As I’m back at work and will be turning 50 this week, I realize that one of the most intense physical challenges of my life was this 550-mile bike trek. For Jeff, it’s back to studying for med school classes. Life goes on, but somehow things are quite a bit different.
For one thing, it’s hard for me to take what has become almost a permanent smile off my face knowing that we conquered our 550-mile Gears for Giving challenge. The memories that we built along the way will last long after life returns to “normal.”
Our charity bike ride started out on an interesting note, as we were caught in a torrential downpour from a freak storm on the first day. Afterward, we found ourselves struggling to bike up muddy roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The roads were so slippery that I fell off my bike a few times and Jeff scraped his leg sliding on wet gravel. What a way to start an adventure!
But minor adversities aside, it was the surprises along the way that will stick with us forever. After meeting an elderly couple from Norway that had rode cross-country, I was even more inspired to push forward. As they posed for a picture, the woman said, “Wait a minute, let me put on my sunglasses to cover my wrinkles.” That’s a memory that Jeff and I will never forget.
I guess I’ve been bitten by the adventure bug because I am already thinking about my next conquest. Who knows, I might just decide to climb across Great Wall of China. To my daughter, Brittany, watch out because your turn is coming!
Before I end here, I want to take a minute to thank my family, friends, coworkers and especially the people I have never met who continue to donate to each of our four great charities: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Boomer Esiason, Jimmie Johnson and Dan Marino Foundations. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that our bike ride has been able to help kids and families in need.
If you’d like to contribute to our cause – there’s still time. Just click on any of the charity links above and make your donation before July 31. Your donation just might be a life-changing difference for someone in need.