We survived! We made it!! Bike MS City to Shore Accomplished!
And it was a fantastic trip.
First, I want to just say THANK YOU, to all who donated to Team Sparkle. We reached over our goal to $12,826, which is more than I could ever have expected. It means so much to have that support. You definitely made me smile. (: This whole trip couldnt have been done without your generosity, so, sincerely, thank you.
In my earlier post I mentioned that the trip began with the Farm Aid concert. This concert was a goal for me. A few months ago, when I was feeling rather low that life was running right through me, without me, I made a goal to attend this fabulous concert, proclaiming you cant say you arent living if you attend Farm Aid.
And it surely was a living experience.
The line-up was fantastic (see below) and the message was all but something to be supportive of. We had great tickets (benefit of being a disabled sometimes :D) and made it through the crowds of 22,000 people in my wheelie quite well.
Then came Ocean City, NJ for a week, home sweet home (kinda hah). The house we rented was one street over from where we use to live when I was little and before we moved off the island. It was a lot of fun to be able to just enjoy the ocean and the boardwalk and my family.
Sputnik and I woke up one morning to watch the sunrise. It was absolutely beautiful.
Its funny though as I looked down as we were watching the sunset (and took this picture)…as it illustrates my life. Footprints and cane prints in the sand. Life has changed. But Im still a Jersey shore girl.
Mom and Dad celebrated 29 years of marriage (wohoo!!!!) and took the night off to go out to dinner in Cape May where they went for their 10th anniversary. Driving by our old house (which was, at the time we lived there, a babe) was challenging as the new owners have not kept it up as to be expected. But overall I believe they had fun.
My Uncle Paul and Aunt Bette Ann (from my dad’s side of the family) made the trip down to visit for dinner. My Uncle Paul is quite a sparkle supporter and a fan of my blogging. He said he knew he had to bring three things: roses, starbucks giftcard and sparkle. And he did: they brought me a beautiful bouquet of roses, a starbucks giftcard I used shortly after and the sparkle I told him was their visit. (: It was a wonderful time.
The boys and dad spent the days preparing by taking long bike rides and prepping their butts for the 150 ride. Towards the end of the week I started to feel a little less than wonderful (weak more so) and an executive decision was made that I would only participate in the last 5-6 miles of the race instead of the practiced 25.
Friday night was a fun surprise when two of my best friends came to visit. It was truly so good to have them there and be SO supportive. And we laughed, a lot. Which I do with my family regularly; it is just nice to have friends that do the same. And they only helped in me feeling extremely loved and supported.
Saturday started the bike race. The men started out very early (I believe around 430am).
Captain Team Sparkle aka mom organized our whole team and really we could not have done this without her! And she made us cute sparkle sweatshirts. (:
I met the team right before the bridge to cross over into Ocean City. Now this bridge, for a girl with MS and a recumbent, was quite a challenge. But I made it. The fun part was that going downhill, I got up to the speeds of about 30 mph. It was quite scary (and I definitely concerned the rest of the team as I was speeding down) but in my head I kept thinking “the faster I go, the less I have the peddle!!!”. Typical.
(across the bridge…their concerned faces :D weeeeeee)
(brothers and I after the race)
Saturday evening my friends sparkled me with love (literally…they took sparkle dust and sparkled it on me) and provided me with a crown and a wand. Loved.
The men still had a day of 75 plus miles. Which they completed with smiles on their faces and only slightly sore bottoms. The best reward I believe at that time was the after race massages they all received. (:
Due to the generous amount of donations, we all received VIP status and VIP shirts. Something we will always treasure (or at least I will :D).
Sunday evening we spent together as a family on the boardwalk (missing two family members sadly, C and T, and soon to be A). It was an absolute beautiful night, we all wore our sparkle sweatshirts and I wore my sparkle shoes. It was just a wonderful sparkle filled night.
I am SO thankful, again, for the generosity of all those that donated to team sparkle, all those that supported us through letters of encouragement, for my mom who organized the whole adventure, for my brothers and dad and mick who rode the 150 plus miles, for my friends who came to support me physically and for God who helped me have a really good week. And to the ocean. For the strength it provided.
(this is actually where I use to do all my dancing as a child. Another “life has changed picture”)
We all said we couldve spent another week or two at the shore. For me personally, I think ocean therapy is exactly what I need to get back on my feet. (: But coming home to Pittsburgh wasnt too challenging as it is beautiful, cooler weather.
Thank you again for all the support. Bike MS races across the country raise money for a very worthy cause: to provide hope and research for a cure for a disease that has none. So thank you.
For additional pictures of the trip, visit: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.645920224980.2074072.144900133&type=1&l=7697416077.
Much LOVE!!! Eliz