Tory Cross

Tory Cross
Rider Profile
HometownSidell, IL
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
View Rider Blog (14)

My name is Tory Cross, and I’m from Sidell, IL. I went to Jamaica High School—like the town, not the country! I’m a freshman studying psychology, and currently I either want to research neurological disorders or become a doctor, but those ideas change on a regular basis! All I’m sure about is my desire to help people. My family runs a non-profit horse rescue, so as a kid I spent a lot more time on a horse than a bike! The horse rescue instilled in me a love for volunteering and community service. I also volunteer with a leadership seminar that totally changed my life. Before it, I barely spoke to people other than teachers. The seminar brought me out of my shell and granted me the ability to believe in myself and my abilities. Growing up, I watched my dad, my best friend, struggle with obesity. He tried all sorts of diets, but the thing that finally turned it around for him was cycling. When he and I started cycling together, it changed my life as well! I have a genetic disorder that means I have some mild joint issues. Mike Magnuson, author of Heft on Wheels (a truly great cycling book!), states, “Imagining a life is different than life. There’s life on the page, and then there’s LIFE.” Before I began cycling, I feared getting hurt on a regular basis. Cycling is helping me lead a life, rather than just imaging one.

Personal Statement

Lance Armstrong states, “If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.” Of course Lance is an inspiration to both cyclists and anyone affected by cancer, but we all have more than that too. Personally, I had thought I would be riding for the memory of my maternal grandmother, who passed away when my mom was a kid. I’d be riding to continue her fight and let her know that the fight never ends. I thought I’d be riding for my step-grandmother, who is currently under-going chemo for bone and liver cancer. I’d be riding so she knows I’m fighting with her, for her. Now I see that the fight is about more than that. Riding about cancer isn’t just about my family or my reasons. It’s about continuing for anyone losing hope—survivors, victims, families. It’s for anyone who is afraid to keep moving, who has been moving for so long that moving any further seems impossible.