Written by: Brenda Heathcoat, Orange Ride
Sometimes, I can hardly believe I’m on this journey. Every day, my heart is filled with awe at the thought of the places I’ve seen, the people I’m getting to know, the situations I’ve encountered, and the sheer physical output my body is experiencing. Today was no exception; I woke up this morning eager to get going, to beat the heat (yes), and we were heading to Peoria, IL, very close to my husband’s family.
Their coming to pick me up was great motivation to try and keep up with the lead pack and get in early, so we could begin our short reunion. Today, nothing was going to hold me back from giving my best and making great time; well, that was my plan anyway.
It’s funny how all my expectations really do trip up my days. Instead of making great time, I received a great time. Here’s my list for the day: I survived a minor misstep (because of my slick new cleats) and saved my bike from a crash, or at least a tumble. I got to ride 2.5-ish extra miles, because I missed a turn. I got to free a bee from my jersey, all while not gaining one sting from that little bugger, or crashing while trying to stop my bicycle. I got to ride with my jersey completely zipped, so the previous bee or any of his relatives could not find their way back into my jersey. (By the way, it was very hot and humid). I got to learn how to pedal free-handedly—I will forever remember that moment, and the ladies who shared it with me. I hammered a couple of really steep hills and had to walk my bike a little bit up others—I only had to remove my shoes four times to relieve the pain. I found my way alone (probably one of my least favorite things to do). I got to approach a fire truck with its lights on, fearing a terrible situation, only to find it was there to welcome me and the rest of my team to our final destination. I got to pull into a cheering parking lot to see my family waiting for me to give me hugs, even though I was saturated with sweat.
I am getting to write this blog from a place of familiarity and peace, while listening to a thunderstorm that I’m not riding in. This journey has challenged me in so many ways, and I am learning to let go of all those “expectations ” and embrace the moments and people around me. Sometimes, it takes me a minute, but I’m coming around to completely wring every ounce of goodness I can. I’m learning to really trust God, that He holds my very life in His hands in every situation, and the only things that truly matter are how I love Him and how I love others.