My involvement in the MS150 began in 2009 as a ride to surprise Mom. In 2010, it was a ride to honor Mom. This year, it’s for me.
I had no idea that the past 10 months would have presented the challenges in securing full-time employment that I have encountered when I returned to Florida last May. It’s tough here with the unemployment rate approximately 13%. Ironically, returning to Florida has felt like the right decision and I have had a great life with the exception of a job. As a matter of survival, there were several things that were scaled back or given up to save money. Biking is a hobby, so as of last July, it was on the back burner. I got out occasionally, when asked by others or to do ride a short ride. It was an easy habit to get out of. Replaced by Rays games, football or a little too much fun on a Friday night.
In January, when the call came out from our team captain, I was torn. Commit sweat, time and money to training when I can barely pay the bills? Or keep trudging along the job seeking path. Reason told me, keep searching for the job, get one and then sign up. After I heard a presenter say, “Never give up your passion. Especially when you are stressed out. Let it be your true North.”, I was motivated to get back on the bike. Since I committed to training for this ride March 10th, my life has been better. Not without challenges… like a killer sinus infection. The head clearing, wind-in-your hair freedom of being on my bike has helped keep my focus and perspective on the job search and all other parts of my life. I have several prospects for a new job at the moment and I am physically ready to ride. Sorry for the late notice on the registration. I just got the extra $40 to sign up last week.
When MS wanders into someone’s life, there is no wavering, there is no choice. It is and will be a challenge. However, to survive an illness, you need focus and courage to face a challenge. You need a passion to help you find your true North. Mine is riding my bike. That’s why I ride. Please support me in the challenge-to raise money to support research for a cure and resources for those with Multiple Sclerosis.