Some people are doers, some people are thinkers, and some are just couch potatoes. I, however, am a liver. My mission: to live. Really, really live.
I was born and raised in Petaluma, CA, a small dairy town near Napa Valley. Being the youngest of five children, I learned to adapt to any situation and circumstance, as they were nearly never of my own choosing. Also a side effect of being the youngest, I developed an early flair for drama, acting in any play I could find and mastering as many kinds of accents as I could. Although I had never considered myself a class athlete, I found a love for the wilderness and anything outdoors. Camp St. Michael, a leadership wilderness camp, was my home for six summers, as I learned to hike, use a compass, and make a bonfire with one match (and no lighter fluid, of course). Holding the positions of Class President and Spirit Leader throughout high school, I was an active part of my school community; however, upon graduation I decided to explore outside of California. I attended Boston University, where I learned how to ride a subway, survive zero degree winters, and what it really means to be a baseball fan. Although I succeeded at BU, taking up two majors and becoming an avid hockey fan and president of my sorority, in the spring of my sophomore year I decided to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin. UT has changed my life because I feel like I have found my home. The students, myself included, care about what they are doing, a quality I respect above most others.
I believe the most important thing in life is to think. Figure out who you are and what you want, and then go after it with everything you’ve got. It took me 3000 miles to figure it out. I know how precious life is: too precious to waste a single second of it. Figure it out and do it. You want to go to college? You want to beat cancer? You want to bike 4000 miles? Go.
My Mission: To live. And to help everyone else do the same.
I knew I was meant to be part of Texas 4000 when I saw a quote from Lance Armstrong that said, “We have two options: give up or Fight Like Hell.”
My father died when I was sixteen. He was my best friend.
He died from a heart attack in his sleep. I’m convinced this was the only way he could have gone because if he had been diagnosed with cancer, he would’ve fought. But unfortunately I know that sometimes fighting just isn’t enough. I’ve had two grandparents fight cancer, and only one beat it. The problem is that it isn’t just grandparents. It’s friends, and friends’ parents, and teachers, and neighbors, and children who don’t even know what they’re up against.
Losing my father was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. But now I have the ability and the desire to connect with other people who have experienced such a loss. This is the reason I want to be a Texas 4000 rider. I want to connect deeply on the most basic human level with others, to share stories, to share pain, but mostly to share hope.
I ride for hope. I am not an athlete. This ride will be the second hardest thing I have ever done. But I will fight. Fight Like Hell. Fight the way my dad never had the chance. And just maybe I’ll give others the hope to fight as well.
Please feel free to contact me, share your story, or ask for a ride dedication by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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