Skip to main content

Thankful: Fighting the Good Fight

I tried back in September to post about the annual Bike MS ride that I've been a part of in one way or another for the past 8 years, but it was too hard.  This year ended up being our last as Team Erin's Fight and to say that it's emotional is an understatement.  

For those of you who don't know, Erin is my best friend.  It's like God put us both on the Earth and said, "Those two?  Well, they're just gonna have to find each other and the rest will be history."  And we did and it is and I had no idea how much that girl would affect my entire life.  She's family, y'all.  So, when I discovered very early on that she had multiple sclerosis and that the bike ride I wanted to do raised funds and awareness to a debilitating disease, I was hooked.  How easy is that?!  Ride a bike, raise some money and tell everyone I know about the disease that affects my bestie every day.  Game on.  




We've participated in this weekend long event every September for 8 years and it has become a part of our lives.  A weekend that I look forward to every year.  There is a camaraderie like none other at this event and I'm blessed to ride with some amazing people.  I jokingly say that the bike weekend is like a family reunion....we laugh, we eat, we drink, we ride and someone usually cries (that's typically me).  Together, we've seen and done some pretty amazing things over the years including completing our FIRST century ride together.  I've met some incredibly inspiring, funny, stand-up people who I'm fairly confident I wouldn't have met otherwise.  And I've had to mourn the loss of one of the best men and cycling buddies around.  

When I found out just a couple of days before we were to embark on my 8th year of this ride that Erin's Fight was being retired, I found myself bawling uncontrollably.  I cried for the loss of something built by friends and family and maintained by a faith that we would find a cure for this thing.  I cried because this is 1 of 2 years that I decided to volunteer and not ride and I wasn't going to be ON. MY. BIKE for the last ride?!  I cried because I feared that I would lose those friendships found on 2 wheels.  I cried for my friends who so unselfishly had poured their lives into running this team and had the courage to say that it was just too much.

So, the event went on as it always had with just a little extra touch of nostalgia.  Team Erin's Fight crossed the finish line that Sunday afternoon more beautifully than it ever had before:  with a slow-moving peloton of orange-clad cyclists that rode as a united front to honor Erin.

Our team will be merging with another team for next year's ride and while the future of the official "Erin's Fight" team is uncertain, I can tell you this:  I will not give up fighting and I will not forget WHY I do that ride.  I'll sure miss that team and wearing that big orange flower, buy will forever be grateful for it's time in my life. Things may be different, but my goal will always be the same. 


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
-- 2 Timothy 4:7 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Patsy.

A friend sent this video to me and when I watched it, I was struck more by the feelings it brought up around the content than the story itself.  Christen Reighter's story is an interesting and frustrating insight into what it means to NOT want a child. I invite you to watch this. Her experience is not unique and needs to be talked about. Even if you have kids. Or want them. What struck me most was what she says during her TedTalk: "I have believed having children was an extension of womanhood, not the definition." Truth is, I've been struggling with this lately. Not the fact that I'm longing for children. I'd be fibbing if I said there is a very tiny part of me that wonders what this will feel like when I get to the end of life. HOWEVER. That feeling isn't strong enough for me to want to find out. I don't feel like having children should be thought of as a "keeping the fingers crossed" kind of situation. If you aren't sure you'l

Experimental.

I have a little secret. Today marks 30 days since my last drink**. I had attempted a 30-day alcohol-free period in January of 2018 which ended up being, arguably, one of the most challenging years of my life. I made it 26 days miserable days and it all ended because Brucey , my beloved rescue dog, died while I was traveling to Miami for an event. This is when I discovered that Walgreen's sells wine (what?!).  I look back at my first alcohol-free attempt and I realize that I wasn't really set up for success. Hindsight and all that... Not only did I try to detox on January 1st, but I was also newly ramping up training for my big bike adventures AND I decided to try my hand at 30-days of Yoga with Adriene . All of these things independently are (and were) really good things. Healthy. Mindful. Etc. Etc. However, I went into that period of time looking at not drinking as punishment. This dry spell was needed more than ever. With COVID hitting a year ago (that's another post in i

Goodbye.

 “I don’t know if I should congratulate you or console you.” - Craig “How about both?” - Me This was a conversation in our kitchen earlier this week. After a year and a half of weekly therapy, I had my last session with my therapist Tuesday. Not because I was over it or because it wasn’t working or because he retired. Nope. Because we got to a place where we could both say I’ve got the tools I need to move on. I have to say that there is no timeline for therapy and every situation is unique. I moved on from intensive therapy with my therapist because that it was worked for ME. I am certainly no expert and I have a feeling this isn’t the end of my therapy forever, but I do know that my experience with the right person allowed me to heal in ways I literally never thought possible. And it gave me the experience of a healthy “goodbye”. I was never prepared for that, so when we set an end date (not-so-coincidentally my Nanna’s birthday), it was hard to process. No one talks about