Golden effort


Watch for the heroic efforts that surround us on a daily basis

While watching the Olympics I have heard the words:  hero, heroic effort, the greatest, and other ways to describe "the best".   I joked that some dive into a perfect temperature pool, swim up and down a couple of laps, climb out to applause and fluffy toasty towels to get gold and cereal box covers.  

No need to wait a few years to see winners. There are people suffering yet find a way to go forward, parents raising seriously ill children, lifting family members into wheel chairs, managing to smile through seemingly unbearable circumstances and you will see how their effort can be praised.  Admire them. Smile at them.  Offer a friendly hello or help.  Also, applaud and reward your own efforts to give your best in the arena of your choice: work, family, friendships, education, well-being  etc....



We left Niagara Falls in Canada to arrive 127 miles later in Geneva, NY.  To make it memorable: three thunderstorms found us, carried the bikes through mud bogs to get around a broken bridge, at times soaked then overheated in the sun.  Looking at my wrist reminds me this is an adventure not a difficult situation. 

The bracelet I am wearing on this trip reminds me of Kelsey Taylor Luria, who died at age 18.  The Queen Bee bracelet made in her memory celebrates the legacy of her spirit, beauty, and courage as she found the strength to face cancer head on - meaning creating the Bald Beauties Project.  You can get the bracelet kit at Beads of Courage in Tucson, AZ. 

 Queen Bee Bracelet 

 Queen Bee Bracelet 

group dynamics

A long, hot, humid 130 mile trek to arrive in Niagara Falls in Canada. With several miles left, a storm was brewing overhead  with cracks of thunder.  I was riding on fumes and even my bike was tired.  A small bite of food was in my pocket.  Nooooo, almost  dropped it but  knowing full well I would have eaten even if it hit the pavement.  Even if the rider behind ran it over. We dragged on and were greeted by a huge rainbow over the Falls. 

  Several of us went to get a close look to share the experience.  This group of strangers has been a model of Tuckman's theory of how groups find their way to performing well.   "Forming" was the initial stage and within days quickly moved to "storming", with cyclists having some difficulties with different riding styles and personalities.  "Norming" was important to deal with the wind, distance and safety. Riders have settled into comfortable groups yet watch out for each other when anyone in the larger group needs help.   We are "performing" well!


We left Wisconsin by taking the ferry across Lake Michigan, which was surprisingly much bigger than I pictured, taking over 4 hours to cross. Then we rode over 100 miles to our next stop in Midland, Michigan.  What a nice welcome to see over a mile lined with marigolds on both sides of the road.  

 Upon arriving at the hotel I crashed and thankfully only got scraped up and bruised. People ran over and asked if I was OK. It is a shock when you hit the ground but then a relief when you move and know you are going to be able to get up.  Right away someone said I must be embarrassed.  No, I wasn't.  I was scraped up and grateful that it wasn't serious, not ashamed at all.  Then two others remarked that it feels so embarrassing to fall.  I told them that I was relieved more than anything else.  Things happen.

This got me wondering if feeling embarrassed is a choice.  Do we only feel embarrassed when in the presence of others because we are concerned with their opinion of us?  Free yourself and have no worries about what others are thinking whether you are clumsy, inattentive, or any other label. We humans have all kinds of experiences.   Sometimes people will say or do something to put us down with an unkind or revealing comment.  This reflects more on that person than you.  Onward and upward...

Off to Canada tomorrow!


a pack

Bike riders often ride in packs which serves many purposes. Ideally,  each rider can contribute to maximize the group's strengths, keep it safely moving along by calling out grit in the road or cars, and lead when appropriate.  The person in front "pulls" the others by taking the wind head on and the others can tuck in behind.  If the group can ride a pace line with coordinated and graceful exchanges to fall back and let someone else lead and pull it is like poetry in motion.

Humans want and need to rely on each other.  We are pack animals and all have ways to contribute to the greater good. Each of us has a voice and a gift to share in the choir of life, a unique way of seeing things and something to offer that no one else can in a certain way.  

Friendships are often undefined as we use the word rather casually  and even as a verb now, saying I "friended" her or "unfriended him".  Teens often tell me how upset they are about getting put in the "friend zone" when they want to be "more than friends."  


To live simply is hard

Today was a beautiful day in so many ways.  The ride from La Crosse to Portage, Wisconsin  may have been long but the scenery was spectacular and one of the best days yet.

Having a hard time reducing your screen time?  How about life without refrigeration, a car, cell phone or other modern conveniences we take for granted? 

