The thing about paths is you never know where they might lead. Who knew that when I finally mustered up my courage last year and got back up on a bicycle after 30 years off that less than 10 months later I'd be cycling in my first ever fundraising event—The 6th Annual Lund Bike Ride for Children. Sure, it was only a four-mile family ride, but it was a ride. Me, who used to twist her ankles and cut her legs until they'd bleed just to get out of gym class, doing something that didn't just resemble something athletic, but that was public at that! I don't know if I could have been more proud of myself if it was a 100-mile marathon! Sure, we had some trouble making it up the hills—my sister-in-law was toting her 40 lb. toddler—but we took our time and congratulated ourselves at the effort. We also got to be outside enjoying a beautiful day and some wonderful scenery.
Unless you've been one of those uncoordinated, overweight or ungainly kids who just couldn't seem to do anything from hit a baseball to score a basket, you can't understand just how monumental it is to not only take part in something like that, but to begin to think of yourself as something other than one of those kids, to begin to see yourself not only as someone who can ride a bike, but ride a bike for a cause. You can't know what it feels like to find yourself taking enjoyment in such an experience and not worrying if others see you or if you fail. This might have been called a Ride for Children, but I found myself on Sunday morning doing it for one child in particular–the little girl inside me who used to duck her head at duck, duck goose and pray she'd never have to get up and run and the little girl who used to love to ride her bouncy ball horse across the lawn before anyone told her what she couldn't do or that she didn't measure up. I pedaled my bike up and down those 4 hilly miles for that little girl and for my niece beside me, so both would know that we could do it and that it was fun!