“So…what’s your speed?” …..”Um, forward.”

life shrinks

August is almost here and the butterflies have arrived. Although I am already thinking about what to do next after this ride, but maybe take a nap first.

Recently someone asked me what my speed was when I’m riding, the first thing that came out of my mouth was “…um, forward”.  This probably doesn’t conjure up a lot confidence in those that have done a century before, in fact yesterday when I was talking with a friend we were laughing that maybe I should just tow my luggage behind my bike so I can just ride straight to the airport. And now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I’ll need a head lamp too.

I’m nervous but oddly enough it doesn’t scare me. Well, maybe a little bit.

When I signed up for this ride I didn’t even have a bike, that was in May (thank you Mary and Mindy!). I think the last time I had ridden a bike was about eight years ago, maybe even longer, and back then I was in a place where we rode our bikes with jeans and tennis shoes, not bike shorts and clipless pedals, a name that still confuses me because you actually clip into the pedal.

No bike, no fancy gear, no idea… Just determination with a splash of naivete.

When I was registering for the ride, they asked how many miles I was going to go? 100. Of course, silly. Then they asked my fundraising goal, I went right to the top. Why ride 100 miles if you don’t go all the way.

Has it been a challenge? Of course. Have a I doubted myself. Of course. Did I think about quitting? Never.

It’s no secret, maybe I am naive, oblivious or as my husband says “forever hopeful” but I believe, I really do.

just believe

I believe that for some reason, maybe not one that I am aware of, I’m supposed to do this ride. You know what I’m talking about, I’m sure there has been something that you have done and when you first set out you thought “What was I thinking?” and then when it’s over you realize…”Oh, that’s why” and it is always the best case scenario.

I believe that people step up when no one else will, and you have.

Sometimes that’s all that I can do, step up, show up and believe, and of course do something. I’m horrible about getting stuck in my head. There are things that come up and I just think them to death, I get stuck with too many thoughts of ‘what if’, and “I can’t”. I think too much and then I get sick of myself and just want to scream, “JUST DO SOMETHING”. I don’t know why I get stuck like that but luckily it is happening less and less these days.

just-do-somethingI don’t want to wait for the right moment, the right bike, the right time…because maybe taking action is all that I  need to do to make it perfect. Often times my life has been riddled with fear, but only in my own abilities…”I don’t know how…, I don’t have the right equipment…That’s not something I would do….I never was….” Well with that attitude I realized that I never will be if I don’t start somewhere, anywhere, just start. It might not be pretty, or perfect but it’s happening.

The many first steps I have taken in the last two years have brought so much to my life. Opportunities, joy, and amazing people.  Wonderful, joyful, inspiring people, they are the real gifts when I cross the finish line. That and the smile on my children’s faces knowing that I am showing them a mom that can, a mom that will, and mom that tries even when she isn’t quite sure she can.

Do I believe that riding 100 miles will cure diabetes. No. Riding 100 miles will do more than that.

These miles will encourage, inspire and motivate. They will bring people together and offer strength to keep us going. to reassure us that we are on the right path to a cure.

These 100 miles are fueled with hope, love, sweat, tears and fears, but dripping with faith. Faith in a future that will hold a cure for my son. Faith in a future where everyone lives a life without Type 1 Diabetes.

When I ride on Aug. 17th, I won’t be the only one on that bike, I’m taking you with me. Surprise! No, really, there is no way that I could do this alone. Yes I am the one going, yes I am the one riding but me + a bike + a couple hundred dollars does not equal a cure.

Me + You + a Bike + Thousands of dollars = Cure.

There’s no way around it, You + Me = Promise.

I could have just donated to a rider, yep, that would have been a whole lot easier. And why didn’t think of that sooner? But I want to be moving, I want to connect and ride with others, it gives me hope and joy. It fills my heart, it fuels my spirit.

Thank you for not wavering, for not waiting for that perfect moment, or the perfect time. Thank you for believing, for trusting  and most importantly, for doing something. Thank you for moving me…forward.



2 thoughts on ““So…what’s your speed?” …..”Um, forward.”

  1. Your post made me think of so many things but I will narrow it down to the reader’s digest of my thought process. Think about how many things that would not have been accomplished throughout history if they were waiting for the perfect moment or the perfect equipment or just waiting to see what happened. The truth is most things were accomplished by doing, trying and just showing up. Advocating and making people more aware of your cause is way more important than having just the right clothes or bike. You riding your 100 miles is not only advocating for T1D but also for any of us out there who are wondering what we can do to get the word out there. One rain drop in a pond may go unnoticed but a hundred rain drops, a thousand raindrops makes a difference. I’m happy to be another raindrop.

    I have a headlamp, side mirror, flashing rear lights and a speedometer. Yeah I’m a dork but at least on my trainer I’m safe lol! Now when I did ride and it was a bit foggy the headlamp really did help. It helped me to see and for others to see me. Not like I can be missed though.

    Don’t forget how awesome you are for pushing through fear, doubt and obstacles. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are, all that matters is that you keep moving forward. 🙂 Most important have FUN. It will be an experience that you will never forget.

    much love

    1. Though I responded to this lovely comment! Thank you for reading and for cheering me on through the obstacles, it was a great ride 🙂

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Rachel Eagleton


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