Life on the road

So a lot has happened since our journey started on May 23.  Since I’ve never really been to the East Coast, it’s been an exciting adventure so far.  I was able to visit NYC for the first time, see the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 memorial, attend an event on a NYC Skyrise rooftop, and ride my bike (hidalgo) out of Central Park.  It’s been incredible so far visiting New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Deleware, Maryland, and Washington D.C.  I especially remember our stay over in New Brunswick, New Jersey where the Thakkar’s (parents of a previous rider) graciously welcomed us into their home and gave us inspiring words that I’ve kept with me on the ride.  Mr. Thakkar told us that  it might be hard at times, but it should be easy for us to keep going because we all know we’re doing this for the right reason.  He said that determined people are able to put how they physically feel behind them and give the most and that’s what separates the determined from the weak.

After moving through  New Jersey and Delaware we entered Maryland.  The start of the day was really awesome I had no idea how beautiful the state really is.  After taking some photo opportunities at the welcome signs, we started heading deeper and deeper into the grunt of some really steep, really long hills.  It certainly was the toughest day thus far.  I have to thank my Aunt Kathy Jo, Coach Denton, and Julianne’s sister Katie (our ride dedication that day) for getting me through one really challenging afternoon.  But even with all the challenges this ride day presented us with, it’s still so rewarding. Arriving at your destination 80 miles later makes everything worth it, especially when you get to visit the Baltimore Hope Lodge and talk with cancer patients about some of their struggles and triumphs.  Life’s full of them, and I guess that’s why they call it life.

It’s so amazing learning about different peoples’ outlooks and I think that’s one of my favorite parts our the trip.  At the Hope Lodge, I was able to help conduct a portrait and learn about how cancer impacts family life, jobs, financial security, and completely interrupts normalcy.  Despite all of these things, the people we interviewed agreed that it was something put in their lives for a reason and they’ll stay positive forever.  It was really neat to see the way they joked around, laughed, and remained grateful for everything they had.  I’m learning about the importance of optimism.  Today during my spare time I got to talk with some of my family and friends from home and just hearing their voices puts me in a great mood! I’m excited to see how these next few challenging days progress!

Comments (4)
  • mary cleary says:

    so proud of your strength and determination and faith-safe cycling-love you-mom-appreciate your updates-you sure know how to make a difference!

  • mike reinhardt says:

    sounds like your ride through maryland is tough one. It may help to prepare you for your ride through montana, we have a few long steep hills here. we are all so proud of you and cant wait to see you in missoula. we will be following you on your journey.

  • Sylvia Levin says:

    Shannon- I am in awe! Stay strong. Can’t wait to see you somewhere along the way. Aunt Syl

  • Cindy Respeliers says:

    Keeping track of your journey and always adding an extra prayer for you to keep you safe! Keep smiling!!

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