Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
My legs ached as I struggled to pedal with the wind pushing against me. There was only 10 km left to go and I would catch glimpses of the city skyline every time I reached a peak of a hill. Tears welled up in the corner of my eye and I continued on, pedaling and fighting against the wind. The tears were of joy. I was going to make it. I was going to reach the end of this 220 km ride and knowing this was a little bit overwhelming.
My skin was toasted by the sun and, although it caused difficulty, the wind was welcome as it cooled down my body. Cars raced by me and honked encouragement as I continued to cycle along the narrow shoulder of the highway. Fellow cyclists would pass me and tell me to keep going. We were a team, cheering each other on; reaching the end of two long days that seemed to be an uphill battle, together. Comradeship was felt by all.
I reached the beginning of the end and could make out the finish line. I wanted to shout and smile while I was looking around for family and friends who had made the final leg to cheer me on. An announcer called my name out as I crossed over the 220th km.
I felt more than alive in this moment. Not only had I completed an amazing expedition, but I did it for those who have lost lives to cancer and to help others keep alive. I looked back over the months of training and fundraising, and thought about each km I had cycled. I was one person who wanted to make a difference. That day there were over 1800 participants and together we raised $7.3 Million. We were all individuals who came together to make a difference.
Tears, sweat and laughter mixed together in me and created the greatest sense of pride I have ever known.
In 2011, I have already signed up to volunteer with this ride. So I can cheer for others to reach that final point where they can be overwhelmed with that same sense of greatness.
This ride takes place in many provinces in Canada, so if you can, I encourage you to sign up. Not only do you help make a difference in others lives, but you definitely create a difference in your own.
As of January 1, 2011 I will be making this blog private. If you would like to be on the reading list, please email me at arualthebutterfly[at]gmail[dot]com