The hardest most rewarding days of my life

So as you all know, we’ve been climbing hills……lots and lots of hills/some mountains. It’s been a tough few days. I thought it was already bad on day 2 but it just got worse and worse. I was really struggling. My athleticism is non existent to say the least. I always wish I got into sports and other activities. Thankfully I4K has given me the opportunity to really push myself for the first time. Though the hills were the hardest things I ever did, I never once thought they were impossible. Nothing can prepare you for the hardest days of your life but those days prepare you for almost everything else in your life. I feel so honored to have been selected for this opportunity. All my struggles fell apart at each beautiful sight I saw. I was amazed to contemplate that I had climbed those hills and mountains. At each rest stop over the past few days, we have had the opportunity to experience life amongst wonderful, kind, and extremely generous people. The first night we rode to Chambersburg and on that day I went to buy a few gifts for some friends. I am a big person for looking around small towns and experiencing the delights of each place. At one of the rest stops I bought a few handmade items that I thought my friends would enjoy. I went into a store and told a woman about our trip. She was so kind and inviting and very motherly. I felt right at home! She gave me a great deal and was sweet enough to give me her card so that I could contact her when I reach San Francisco. How awesome! People never cease to amaze me.

When we got into Chambersburg it was tornadoing all over the place. I saw two funnel clouds which was insane! We had to camp out in a gas station while the weather was bad. It was pretty fun! Of course me being the idiot that I am, I assumed a tornado was touching down every second and apparently made up a dance for being correct when a tornado touched down a mile away from where we were. As you can assume, I’m never gonna live the “tornado girl”/”do the Divya” thing down. I’ve gotten a reputation for one liners too. I was hoping to keep that side of myself hidden, sadly it came out shining. I also found some fun ways of climbing hills like singing “roll roll roll your bike gently up these hills, merrily merrily life is like a hill” a great tune that Dory and I came up with that day. Dory even did a round with me. The songs really helped me and despite utter exhaustion I was able to get through it. We even climbed a steep hill that was about 1350 feet high! The payoff of that day was the church in Chambersburg which was amazing. It had this crazy bell at the top and it was a huge and really old church. The Pastor was so kind and inviting too!

Day 6 was also intense with lots of climbs. I rode in a group with Maggie, Gabrielle and Christine. It was a long day with a ton of climbs but by the end we had reached nearly the highest point in Pennsylvania. The last 13 miles of the climb were actually my favorite despite being utterly exhausted. It’s amazing how a change in attitude can really carry you through the toughest times. The last few miles, I was pumped and I enjoyed every second of the hardest climbs of my life. It’s awesome when you have the right attitude and you reach and your spirits just can’t be higher. Once we got through that day, I knew I could get through any day of the rest of the trip.

At the stayover we had some lovely people cook us delicious food. A couple even let me and some of the girls shower in their home. I mean literally, someone I have never known. I wasn’t even going to shower, but they actually insisted on me showering in their home. How kind is that. What a sweet day!

Day 7 was shorter but still tough. I think we were all so tired of the hills we wanted to be in flatland. When we were biking to Pittsburgh we got a nice taste of the flatland on this trail we took for about 20 miles or so. Unfortunately it was a lie and we had more hills, haha, oh well, you win some you lose some. It was scorching that day but we got in early and were able to enjoy a bit of rest. I went walking around Pittsburgh which is an amazing little city. Its so regal and old and cool. I loved everything about it. Kids that go to UPitt and Carnegie Melon are really lucky.

Today we had a team meeting and a picnic which gave me a severe food coma and a delightful nap. I love how people keep cooking me food, I could get used to this. But as I’ve been told the West Coast is a tad more rugged. The team meeting was so great because we each said something positive about the ride so far and everything that was said resonated so much. I already feel like everyone on the team is my family. I feel so honored to ride with such lovely people everyday.

I’m so happy to have gotten some rest and I’m really excited to wear clean clothes tomorrow. Funny thing is, its only been a day and I’m already starting to miss my Eddie (Aka my trek lexa- full name Eduardo the White Knight). Alright I’m off now, I already forgot a bunch but I’ll try and remember and keep you all posted.

Comments (6)
  • Eileen Rock says:

    You will just be flying through the flatlands in the next few states! 1350 feet of vertical climb is something to really be proud of! Way to go!
    Linsey’s Mom

  • Joan Lindsay says:

    All of you are amazing, strong individuals. Ohio…here they come!
    ~Katie’s Mom

  • jschlesinger Jonathan Schlesinger says:

    Two funnel clouds! That’s probably an I4K first. Ride safely!

  • Tanya Engineer says:

    I’ve done a similar trip for leadership training here in New Zealand… But damn! This is outta this world! You guys are STARS!!!
    Just keep thinking of the view at the top of the hills, that’s what I did— totally worth every single cramped leg! Keep it up, ride safe!

  • Karen Lavazza says:

    This trip will make you a new person, one who knows that she can do anything she really wants to do if she is willing to work hard and long and with a good attitude. What sweet lessons you are learning. They say by the time you get to Chicago you will be a veteran. And, I just wanted to let you know, that the weather is awesome today (June 1)and it should be coming your way.
    Dory’s mom

  • Divya Nagpal says:

    Thank you all for your encouraging words, you were right we did fly through the flatlands today. Can’t wait for more! I can’t believe we’ll be in Champaign on Monday! It’s gonna be great to be at home again. Tanya, where did you ride from and how long was your ride? My next hope is to ride across NZ.

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