To many people who know me, it is fairly evident that I like to keep a packed schedule that can often leave me feeling a bit burned out. But being a part of I4K this year has helped me in ways I never imagined it would. Before spring break I had a few of the most stressful and draining weeks of my life, but I always found myself looking forward to I4K trainings.

Ever since my first ride on my new bike, I was addicted. Even now, I find myself counting down every. single. minute. until my next ride. I love love love to explore and its invigorating to even imagine the thousands of routes and places we have yet to explore. I’ve seen so much more of the Champaign-Urbana area because of I4K and I can. not. wait. to see all of America.

These were the thoughts I had this morning when Alison and I rode a 22.5 mile loop around Urbana. The headwinds were pretty brutal, but it was the most peaceful and invigorating part of my day. It reminded me of one of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quotes,

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is?’”

Even though we are going from anywhere from 6-24 mph, I4K almost forces me in a way to slow down, to take time in my day to truly be present and to focus on being happy. As someone who is constantly going, its nice to slow down and take time to enjoy my life in that very moment. It gives me time to not worry about the future but to be present to the beautiful nature I am surrounded by and the wonderful team I’m with. And I am genuinely grateful for that.

I know no matter what, I can always count on training to energize me and my I4Fam to brighten my day.  I love how our team encourages each other and draws on each others’ strength. I am forever grateful for all that Illini 4000 has come to mean to me now, and can’t wait to see what it will mean to me in the future. And lastly, I can’t wait to ride again tomorrow (:

P.S. check out my blog for the ride here!

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