Halfway There

We’re a little over halfway through this bike ride, and today I thought I’d give y’all an update on things.

Illini 4000 has been for me so far an instigator of important mental processes that should’ve begun a long time ago. As some of you may know, I injured myself very early on in this ride, leaving me off my bicycle for a good 5 weeks. I’ve never been this seriously injured before and it’s been something new to deal with. But being unable to ride my bike and participate in the main part of this organization forced me to look at things from a new perspective, to serve my team rather than myself, and to work on waking up with a positive attitude everyday. When I first got this injury I thought: “this could have happened to any one of us, why me?” Now I’ve realized, “why not?”

I’ve also in the past had too big of an ego to accept any kind of help. But this summer I’ve been forced to accept help, because I’ve needed it.

Finally, I’ve begun to realize that the first step in having others accept you for who you are is accepting yourself.

So this summer has been so far an exercise in selflessness, positivity, and acceptance.

Also, with seeing this country I’ve realized how huge, diverse, and beautiful every part of it is. We’ve taken the back roads everywhere. I was surprised by how much I LOVED Nebraska, the people and the terrain.

I’ve also firmly decided that I’ve made the right turn in heading towards veterinary medicine as a future career. I know for a fact that I want to work with animals every day, whether that means I work with wildlife or large livestock. Why has Illini 4000 helped me make this decision? Because my interactions with different kinds of animals have been some of my happiest and most eye-opening moments this summer. I realized that animals play a huge role in humans’ lives (and vice versa); I want to make those roles positive and beneficial to both sides.

So yeah I ranted but this is what Illini 4000 has been for me so far.

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