Written by: Steffani Zavala, Orange Ride
Today was a much needed off day, after concluding our fourth segment, which included four bike days, one build day, and another three bike days, all leading us to Cheyenne, WY and the First United Methodist Church, where we set up camp yesterday. Several of us ended up sleeping in this morning, and it felt wonderful!
When I’m in a new city, I tend to like exploring the local hot spots, prodding Trip Advisor and Yelp to lead me to them. Being on this trip, however, has led me to continue practicing my spontaneity. I’m a planner by nature, but I’ve found that the unplanned, unstructured moments in life can become the most memorable ones. My husband, Luke, never thought he’d hear me say this!
As some of us sat in the church basement in a circle this morning, I was particularly aware of how strong our bond is and how comfortable we are just being around each other with no particular agenda. In this moment, as I write, I can’t imagine life being any other way. The aches in my muscles, the sounds of my Thermarest as I settle in for the night, the echoing giggles, and flicking of playing cards—I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything.
I think of going back to life in Chicago and almost immediately feel homesick for this adventure that has not yet been completed. We live life simply: riding bikes, playing games, sitting and chatting, praying, serving, and loving one another, which is all that matters here.
This blog has been written in a quiet corner of the church basement, on the couches of the youth room, where Suzy and Brenda play pool. In the kitchen, Brianna rides her unicycle around while Luke programs our Garmins, and Henry mixes a glass of Gatorade. It’s been written on a church pew, and a chair in the lobby—all places where I’ve chosen to contemplate this Fuller Center experience. I’m so grateful for my wonderful husband’s encouragement to share and live out our adventure in this way.
As I ride my fourth century tomorrow, under the Nebraska sky, I know I’ll continue to pray and reflect upon these simple moments in time and how they weave into this complex web of life I’m living. I don’t know what will happen after this trip. I don’t know what I’m looking to have happen. All I need to know right now is that I have Luke and my Fuller Center family by my side and the pedals that will keep on rotating as I chase that pavement.