Sharon, CT--> Farmington, CT (46 mi.)
Today's ride was short, sweet, and casual. Although the particular flavor of Connecticut hills wasn't particularly enjoyable (long, winding climbs), it was a beautiful day and the anticipation sweetened the otherwise bitter taste of the climbing.
I wish I could say I thought some good, wise thoughts on that day, but I was mostly excited for the start of a more than one day break from riding my bike. Since then, I did think of one thing I'd like to share:
The major difficulty of this trip, I think, is the lack of control. The student lifestyle, though not without its own challenges, does permit a great deal of freedom. It's nice to choose when to go to bed, where and what to eat, who to see, and what to do with your free time. This trip precluded some of that freedom: we had to find beds, had limited food options, only saw each other, and could only lay down in our free time. When there was a significant headwind and still 17 miles to go uphill, we could never decide, "hey, this isn't so much fun, let's do something else." Though this may sound spoiled and entitled (complaining about a cross country bicycling trip) I really want to say quite the opposite. The difficulty of this trip, which I felt deeply, is completely incomparable to the suffering of those with blood-related and other cancers/diseases because it has a clear end. We have made it; we are finished. Not only are we finished, but we knew all along that--provided we could stay upright on our bikes and run into the east coast--we could complete the journey. This concrete sense of termination, to say nothing of the happy boost of accomplishment, has lent me an appreciation for the ultimate cause of our journey. We have done a small thing for people who do not have the same expectation of an appropriate end. We have suffered a little bit, only to realize that there are many others who suffer far worse. And that, I think, is a very human and a very significant thing to realize. I'm grateful to carry that with me after this trip and we hope that we have managed to share it in some way through this blog and through our conversation. Thank you for reading.
All the best,
About Lea's Foundation
In 1998, Lea Michele Economos, a young woman who died of leukemia at the age of 28, made a dying wish to her parents that others would not face the hardships she encountered by finding a cure for this disease. Her family started this charity to carry on that wish. Today, Lea’s Foundation takes an active role in finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma and to better the lives of people living with these diseases. At the UCONN Health Center, the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders sponsors research in this field. A new program covers the cost of bone-marrow testing to help recruit life-saving transplants for patients. Also, annual scholarships are given to children with leukemia who are planning to attend nursery school. For more information on other projects carried out by Lea’s Foundation, please visit their website at www.LeasFoundation.org.