Friday, September 30, 2011

Present:Hope Tour

The last few days have been quite the learning experience for me. It seems that in every challenge where people's limits are tested, stuff is squeezed out. Some of the stuff that comes out is good, like when you find out that you can do way more than you thought you could. Other stuff can be not so much fun but when dealt with can bring so much growth.
Thursday was the day when the rubber hit the road for me. I was miserable pretty much the whole day and it was one of our shortest days. I was starting to get sick, my lips were sunburned, my legs were sore and the luster of riding my bike every day was starting to wear off. There was absolutely nothing I could do to keep up with the team. It was a complete mental battle to finish the day and it seemed like I was counting very pedal stroke.

The next day we inadvertently rode 100 miles due to some missed turns. But it was my favorite day so far. I felt great and had so much fun with the team. We finished the day cruising in on some of the smoothest roads in Mississippi. It was breathtaking.
We hit another short day yesterday and cruised in to Tuscaloosa. One of my favorite things is stopping to talk to people along the way. They always stop to ask us what we're doing when they notice our matching spandex get-ups and sweet ride and almost always give donations.
Today was our first rest day today which was amazing. My legs thank everyone involved in that decision. I'm loving hanging out with the team and knowing each of their quirks and personalities. They're all so much fun. I'm already sad thinking about the tour being over in a few days but excited to know that I'll have friends all over the country that I can see whenever I pass through. We went to a church picnic today and played bocce and egg toss, which we totally dominated.
Today we toured Tuscaloosa with a local pastor. The tornado that hit here was an F4 and was on the ground for 80 miles. The same thing stuck out here as in Joplin. Yes there was loss and death, but there were so many stories of lives spared. I keep thinking the same thing, that I really thought I was bringing these folks something by being on this tour but what I'm finding is that we are the messengers of their stories and God's story of hope and redemption. Amazing.

We hit the road again tomorrow and head towards Atlanta. Keep on pedaling!

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