consequence, it is your participation, thus bringing attention to the plight of those that suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, and aspiring to do the best that you can possible do that is the ultimate achievement of the goal.”

If you become tired or downhearted about anything on your journey, listen for Sydney’s soft whisper in your heart letting you know that she believes in you and trusts that you have the fortitude to make the right decisions, and determinations.”

Those words have always meant a lot to me…

So to make this super long story shorter, I did it… and that was just the first of many rides I do in Sydney’s name… I will continue to do what I can in hopes to bring awareness to this disease. This disease even though I have no one in my family with it, it has changed my life for the good. Because of my bike I will live longer, be stronger, and be able to do more. Do more for those that cannot do for themselves.

So tomorrow I ride, and then the next day… not only for Sydney, but for all the people I have met over the years that have touched my life and supported me along the way. All of my friends and family that hold me up when I am not so sure I can keep going and that have donated to show their support for a cause I hold so dear. And for all of those with MS that cannot ride themselves, I am humbled at their resolve to keep up their spirits and keep the fight alive.

This year… the following year… and every year that I am physically able… I will ride.

If you would like to donate here is the link…

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?px=1870526&fr_id=20780&pg=personal

Thank you for taking the time to read this… each year I get butterflies before the event, getting all this out and reminding myself why I am doing it always helps.

Smile… it’s not always about what gets you started… but what keeps you going.

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