Sunday, June 20, 2010


There are really no words than can express what this experience has meant to me. I hear people saying it was the best week of their life. I hear people saying that it is the best vacation they have ever had. And then I hear people that say that it has changed their lives. Now, I don't think I can say it was the best week of my life, but I know for sure it has changed me forever. And not just the week. Yes, those 7 days left a lasting impression on me, but it was as much the 5 months leading up to that week that changed me. It was the literal blood, sweat, and tears that meant so much. The ride was just icing.
When I signed up for this ride, my motivation was simple. I wanted to see if I could do it. I am a fortunate person. Many things in life come easy to me, and those are usually the avenues I peruse. But this did not come easy. This whole experience was an uphill battle from the minute I got on a bike (unsuccessfully (Kerry and Autumn I'm talking to you)).
But that's the thing. I think so many times in life we become complaisant. We get comfortable and repetition sets in and all of a sudden little problems and stupid issues and things you have no control over become huge. I needed to put things in perspective. I needed to push myself and see a bigger picture.
And for all the time, money and energy (and seriously, blood) I put into this I got back tenfold. It wasn't just riding into closing ceremonies. It was being able to look in the mirror at the end and know that maybe yesterday I was just a skinny blond girl from LA, but today I am a skinny blond girl that just helped raise $10 million to help people she doesn't even know. Not to mention knows how to ride a bike pretty damn well. No one ever likes to think of themselves as self centered or one dimensional and it's nice to be able to definitively and sincerely say "I'm not, look what I did." Even if it's just to yourself.
I had the privilege of meeting so many amazing people. HIV positive and negative. ALC is a community of such overwhelming positivity. It really is something that you have to see to believe.
Autumn said she didn't know what would happen to the blog now. Well, I think that's silly. She is already signed up and ready to go for ALC 10. I am so excited for her to experience all the things that I did this year and I know she will kick ass. And be way more pro than me. I expect every moment to be documented. As for me, I have no idea. Ask me when I finally catch up on sleep and laundry. I do know that I would not have traded this experience for anything from start to finish.
And just so you don't think we have all gone completely emotional on you... please enjoy with love from us ALC veterans.

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