Written by: David Johnson, Orange Ride
I joined The Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure this past week, after a few work-related delays. The first few days of riding, unless you have been training, you pay for your lack of preparation. My first day was only fifty miles; then, I called it a day, but the second day, I wanted to ride the entire route with the group. There is a big difference between a fifty-mile ride and a seventy-six-mile ride.
On the second day, after the fiftieth mile, your lips taste of salt; your body cramps, and pain and sweat kick in. The seasoned riders begin to pass you. You start to say to yourself, “Why am I doing this? I could be at home or in my office under air conditioner, going leisurely about my life.” If it was just about riding, there are great places to ride in Atlanta.
The answer did not come until today, at our final (and my first) “Fuller Center Build Day.” The group took the day off from riding, and with little knowledge, but great passion, we installed a roof on a remodeling project that The Fuller Center for Housing has taken on. The average temperature today was around ninety degrees. I am not one for heights; so, the most I could do was clear bushes out of the yard and try to be a decent “gofer.” At the end of the day, I had my answer: We do this to give.
Our lives are based on “doing” and “giving.” You do something because you want and expect something in return. You go to college because you want a better life; you marry because you want to start a family; you work to receive economic benefits. Doing is not bad in itself. You give because that’s what makes us human. You give because that makes the world a better place to be. Giving is why we are here. This riding group made the world a better place today, and they expect nothing back from the family that receives the new roof. This group made my world a better place today, and I could never hope to repay them for the experience I received today.