why i'm riding 1,000 miles in 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

I almost quit before I ever began.
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The problem is so big, and I am so small.  There are systemic issues at work here -  religious, psychological, and economic factors that make abuse so powerful and prevalent.  I can't change any of those systems.  And anyway, I'm one person.  Who cares what I do?  It's not like I'm Forrest Gump here, with a crowd of disciples jogging behind me.  Who really cares how far I ride my bike, or why?

And I'm busy, you know?  I'm riding anyway but half the time I don't remember to track the miles, and does it count if I'm making my best guess?

I almost quit, but I couldn't get those cards out of my head.

Angela posts a picture of one every day.  Each day, she walks in honor of a survivor of domestic abuse.  Amanda, Shae, Laurie, Hope.  Some cards carry only an initial - S. and Children, JS.  And then one that stopped my heart for just a second.  Lucinda, it read.  Rest in peace.

Lucinda was killed in a parking lot in the Northeast by an abusive boyfriend in December.   Three little boys are learning to live without their mother.  She was with them just a few weeks ago.  So I ride on.

If I was fighting for a cause, if I was railing against a specific law, I would have quit before I ever began.  Because, honestly, I'm too overwhelmed with my own daily life to take up petitions and causes right now.  But every day Angela holds a card as she walks, and every card holds a name.  Every name is a person, a person with kids or not, a job or not, with a favorite movie and a favorite restaurant and a story I can hardly imagine.  Every single one of those names is a human being, a real person, who at some point has fought for their lives - first physically, then emotionally.  

Not all of them won that fight.

So I join in.  I load kids and water bottles and books for the little ones into the back of the bike trailer.  I find my little tracker app on my phone, and I hope I remember to log it when I get home.  Because I'm not fighting a system, and I'm not raising awareness for a cause.  I'm honoring a person.  A real life person, worthy of honor and love and respect.  

I ride and I breathe the same prayer, over and over.  May they find peace, may they find peace.  May they find peace.

It doesn't change where they've been, and at the end of the day the systems that allow domestic violence to continue will still exist.  It doesn't change the anxiety and emotional wake many of these women continue to fight.  But I ride, and I pray, anyway.

Because it's what I can do.

* I am joining Angela as she walks 1,000 miles this year to raise awareness for domestic violence.  My family (including my best friend) and I intend to cover 1,000 miles on bike or on foot in 2014.  Will you join us?  Or will you support Angela as she raises money for a domestic violence shelter in her area?  You can read all about it here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for standing with me -- or moving, as the case may be. :D



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