Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Big Emotions

Team Mellow Yellow - after we arrived in Austin, TX

How can I sum up this experience of riding a relay from Greenville, SC to Austin, TX? All week we slept very little, drove hours to transitions points, and then geared up for our six hour shifts. We weathered below freezing temps, rain, and lots of darkness (most of our shifts were at night). Funny how the hours of being upside down were filled with so much laughter, hugs, and memories I will carry with me long after I am now back at home. We met so many individuals that were either fighting cancer or knew someone very close that was. Our support vehicle was covered in magnets by the time we got to Austin. Add in police escorts through a town at midnight to Burger King opening up just to feed another team before their shift and you have a small insight of the gifts of appreciation for what we were doing were endless.


Thursday our team’s ride would greet us by rain…cold rain….lots of rain. With no where to eat breakfast we ate a fabulous pb&j and began our shift in the dark at 6am. Not even 2 hours into the ride I was bonking and with that all of this week’s emotions brought tears and just could not be stopped. I cried.. a lot… as I thought about all of those that helped make this possible. I did not want to let anyone down and just like that my team pulled me back in and with their love and support I pushed forward.

Later I would learn that my Aunt, who was currently in hospice fighting a fight with cancer, would pass away during this ride. She had told me that she had a “mean” kind of cancer and that it would take a miracle to cure it. I want to be a part of that miracle and riding in her honor and memory only drives me more.

Before the trip was over I would sit in the bathroom floor and hold my friend while we cut off the rest of her hair (now her second battle with breast cancer) and we just cried. I thought about the strength that a person has and finds to get themselves through each day. She is a true hero to me!


Saying I am blessed by this experience does not even come close! The words seem to small. This past week was not about the bike or the miles. The gift of loving one another and holding a person when they need it most is more powerful than any medicine. I cycled hours, slept very little, but gained a family that I will hold close to my heart forever.


It takes no money to make a difference… do what you can…just do something.

Robin

18 comments:

ShirleyPerly said...

What a wonderful, inspiring post!!

I can't imagine what it's like to ride in the dark like that for hours, day after day, and in dismal conditions. Congratulations to you and your team. Very sorry to hear about the loss of your Aunt, though, and that your friend is battling breast cancer again. SO proud of YOU, Robin, for doing something to fight cancer.

YOU ROCK!!!

Marlene said...

I am truly moved reading this. Thank you involving us in your journey. I know this won't be the last time.

I'm so sorry about your aunt.

Wes said...

Every day heroes. They rock. Be one of them...

Bob - BlogMYruns.com said...

Awesome Post Robin ...what an amazing experience! Way to GIVE !!

Stephanie said...

I'm so touched. You are an incredible person. We need more of your type.

zanne said...

awesome, awesome post. i was thinking of you today - smiling that you are spending a lot of time on two wheels. i haven't been here in a while and didn't realize exactly HOW you were spending the time on two wheels & the difference you were making. nice job girl. nice job.

Judi said...

it seems like you are a changed woman! i am so proud of you!! you are a saint! XXOO!

Grey Beard said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope your aunt lived a rich and rewarding life in the years she was given.

Your post reminded me of my experience on long tours. People were so giving and helpful and understanding.

I remember getting to the top of Sonora Pass, 26% grade, out of food and water and having to go back down after my Ex. We were in a bad way.

A car pulled up at the summit sign, opened their trunk and told us to eat and drink all we could. We saw them 3 more times on the way down the mountain. The kindness of strangers can be breathtaking.

Glad you are home safe and sound. Get some well deserved rest, and know you are an inspiration, even to someone as old and jaded as moi. I am so proud to call you my friend.

Nick said...

You are so incredible. All of you are true Angels.
You were meant to do this event and I am sure it is an experience you'll never forget.


Sorry to hear about your aunt.

Lily on the Road said...

Oh how wonderful, sad, emotional, tiring, spectacular..wow, while I'm reading your post I'm tearing up...I'm so sorry to read about the passing of your Aunt.

Robin, I can't begin to imagine all of what you and your team experienced, but thank you so much for sharing your journey...

Shannon said...

You inspire me my dear Robin. You are a blessing to me and I'm so glad I found you. :) I'm doing a charity ride next year. Proud?

MJ said...

Great post! Shedding a little tear... cancer is such a bitch.

I hope you and your family are coping as well as can be with the passing of a loved one.

Thank you for this ride and this post.

Scott Keeps Running said...

Wonderful, Robin. :)

Runner Mom said...

I just wanna give you a hug! I am looking at the picture, and you know I am crying! I am so sorry about your aunt. This post is your best ever, sweet girl. I love you! Susan

Stuart said...

WOW, this post speaks volumes about how strong you are physically and mentally, your selflessness and your dedication.

It is both inspiring and humbling to be included in the journey.

Thanks

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Sorry about your aunt and friend, cancer sucks so much. Couldn't help but cry reading this, what an incredible journey. You're such an inspiration :)

Grey Beard said...

Hey, going through the pics on FB. Tell Laurens she's still a beautiful woman, hair or no hair. The soft smile, kind eyes, heroic attitude, still shine through. Give her my best wishes for a full recovery and a long and beautiful life to come.

Colleen said...

You are an incredible person Robin! :)