Sinking In

A week ago yesterday, I was able to finish a chapter of a long time dream of mine when I crossed the finish line of the Ohio Challenge.  By crossing the line in less than the allotted 34 hours, I became qualified to race in the solo division of what is renowned as the hardest race in cycling, the Race Across America.

As I sit here now, I am still taken back by the outpouring of support I have received from not just friends and family but also from complete strangers.  People who I have never met and seemingly had nothing in common with were sending motivating messages throughout the day and night.  The phone ringing throughout the night despite my inability to press the correct  button which would allow me to actually talk to the caller. Instead I denied 90% of the calls and just kept riding through dark cornfields repeating to myself over and over again, "Hello? Hello? Helllloooo?"

Combine all of those messages with the handful of conversations and emails I have received who have made reference to how my racing had inspired them to do more with their lives not only in a fitness sense but to lead a more fruitful life in a general everyday sense, all have me reevaluating the reasoning I was reintroduced to a bicycle years after I stopped riding one as a kid.

When I started this journey, I had nothing but selfish reasons to attempt and complete the qualification process.  I am humbled in knowing that I am not alone when I am on the bike.  I am excited to see what is to come in the future as I prepare for racing lots of shorter and even a few longer distances next year.

The question I am asked the most "When will you be doing RAAM?" is a tough question to answer as I am not completely sure when the right time will be.  The one thing I do know is that being surrounded by all of the best coaches in endurance sports, the best of friends who continually inspire me on a daily, the most loving wife who accepts and tolerates every crazy idea that passes from my brain to my mouth and a family who are all willing to go to the end of the earth to make my dreams come true there isn't an easier answer to give.  Soon, very soon.