• Route: Rockies
  • Ride Year: 2024
  • Hometown: The Woodlands, TX

About: Hi everyone! I really appreciate you taking the time to check out my profile :D

My name is Kundanika (Kundu for short) and I feel so honored to be a part of Texas 4000 and share this experience with my team and anyone who wants to keep up with our journey! I'm a Junior Kinesiology and Mathematics double major on the pre-PT track. I'm extremely passionate about yoga, mindfulness, and self-care, and am planning to eventually receive my C-IAYT yoga therapy certification to complement my career as a physical therapist.

In my free time, I love to watch movies/tv shows/documentaries/youtube (my dad jokes that I will watch anything if it's on a screen), read books, go on road trips, take a workout class or go to the gym, and of course, spend time with my wonderful family and friends! I also really enjoy exploring new places (especially things to do outdoors) and discovering new yummy food spots in Austin. Some of my current favorites are JP's Pancake Company, the QUESO from Kerbey Lane, and the Pad Kee Mao from Super Thai.

A few fun facts about me are that I am an absolute Six Flags fanatic, a Swiftie of many years (my favorite album is 1989), LOVE to do karaoke, and I am obsessed with Taco Bell. If you like any of these things, I can guarantee we will get along!

Why I Ride

Most things in life are temporary. From the people we meet to the things we accomplish, everything must inevitably fade away. Our experiences and memories, however, are everlasting. Many experiences that happen to us are out of our control, but some of the most special ones are a choice. Although my interest in joining Texas 4000 arose from an experience that was out of my control, I feel honored to have made the choice to join the team and cycle to Alaska to fight cancer.

In August of 2021, my family and I found out that my mom had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. The news was devastating and although I had spent the past few years helping take care of my mom, who was gradually losing strength in her muscles, it was still impossible to prepare to hear it. In the moment, it felt like nothing I did would ever be enough, because there was nothing I could do to reverse her diagnosis.

One day mom sat me down and told me, “This is the happiest I’ve ever been. I used to keep running around to keep up with everything going on around me because I thought I was happy, but now even though I can’t do much, I’ve never been happier.” This struck me, and I understood that it doesn’t matter what your life looks like on the surface level, it’s how you feel internally that determines how fulfilling of a life you live. After months of living with guilt, I eventually began to forgive myself and realized that although my mom won’t be with me forever, the memories I make with her and the experiences I have in honor of her will be. During my time in Texas 4000 I will be riding for my mom. Even though she wasn’t affected by cancer, I can understand the feeling of having a loved one affected by an illness without a cure. I can also understand how much it means to have someone take interest in hearing my story.

Throughout my journey with Texas 4000, I hope to ride not only for my mom, but for anyone affected by illness, whether it is directly or indirectly, and for every beautiful reason of the people whose stories I will have the opportunity of learning along the way. The joy it brings me to see people share an interest in hearing about my family’s story is unmatchable, and I hope to spread this same joy to as many people as possible. You are more than welcome to reach out to me if there is anyone or anything you would like me to ride for - I would love to hear your story.

I believe that joining the Texas 4000 team will serve as one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I hope we are all able to come together and share our mutual passion while making a difference in so many lives around us.

I hope we ultimately end up with endless reasons to ride.

Most of all, I hope we are all able to be proud of ourselves and say “this is the happiest I’ve ever been” once we fulfill our journey together.

These are the words spoken to me by my mom, and these are the same words that keep me going when life gets hard. They are a constant reminder that there is so much to be grateful for, and that there is strength in being able to appreciate the moments we get to stop and take the world in. I believe that Texas 4000 emphasizes this idea, and serves as a beautiful avenue to show the world that it’s okay to take a break, and let yourself live a fulfilling life.

To Alaska and back,