Oh, brave new era: My biggest goals/dreams ever!

How can I really help, and effect the lives of others in a positive way? How can I do that by riding my bike? How can I encourage others to ride their bikes?

These are some questions I’ve asked myself every December for the past five years. Every year I evaluate myself as an athlete and coach, mechanic and retailer, to find where I can do the most good for that year. Well, this year, I’m taking off time from coaching to do the most electrifying, incredible and scary charity race that I can think of:  the Furnace Creek 508.

I am, by most standards, an average woman. Sure I’ve exercised for most of my adult life, but I’ve also had weight problems on both sides of the scale, food issues, digestive problems, and all the body image/ age image, self-imposed dilemmas that haunt the average American woman. But this year, I’ve made the decision to lead a happy life, and by example, lead a happier life because I ride my bike. As shy as I am, I’m going to show anyone who cares to see, how an average woman can ride her bike, change her life for the better, and maybe even change someone else’s life for the better as well. This year will be about training for a race, but not just any race. This race is an opportunity to “Race for a Reason”.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been researching different charities, to find the most suitable charity to ride for and fundraise for, this year. After much consideration, I can proudly say that I will be raising funds for Challenged Athlete’s Foundation. I have qualified for the Furnace Creek 508 this year as part of a two woman team, and I have an ultimate fundraising goal of $3000.00, which is the cost of a new hand-bike for a fellow athlete.

Here’s the kicker: in 2004, Challenged Athlete’s Foundation came up with a special program called Operation Rebound. Here’s how they explain It:

In 2004, CAF recognized a critical need among the brave members of our armed forces returning from Afghanistan and Iraq who had suffered permanent disabilities – such as an amputation — in combat. That need was for mentoring and community with athletes who had prevailed over similar circumstances and shared similar experiences. It became part of CAF’s mission to help show injured soldiers that they could be “whole” again through participation in sports – at any level.

It is our intention to create a valuable resource that these soldiers and veterans can use after they return home – or to their home base. Operation Rebound is here to help them meet their athletic goals, whether it’s finishing their local 5K – or trying to make it to the Paralympics.

By making a donation towards our fundraising goal you will directly help an injured soldier in need.

I can’t imagine a better reason the race 508 miles across Death Valley, then to raise money for CAF’s Operation Rebound.

I am an average woman, who is about to something extraordinary; I am about to race 254 miles to raise money for people who did something far more extraordinary. It’s my way of saying thank you, to those who have served in the armed forces, and for being far more brave than I ever could be.

This is about as brave as I’ll ever get.

Would you like to help?

Sponsor ONE mile for $10.00. In return, I will gratefully twitter your donation, and list you as a sponsor here on my blog (unless of, course, you would prefer to remain anonymous).

You can contribute here:  http://cafadventurecorps.kintera.org/girlmeetsbike

What is the Furnace Creek 508? It’s a 508 mile race across Death Valley with 35,000 feet of elevation gain. I will be doing this as a relay race with Tonya Bray, a former pro mountain bike racer (www.mtbchick.com). Although this is a road race, there will be plenty of rough road to make her feel right  at home 😉 . We will have 46 hours to complete the race. That’s more than enough time, if we train right, eat right, and have no major injuries over the next 8 months.

Welcome to my life: this year…

This year will be all about fundraising, and focusing on extraordinary goals; mine and some amazing women around me. I’m going to start sharing workouts, recipes, and nutrition decisions; it may be interesting to watch my progress. I’ve never done anything quite like this, so I’ve got a lot to learn: I’m no expert on ultra-distance cycling, so hopefully I’ll be clever enough to figure out this great journey that apexes at the FC 508 finish line.

What else am I doing?

As part of my training, I am honored to say that I will be crewing for a solo racer in the “Race Across AMerica” (the RAAM). I’ll also be blogging and twittering about my adventures as a crew member for this extraordinary woman, as she races across America from coast to coast, in June. Are you impressed by the Tour de France? This woman is doing a harder course as a soloist. You can find out more about this amazing woman, Janet here:

Janet Christiansen, The Osprey

and follow us as a team here:

http://teamosprey2009.blogspot.com/

Oh, and about Twitter:

Twitter is the easiest way to keep up with what I’m doing, real-time. If you already have an account, I invite you to follow me there as well. If you don’t, may I suggest that you seek out a few articles on Twitter first, so that this new social medium is somewhat less daunting. I find it an amazing form of communication, but it’s not for everyone, and it takes a while to get the hang of it. you can follow me here:

www.twitter.com/girlmeetsbike

Happy tweeting (if you’re into that)…

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2 Responses to “Oh, brave new era: My biggest goals/dreams ever!”

  1. Donna Says:

    Love your site… only read for about 15 minutes and learned so much! Thanks. BTW, your fund raising link isn’t working. 😦

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