It won’t be my usual Saturday in two weeks. I am doing a 50K bike ride for charity.
It’s not the longest ride I’ve done. I’ve done century rides, and I did a three-day, 250-mile AIDS charity ride, but those rides were decades ago. I am older now, prone to pain and stiffness upon getting out of bed, executing sudden movements, or doing simple things like pushing a vacuum cleaner around the living room.
I am doing it for charity, of course. It’s for a local children’s hospital. The folks there do great work, overseeing everything from Level 1 Trauma to clinical trials for almost 40,000 children every year. The event was canceled due to COVID-19 for the last two years, and before that, I could never get in because participation demand was greater than allowable space. I made it in for this year, and I figured that challenging myself with kickboxing lessons also meant summoning the courage to add a really long cycling session to the mix. Because that’s what this is. It’s not a race or even a timed event. It’s a chance to meet new people and be involved with something bigger and more meaningful, and contribute a bit to families who never thought sitting by a very sick or injured child’s bedside, wondering if they could pay the inevitable medical bills, was going to be part of their parenting process.
I am working out pretty hard now because I don’t want to grow old and sedentary. I have friends in my general age group who cannot walk well or get up from a seated position without help, let alone get any meaningful exercise. I don’t want to be these people. I don’t want to give up because body parts gave up from disuse. If I wear out body parts from extensive use, that’s different. There are some fixes for that. But to be in a position to work out and contribute to a charity doing it is really a blessing.
If you would like to help out with the hospital’s work, you can donate here on my registration page. The event is on March 6.