Part of what I want to share here are pieces of my RAW life. I have such gratitude for opportunities that enrich and inspire me and Saturday was such a moment. I participated in the Cycle for Survival bike ride; four hours of dance music set to a spin class, inspiring and humbling stories and plenty of celebration.
The event was created to raise awareness and dollars for rare cancers and the research it takes to come up with treatments to stop them. I’m not doing it justice, but that’s the quick version. My friend Jessica asked me to join when her cousin Kelly created a team in honor of Nola, Jessica’s daughter. From my previous post, you know that Nola was diagnosed with a rare cancer at the age of two. I was honored to be asked and happy to have a way to offer support to Nola and others that have survived or lost their battle.
Becky was our first rider
Jessica and her cousin Kelly
The event took place at the Equinox gym in Dallas. The cycle room was dark except for the stage lighting (hence the low quality photos), and the music was a loud, non-stop dance party. Each team had a designated bike. One rider from the team rode every hour. In between each rider there were speakers; either survivors or family members of those with a rare cancer.
I knew the day would be emotional. Not only do I have a personal connection with Nola, but the topic of cancer, in general, always has emotion attached to it. What I didn’t expect from the day was the overwhelming amount of hope and celebration. I cannot even begin to describe the energy in the room.
All through my hour on the bike I vacillated between the joy of dancing and trying to keep it together. This photo is me trying really hard not to break down and cry. My friend Becky captured this and at first I was going to delete it, but then I thought better of it. While Nola’s story is not mine to tell, it doesn’t affect me any less. I have a son her age. I watched her go through it. - During the event there were times when it didn’t feel like enough. Showing up to ride a bike, raise a little money, and dance some felt too easy. But I suppose that was the point. To do something physical, raise the energy in order to raise the awareness and truly hope and celebrate. My low emotions didn’t last long. There was so much joy in the room, and everyone was vibrating so high, I quickly rematched the energy of the room.
One of the best moments was when Nola came for a visit. She was so happy to see her name on the message wall and see her mom on the bike. I’m telling you, this girl is a miracle on so many levels. If anyone there was at all feeling down, all they had to do was take a look at her.
I gained so much from this experience, but gratitude always comes hand in hand with others. I am thankful for Kelly’s support for Jessica and her family. He is the one that initiated the idea to put a team together. He lives in New York City and he flew to Dallas and back in one day in order to do this event. Talk about humbling! I’m grateful for my best friend Becky (the middle) who always says yes when you need her because that’s the kind of friend she is, and I’m grateful for Jessica (left) for asking me to join the fight and for allowing me to celebrate her and Kaci’s daughter, Nola. It was one of the neatest experiences of my life and I can’t wait to do it again next year!