It’s taken me too long to publish this post, but as with most JDRF Rides, I’m left struggling to find the words to describe what the weekend meant to me and the feelings I experienced. I usually fail in my attempt to encompass a weekend like this in a few hundred words. This year’s Ride wasn’t visibly different than others, leaving me once again with tired legs and a full heart, but it was emotionally different. I think back on my weekend in Vermont, and I smile both from fondness because of the experience, but also with anticipation because I know I will experience part of it again with the Nashville Ride in October.
The Burlington ride was different for me below the surface. Having completed training to be a JDRF Coach the week before, I knew this would likely be one of my last rides as a casual rider. Part of me wanted to soak it in—remember why I started doing this in the first place and to be reminded of what kept me coming back each year. My expectations were met in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I left with a heart full of passion and strength, invigorated in both my diabetes management and my passion for funding a cure.
Along the course, I enjoyed seeing the big picture of what the Ride program does for people on a real and personal level. It was a reminder of how much this program has changed my life, my health and my priorities. It was a day full of goosebumps instead of just one or two moments. (And it even included my being speechless at the top of Irish Hill—a moment I don’t think Mike Clark will soon let me forget.)
Here’s the thing I hope—for you to experience a piece of this incredibly uplifting weekend. What I want is for all of my cycling friends to take a leap and sign up.
I want my local cycling community to register for the Nashville Ride and rally for a cause that took one of their friends this year… rally for those of us that are still riding and constantly fighting to find the balance between a sport we love and a body that tries to fail us.
I want T1D to feel a tremendous impact because of the people in this town, in my town. I want change. I want a cure. I want others to feel the joy of crossing the finish line with 300 others knowing they helped raise more than $1 million for T1D research.
This is a Ride unlike any other. It’s life-changing. It’s inspiring. It’s a Ride of heroes and of game-changers. You can be one, too. Nashville, what are you waiting for?
Here are a few photos of my time time in Vermont.