- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2015
- Hometown: Pearland, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Human Biology
- Email: email@example.com
About: Read my blog at: http://fromaustintoanchorage.tumblr.com/
Why I Ride
I have spent several years in my life thinking I cannot do or complete some of things—that my body and mind couldn't handle nor endure the load of hardship or the level of discomfort. It was during my sophomore year in high school that I was diagnosed with tachycardia, a heart condition that limited my physicality and unexpectedly, my mentality. Little hills would be monstrous mountains to me, and simple physical activities became herculean tasks. I could not run a mile directly nor did I continue to try to. It was not until college that I decided to push off my excuse of a handicap and take a few steps. Something snapped in me and I felt momentarily invincible, but not long after that struggling to breathe again, with a lingering temptation to stop and give up. Though my condition is not as severe as others, I know what it is like to fight an unfair war with little qualifications. I know what it is like to inherit an abnormality that offers little justification or remedy. I know what it is like to want everything to stop because “I couldn't handle it,” I thought. But I did, and even though every single doubt and every single fear chipped away my resolution, I did not give up. I've continued to challenge myself, and have completed a half-marathon, with an intent of training for a full marathon the following year. There are some things that anchored me—family and friends—different reasons that adhere and fibrously attach to me like grass roots entangled in the topsoil. I'm here to be one of those attachments, and not simply as a glue of jumbled words of encouragement, but a well-rusted and jaded anchor that has been through its course and inherited the experience. I do it for those that cannot—or more specifically, those that think they cannot—because in actuality, they are and are continuing to do so well.
I ride for my mother, who is a survivor of colon cancer. I have few words that are sufficient enough to describe her, besides that she is our family's rock. We wouldn't be the same without her supporting us. My mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was young. I didn't do anything because I didn't know anything. My parents keep many of the details away from me so I wouldn't worry. I don't want to be passive anymore. I want to be a voice that embodies the spirit of dedication and perseverance.
I ride for my grandmother, who suffered a stroke of cardiovascular origins and passed on afterwards. Before she left, she told me: "Stupid is stupid, but it doesn't matter if you're intelligent or otherwise, you just have to keep going." I'm still going for you, Grammie--no matter how stupid I must be to do this in the first place.
I ride for those that continue to endure hardship—the children who have to watch their parents grow weaker, paler and poorer, and the parents who would give anything to give their child a second chance. I, especially, ride for those that have almost given up. I won't give up if they won't give up. I ride to let them know that we're in this together.
My goal is $10,000, more than two dollars for each mile. I have spent countless hours outside seeking donations on the sun kissed pavements of the streets, and many hours of the night producing artwork and tangibles in hopes of continuing the cause.
If you donated, as a sign of gratitude, I will gift you a part of me: My artwork. I've tallied countless hours over many nights for a gallery such as this; and I want you to remember me and my cause with your donation. After you have donated, I will reach out to you with my sincerest thank-you, along with options for your thank-you gift. It can be hand-delivered or mailed if needed.
You can see my gallery at: http://tuantang.tumblr.com/
Any donation: a Letter of Appreciation
$25: a postcard from Alaska at the end of my journey**
$50: a choice of any Level 1 Sketch
$100: a choice of any Level 2 artwork
$250: a choice of any Level 3 artwork
$500+: a choice of any Level 4 artwork
**Any donation over $25 will receive a postcard