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P.J.

Sunday was a massive training day. A few weeks ago, Cindy Snyder reached out to me via Facebook offering me the chance to train with her son, P.J. P.J. is 32 and has Angelman Syndrome and an incredibly accomplished athlete. We were connected through Dennis with Athletes in Tandem here in Colorado. Dennis is the guy who sparked this entire adventure idea.

We made plans to have a training ride with P.J. and to invite the local community to come ride with in hopes of promoting inclusion, showing how it's done and gaining donations to Helen & Noah's Big Adventure. It would be the most I'd hauled at 104 pounds. The trailer is 32lbs, P.J. weighs 72lbs.

I was scared sh*tless. My training leading up to this had been with a max of 45lbs. There were a few rides where I was climbing when I was like, "How in the HELL am I going to do this with even more weight. I'm going to embarrass myself in front of a group of people who are there to support us."

So, I took a logical approach in the weeks, days and hours leading up to this training ride: I didn't think about it. If it came across my mind, I'd dismiss it. No over-thinking. 

Cut to ride day. It was windy and it threatened of rain. REALLY, Colorado?! I wasn't so worried about the rain because it never does it for long if at all. The wind, though, yeah. No thanks. I'm 6'1" and become a sail when it gets windy. Add a trailer behind me and....we become a massive wall.

We had a good group of people show up. Both friends and a few customers and people who heard about what we were doing via Facebook (thanks social media!). Before I knew it, we were out on the road. The sensation of pulling that much weight combined with the wind was pretty interesting. The plan was to go up some switchbacks on bike path. The mile leading up to it was when I hit the wall questioning both my ability and my sanity. But, I'm no quitter, so up we went and, to my pleasant surprise, we went faster than 2 MPH and was even able to smile.



We did just over 16 miles in about an hour and a half. Not too shabby for a hauling 104 lbs.

There was a profound sense of accomplishment. I finished our ride confident that August isn't just happening, but it's doable. It will be hard, but it will be doable.

This whole process has been eye opening on so many levels. More importantly, though, this experience has given me a network here in Colorado. I have friends here. Supporters. People who get it, who get ME and who have encouraged me to continue on. I'm adding to my people. And I LOVE my people...

Thank you, P.J., for being a fantastic training partner and buddy. 





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