Written by: Rose Uscianowski, Orange Ride
We are half way through the fourth week of our full ride to DC but I have only just completed the 7th day of my adventure, which began in Salt Lake City. We rode 102.3 miles over 5,606 feet of climbing to Walden, Colorado under sunny skies, brilliant landscapes, sweeping vistas, a whole lot of sweat and a few tears.
Today was as challenging as could be, but it’s those very challenges that exemplify why I do this and what I hope to find. I live each day by the philosophy that the only way to discover your own strength is to challenge it and if you don’t challenge your strength, life will. Learning to actively seek out challenges has led me to some of the most memorable experiences of my life. It has brought me everywhere from small farms in Ireland to the woods of Sweden, allowed me to discover what are now my passions for distance running and cycling and has taught me how to love when all I knew was pain. Finally, this philosophy brings me to an old chair in a humble church in Walden, Colorado where I’m writing this blog for you now.
My biggest challenge during this trip hasn’t been the miles, the hills, the wind or the heat. It’s been trying to find my place. I’m a liberal gay, atheist from New York and just about the last person you’d expect to find riding across state lines with a Christian based organization but I wanted to challenge myself to overcome my own preconceived notions and find common ground. What I’ve found is a group of the most loving, compassionate, adventurous and mentally strong people I’ve met. We may have our differences, but we share our humanity.