We passed this buggy today in an Amish area of Wisconsin 

We passed this buggy today in an Amish area of Wisconsin 

A highlight was passing through the Amish area where simplicity reigns.   Amish people form a strong community, teach their children in their own schools and commit to a humble life.   As we passed horses pulling buggies, farming without motorized vehicles , and the ways they make a living it was impressive.  What

It was tough to refrain from taking photos. It seemed disrespectful to gawk but my curiosity led me to talk to a young man crossing a country road in front of me.  We talked for awhile and I told him I admired their commitment to keep the environment clean and maintain their approach to life.  He shared his perspective and he laughed when I told him I was on my way to Boston. Again I wanted a photo to remember this moment but held back and hope I can stay inspired to live mindfully and simply.

Bloom where you are planted

Yippeee!  We are well on our way into the second half of cross country ride.  We crossed the Missouri River two days ago and a long 140 miles ( I sagged  the last 20 miles)  brought us across the Mississippi River today into La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Joining  a group of strangers for 31 days is and adventure for sure.  Adopting a mindset of being able to hold your own and be yourself allows you to naturally find a part in this ongoing "play". 

This cast of characters is revealing themselves.  We are at Day 20 and the authentic side of people seems to have emerged.  Some prefer to be alone, others have formed mini groups and some of us jump in and out of circles and mix with everyone. Those who were guarded have found their comfort and some of the eager ones have settled down a bit.    

A couple of people have sought me out to hear their complaints about others, especially if they are rooming with someone. A few run ins and flare ups between people can contaminate the group.  The key is to  talk to the person directly rather than reporting it to the others.  No need to spread poison.  I suggested instead of avoiding to directly communicate, creatively solve the issue and see if they can bloom in difficult circumstances.  The choice is to make it through by doing WIT ( whatever it takes ) until you can make a change or move forward  beyond it rather than get stuck or not grow. 

Blooming where planted despite the conditions

Blooming where planted despite the conditions

Choose a lane

Life in the Fast Lane?  

A common reply to HOW ARE YOU when you see someone is :  "Busy".  Then a list of their stresses may pour out.  Is that an emotion?  Catch yourself and rehearse a new line to reflect how you want to be.  For some perhaps "busy" is what they want as it may represent a  bragging badge to wear. NOPE...  I often hear "too busy" as a regular reply.    It is a choice.  What really matters???  Notice if your busyness reflects your values, mission and feels purposeful. 

Miles of faces turning towards the light in South Dakota. 

Miles of faces turning towards the light in South Dakota. 

As we ride across the country on bicycles the pace is perfect to see soybeans growing in the fields, a turtle waiting to cross the road, petite flowers and even antsy ants.  Some of us stop to get  in the fields of sunflowers, corn and wheat for photos. I love riding up to the cows who all turn their heads and stare at the alien looking thing in a helmet on two wheels.  Sheep run.  Perhaps farmers load the shotgun as I delicately romp in the fields. 

 Yet in our group of 40 there are those who seriously want to track every mile, speed, and metrics of the journey and make the briefest stop to grab a snack and eat on the go.  Some are really hurting and lack energy to walk for dinner with others.   We choose our way and either have an excuse, a reason or are on autopilot programmed to go, go, go or cruise control to maintain speed.  Ahhhh, there are times for the passing lane and times to glide along.

Enjoy this day...

Mt. Rushmore

All you need is an idea

We rode from the town of Custer uphill to Mt. Rushmore and it was well worth the effort. It only took one man to suggest a monument to pay tribute to the guiding concepts of our country:  life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Once he shared the idea the vision grew to having four U.S. Presidents sculpted into the mountains in South Dakota.  

You can simply have a great idea and the details can be worked out by a team of talented people willing to make your dream a reality.  

Consider something you always wanted to create or make happen.

What is stopping you because you only need the idea and others will come along to help if you ask????

   Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln 




Scenery and great sky on Big Horn Mt. in Wyoming Highlands

Scenery and great sky on Big Horn Mt. in Wyoming Highlands

WIT  = whatever it takes

What an amazing day today.  We left Powell, Wyoming to ride over the BIG Horn Mountains.  The climb included riding up to an elevation of 9400 ft. with grades up to 14% for about 23 miles.  Some riders decided to get driven to the top and I decided  WIT I will get up that Mt.. even if I have to walk and push the bike up.

At some point my mind went to celebrating the ability of our amazing bodies to perform all the tasks we ask of them. Renewed energy flowed.  This grew to a sense of gratitude for just about everything.

DID YOU HEAR YOUR NAME?  I thought of all the people who have helped me in my life, encouraged me, taught me, strangers who smiled and wanted to chat, friends who have allowed me into their world, others who were kind enough to forgive me for any harm, those who inspire through sharing their struggles, to the genous loving souls who simply want to serve and do WIT to makes the world a more just and loving place. Inch by inch I named off those I love, those I wanted to thank for myriad reasons.  The list went on and suddenly I was at the top.   What an amazing day for sure...