Many of my friends and supporters will recall that I said that last year would be my final AIDS/LifeCycle for a little while.
I was wrong.
I've ridden 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles almost every year since 2011. Since 2015, I've done it with Trudging Buddies, the team of people in long-term recovery from addiction that I helped found and, for the past few years, have gotten to Co-Captain. As I prepared for my eighth ride, I thought I needed a much-deserved break.
We tell people that anyone can do AIDS/LifeCycle and that's true. Through teams like Trudging Buddies and the incredible community of support we call the "Love Bubble," we make it possible for anyone to make it to the top of Quadbuster, Halfway-to-LA and ultimately to the finish line.
But that doesn't mean it's easy.
We spend almost the entire year leading up to the ride training and fundraising. We invest countless hours of our own time and money to inspire people. Then we take a week or more off work to ride a bike every day for eight hours or more in the hot sun and the rain, only to sleep in a tent on the ground each night. It's hard work, and after eight rides, I was ready to quit.
But then I watched a fellow Trudging Buddy overcome his intense fear of not being good enough so he could ride every single mile. I watched another Trudging Buddy show up to one of our team events with only a few days back from a relapse and tell us being a part of the team was helping her to find the courage to stay sober today. At our team event the weekend before the ride I asked "how many of you are here because you saw someone else on the team do the ride and it inspired you?" I watched hand after hand go up and afterward several people told me, "that person was YOU."
So here I go again. Asking you to donate. But I'm not asking you to donate for me. I'm asking you to donate to a cause you already probably care deeply about, and help inspire our team to ride stronger and fundraise harder.
I was wrong, but sometimes being wrong can be the BEST thing. Thank you again for your support.