• Route: Smoky-mountains
  • Ride Year: 2021
  • Hometown: Amarillo, TX

About: Hello! My name is Emy Merriman and I am a senior at the University of Texas who is enthralled with the integration of medicine and nutrition. Rather than typing out my resumé and life aspirations, here are some impromptu facts about me: My golden doodle is my best friend. I find immense joy in running and look forward to 5 am runs with my running group, Gilbert's Gazelles. Homemade puppy chow is one of my favorite snacks. I love frozen grapes & veggies prepared any/every way. I like having conversations with people at the cash register. Fresh bedsheets, reading outside, and doing handstands make me happy. I am an instructor at LOVE Cycling Studio, where I get to remind people that good and hard are not incompatible. In fact, I believe that the best things in life are often the hard things. We were made to do hard things.
I believe that scars are proof of bravery and that we’re only living faith when we taste a bit of fear in our mouth. I also believe that “this too shall pass.” I believe that there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind, and that there is proof of hope with every rising sun. I know that my time here is limited, so I want to take every second to love deeply, serve willingly, and run joyously. Though the road may be challenging, I want to strive to embrace my race. I study the faith and endurance of runners who have gone before me, and I run as light as possible, pushing past my endurance limits, and aim to fix my eyes on the Great Prize.

Why I Ride

The friendships I made while at the Ronald McDonald House impacted me in ways I could never forget. Jeremy’s newborn son was going through his third heart surgery, Briana was fighting a severe GI disorder, and Bushoy was put through a multitude of extensive back surgeries, and though I don’t recall the details of each diagnosis, I remember how each of them were filled with tremendous hope. Because of the encouragement Bushoy, Briana, Jeremy, and many others at the Ronald McDonald House gave to me while receiving medical treatment, I want to ride for them and use my body in ways that they cannot. I also want to ride for my aunts who proved that they wouldn’t let cancer stop them from living to raise their kids in strong, healthy homes. I want to ride for my professor, Dr. Meadows, who uses the low places from her hardships as stepping stones for others to climb higher and closer to hope. I want to ride for my friend’s dad with stage 4 lymphoma and walk alongside them as they face the bumpy road ahead. I want to ride for my sweet friend Abbie, who now has to experience what life is like without her mother to call and talk to (like I do at least 5x a day). I am riding for my neighbor and sister's best friend, Jessica, whose mother and sister both passed away from cancer, leaving her and her father alone to face her own battle with breast cancer at twenty-three years old.

I will ride. I will for the stories of those around me and the chance to be a part of them- for my teammates, our supporters, and for those of every person we encounter throughout this journey. I will ride to share knowledge and awareness on cancer, as well as for charity to contribute to the research and prevention of this disease. I will ride for hope - perhaps one of the greatest weapons in our fight against despair and hardships.

A growing list of who I ride for:
Aunt Melissa & Aunt Sarah
Bushoy, Brianna, Jeremy, & everybody I met staying at the Ronald Dr. Meadows
Bridget & Aza
my dad & his encouragement to fight like the “man in the arena”
Jessica and her father
Tamara Jarrous
for those who cannot & for every life touched by cancer
my 2020 teammates and everybody that they were riding for

I ride because it is a gift to be able to and I am not promised tomorrow.

Please feel free to chat with me ◡̈ It would be a privilege to dedicate a day of my ride to you or a loved one.