A Hot Day on the Trails

Today we started off our morning with some wonderful bagels from John Meehan’s mom, and also made the ride dedication out to the Robinson family. We had a wonderful stay at the Westminster Church and were so thankful for their hospitality. We left Washington, D.C. around 7:30 am after taking photos of the team in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Even though it was just the morning, we could already tell that today was going to be a hot day! The first 40 miles of the route were on the Mount Vernon, Curtis and Washington & Old Dominion bike trails, which were a blessing for us, since we didn’t have to ride with traffic and also since there weren’t as many hills. After lunch, we continued our ride and had to switch back to riding on roads with cars, which was quite an adjustment, but we managed. In addition to this, we were also reacquainted with big hills, but we conquered them! This day proved to be challenging for the I4K members due to the heat and traffic, yet overall we were able to stay optimistic and keep in mind the cause that we were riding for today.

We also got the chance to talk with Katie and Bruce Smith in Boonville, Maryland. Katy was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, which was only a few years after her sister had finished treatment for the same type of cancer. She underwent a lymphectomy, radiation treatment, and drug therapy, along with facing several other medical challenges. She and her husband had some very inspiring things to say. Katie explained that when you have cancer, “You kinda take it one day at a time.” She added that one should “Be confident in your doctors. Go ahead and talk to people and ask for, not so much advice, but support. I think the support is really important.”

Bruce explained the importance of his role. “I was worried and very concerned, but I tried to be optimistic, and I tried to be supportive. I didn’t want to upset her; she was already on the edge. It’s very important that the spouse is supportive in the fact that he is confident and reassuring that things are going to be alright. Keep a positive attitude and listen. Listen to her concerns, and listen to what she is worried about.”

Bruce and Katie were able to look at the experience in a very positive light. “Every time you go through a crisis, particularly a major crisis, and you come out okay, it just gives you confidence that you can get through the tough times, that you can make it, that you’ve done it before.”

 

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