It is always nice to get recognition. A time when you feel your efforts are appreciated and you have accomplished something where others have taken notice. But what could be better than to be appreciated by your kids, to have them recognize accomplishment. And maybe, just maybe, take away something from it.
This past weekend I participated in the local MS 150 ride, a two day ride to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. Thanks to family and friends (including some of you) I was able to participate in this event and raise over $1000 for the society. Along with accomplishing the fund raising, I achieved a personal goal for the year in riding a Century.
The Saturday ride included an additional 25 mile loop to make it a full 100 mile ride. The group that I typically ride with and I had decided ahead of time that we were going to give it a try (unless the weather or other factors added too much to the challenge). It was a beautiful day and we felt like we had the legs to make it happen. Eight of us peeled off of our team group and completed the additional miles that eventually led to our full Century for the day.
It really was not as hard as I thought it would be. With rest stops and drafting, the 100 felt less straining than the 64 I had done in the heat of Memorial Day, less than a week before. And I was thankful we had made the decision to do the Century since our Sunday ride, intended to be 75 miles, can cancelled when thunderstorms parked themselves over Williamsburg for several hours.
But even more important than the personal goal, and more important than the fund raising (dare I say it), was the fact that the boys recognized my accomplishment. They were impressed with my completing 100 miles. They have seen me head out the door many a weekend morning to ride 20, 30 or 40 miles. They said nothing when I completed a Metric Century (62 miles) earlier in the year. But triple digits impressed them, and that felt really good.
As parents, we want to raise good kids. We want to teach and instruct and show them how to be good people and live good lives. As I have mentioned before, being the leader of our pack, the example to follow, the role model, is crucial to showing them how to live their lives. Who doesn’t want their kids to think they are wise and passionate and strong? If for no other reason than to realize they too can be all those things and more. I felt with this ride, and with their notice, that I taught them something.
Perhaps this will feed the idea that working hard, practicing and training, can allow you to attain your goals. Perhaps they see that desire and hard work can pay off. Perhaps they just see it as “Wow, that is cool!” Perhaps they will tell an adversary ‘Well my dad can ride 100 miles, what can yours do?”
Whatever they learn, if they learn something , if they get some life lesson out of it, the work, sweat and a little pain was all worth it. Sure, I get some satisfaction of achieving it from a cyclist point of view – it is a common goal of new riders to do a Century- but them gaining something from it is awesome. And the fund raising was very important, and I hope they pick up on the philanthropy aspect of it as well, but call me selfish when I say that them getting something out of it is the best part.
So what is next? There is another Century in July that I plan to do (to prove it wasn’t a fluke – this one is less supported so it will be tougher). There is also the duathlon that kicked my butt in late July- the one where my youngest ran me in the last 100 or so yards. Getting back on that horse will help show them a no fear attitude. And there is fulfilling my goal of a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, for which I am on track to test in September.
Whatever the next challenge, I hope they can participate and pick something up from it. I hope they will be there to support me and encourage me. And I hope I can live up to their expectations, because impressing the best is what it is all about!!