Why? Because I CAN.

Whhaaaaat?! April is already half-way over?! My journey begins in 25 days?!?!? THIS IS HAPPENING, PEOPLE. May 17th is right around the corner!!

I am SO incredibly close to raising my goal of $4,500 for affordable housing!! Asking people for money is a difficult and admittedly awkward thing to do, but I’ve had so much support from family and friends that I have raised $4,111, which is 91% of my goal! THANK YOU again to those who have donated! Your support means so much to me and to the families that will benefit from the money raised. If you can, please donate!

SO… what does it feel like to be 25 days away from starting this once-in-a-lifetime journey?? I’m nervous, anxious, excited, READY… but maybe not-so-ready, worried, PUMPED, a little sore from training, …whew! So I guess I’m feeling a lot of things. I’ve been trying to put some more miles on my bike whenever I can, as she will essentially become my new body part this summer! My great friend and fellow B&B teammate Sarah Barrett came home to Raleigh for the weekend, so we biked about 30 miles on Saturday afternoon up in Wake Forest, where we found some back country roads that made us feel like we were in Boone, NC (the hills certainly added to this feeling). Here’s me attempting to act strong and fierce while Sarah just looks cute:

30 mile ride with Sarah!

This past week was kind of a whirlwind for everyone, with the terrifying bombings at the Boston Marathon, then the explosion in West, Texas, and then the manhunt that ensued in Boston for the remainder of the week. As an athlete (although not yet a marathon runner) I sympathized with those runners who were severely injured. For these individuals, running is their passion. It’s what they do best, and they’ve dedicated hours upon hours to achieving greatness in this sport. But what if this terrible act of violence prevents them from doing what they love for the rest of their lives? Even if they choose to push onward (and surely they will, as marathon runners are intrinsically wired to do so), the road to recovery will not be easy.

Having two perfectly functioning legs and a healthy body are privileges that so many of us take for granted. This week, I was reminded that part of the reason for pursuing this adventure is simply this: because I CAN. I am physically healthy and I am strong-willed. I enjoy taking on challenges that others may never even consider simply because I am thankful to have the opportunity and ability to do it.

Biking across the country is not HARD. Running a marathon is not HARD. Losing a limb, combating severe, life-changing injuries, losing a loved one… nothing is harder than that. This the mentality that I will strive to have throughout the remainder of my training and while on my journey across America.

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