Amazement and Awe – that is what I was feeling.
Today is the RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER. A 200km ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls. To participate, you have to agree to raise $2500 for the ride. If you have not raised the money, you will not be able to ride, or you will have to put the remainder of the money in yourself.
My sister decided last year to take on this challenge. As with most things, she does, there is no half way. It is all or nothing and she goes for the gusto.
Last July when she made the decision that she was going to do take on this challenge, she went out and bought a road bike, special shoes, a helmet, riding clothes, gloves and whatever else she was going to need to do this properly.
She started training and figuring out how to ride with her feet attached to the pedals. She set up a trainer in her basement for the winter so she could still use her bike. While at the same time she was thinking of ways to raise money. She was talking to her friends and family. She was sending e-mails and Facebook messages. She was organizing a garage sale from August 2009 to be held in May 2010. She made flyers, magnets and posters.
She started riding outside again in the spring. She would train on her days off doing rides, learning about hills and building her stamina. She progressively was able to do longer and longer rides.
Today was the test!
This morning at 6:20am, Husband was driving Sister and her friend downtown to the starting line. Their bikes had already been dropped off the night before. There was breakfast, team meetings and the opening ceremonies.
The ride started at 8:30. At about 9:30, Husband, mom and I headed to the ‘cheering station’. It is a part of the route that was designated for ‘cheering’ on the riders. We got there and found a spot at about 9:45am. As we were walking to the edge of the road and the cyclists were pedaling by us in droves, I was in AWE. The sight is something to be seen. It actually brought a tear to my eye as well as mom and Husbands eyes. I think my mouth was agape in amazement. It was really quite a sight seeing all those people peddling away.
We stood there and clapped at every single rider that passed us. There were 4000 people signed up for the ride. FOUR THOUSAND!!!! We stood there for over an hour cheering and clapping and supporting those who chose to do this.
Sister came by the cheering station and I had more tears in my eyes – as I do again as I write this – I am so incredibly proud of her – for so many things – making a decision, sticking to it, following through, going outside of her comfort zone and putting her body through to in the hopes of being able to help those who have been stuck by this terrible disease.
WAY TO GO SISTER!! I have never been so proud of you!!! We will be waiting for you and cheering for you as you cross the finish line!