You are your own limit.

The days are numbered! We only have 6 days left until we depart for one of the best summers of our lives. I can’t believe that the time is finally here. During first semester, I thought that this summer would never come. But now it’s here and I don’t even know how to contain my excitement. I have spent the entire school year thinking about the Illini 4000 and imagining what our journey will be like. Now it’s time to make those dreams reality! FINALLY!

Before I start blogging about my adventures, I would first like to give a huge thank you and a huge virtual hug to every single person that has donated to our cause. Your donations have made this ride possible for me and you have supported a cause that is so close to my heart.

So, in the order of donations received, THANK YOU:

Kathy Fairbairn, The Schimdt Family, Karen Crowder, Robert Berg, Karen Styrna, Sandy & Gary Houser, The Turk Family, Dan McDonnell, Carolyn Kinsellla, Anne Seidel, Deborah Muehlbauer, Bert Kooi, Shelly & Sara Kruse, Mary Patt Clancy, Janeth Kreis, Daniel Kemock, Melissa Hurst, Carol Whiteaker, Robert Wendlick, Jill & Nick Lundin, Renee Ebel, Chrissy Fosdick, Raymond & Tamara Liberatore, Sara Boroni, Mrs. Mariellen’s Preschool, Joe Urbelis, Steve & Kay Zimmerman, Debbie Dobson, Ellen Kijowski, Patricia Kuchenbecker, Dennis Ferguson, Matthew Thomas, Teresa Harrington, Jon Monti, Delaney Contracting Ltd., Tracy Kwasny, Terri Baranski, Anna Fairbairn, Jill Pfieffer, Chris Blackburn, Kelly Thompson, Michael Boeringa, Karen Aldworth, Cheryl Pillsbury, Sarah Massey, Carolynn Bartolotta, Wesley Anderson, Cathy Scaropoulos Smith, Jaime Chandler, Julie & Brian Petrovic, Gerald & Marian Rillstone, Pamela Rillstone, Ken & Lyndal VanBlaricum, Janice Reitsma, Kim Swanson, James Boyter, Douglas & Jean Rillstone, Nancy & Thomas Lehman, Mary & Brian Lundberg, Carrie Prosek, Anne Blanco, Tom & Greta Lesniak, David & Martine Pullara, Leah McDonald, Tory Greiner, Minooka Junior High Newspaper Club, The Bielec Family, Gary & Amelia Pedersen, and Susan Smith.

Lastly, I want to give a very special thank you to my mom, Kathy. When I told my mom that I wanted to ride my bike across the country for cancer research, I did not get a response that most kids would expect to get. My mom said, “That’s a great idea and I think you should do it.” Since then, my mom has supported me throughout the school year—she came with me to every bike shop, constantly searched websites for the best deals, and played a key role in my fundraising efforts. She would even text (yes, text!) me every Saturday morning to see how our training rides went. Her support surprises me everyday because no one has ever believed in me as much as she does. I am so so so so so grateful for my mom.

Just this evening, my mom and I were talking about the ride. She said something to me that left me speechless for a while: “You are your own limit.” I never realized how true those words are until tonight. If you doubt yourself, then you will fail in your attempts to accomplish something. If you hesitate to do something, you will never do it. This summer, and in the years to come, I will not limit myself. Living life is all about actually living—which means doing those things you have always wanted to do or doing those things that you think are impossible. If riding your bike across the country is possible, then finding a cure for cancer is also possible.

Basically, my point is that my mom always supports my crazy ideas and that her support inspires me over and over again to accomplish the things that seem impossible. As my anxiety kicks in about the beginning of the trip, I know I can always fall back on my mom’s words. So mom, this ride is also for you. I love you. :)

LET’S GET THIS 4,520.1 MILE BIKE RIDE STARTED!!!

P.S. – I will try to make all future posts shorter.

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