Written by: Brianna Kelly, Orange Ride
As soon as I finished yesterday’s ride, I was worrying about today. Yesterday was so hard, painful, as well as mentally and physically exhausting for me that I didn’t know where I would find the willpower to get on my bike this morning. We slept on air mattresses last night, and it was the best sleep I have had so far on the trip. When I woke up today at 5:30 a.m., I laid in bed for five minutes, trying to convince myself to get up and ready for the day. It was hot and muggy as soon as I walked out of the air-conditioned dorm rooms, and it didn’t make me too excited. During breakfast, I tried to convince myself to go the first twenty miles of the day.
I was having a lot of trouble with negative thoughts yesterday, and one of my good friends gave me the encouragement that it doesn’t have to be that way. They told me that your mind is kind of like a buffet—all the good and bad thoughts are there and you can choose the ones you focus on. She also recommended that I memorize Philippians 4:7-8 and meditate on it during my ride. I didn’t memorize it, but I did read it:
“And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
So, I made an effort to make sure I wasn’t focusing on the negatives that would only bring me down.
I somehow got on my bike, even though I was so sore I could barely get my leg over the bar without making an unnatural noise. I didn’t really hurt that much once I started riding. I played little games to pass the time, challenging myself to pedal standing up until that sign up ahead, zig-zagging down the hills and not pedaling, feeling the breeze, and yelling at the cows, as well as seeing how long it would take me to get to the top of that next hill I see in the distance. I would also sing a song to distract myself while taking in the beauty around me—these cows on the right, those horses on the left, this windmill, that tall corn swaying in the breeze, those puffy clouds in the sky, these wildflowers, the smell of the dirt in the fields, the view from the top of each hill I climb. Somehow, I kept going. I stayed moderately positive. Mile by mile, I was getting closer to my goal.
It was wickedly hot and muggy for a good chunk of the ride, but, suddenly, there was heavy cloud coverage. Yay for clouds! I found myself saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if it rained…?” An hour later, I got my wish…along with 50 mph winds. It was a crosswind, and it was blowing so hard I almost went into the ditch! Thankfully, I was picked up by some random people who saw Tyler (another rider) and I on the road. They took us to our van, where we stayed until Jessica decided to drive most of us into town. We ended the day with an awesome trip to Pizza Ranch, and a clothespin tag selfie slideshow.
I only missed about fifteen miles today, and I’m totally okay with that. It was never about the miles anyway. For me, it’s about being a part of a great cause, serving and loving, about living simply, and experiencing life with my amazing FCBA family (whom I love to death). Even when it gets rough, that’s what keeps me from giving up.