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Thankful: Fighting the Good Fight

I tried back in September to post about the annual Bike MS ride that I've been a part of in one way or another for the past 8 years, but it was too hard.  This year ended up being our last as Team Erin's Fight and to say that it's emotional is an understatement.  

For those of you who don't know, Erin is my best friend.  It's like God put us both on the Earth and said, "Those two?  Well, they're just gonna have to find each other and the rest will be history."  And we did and it is and I had no idea how much that girl would affect my entire life.  She's family, y'all.  So, when I discovered very early on that she had multiple sclerosis and that the bike ride I wanted to do raised funds and awareness to a debilitating disease, I was hooked.  How easy is that?!  Ride a bike, raise some money and tell everyone I know about the disease that affects my bestie every day.  Game on.  




We've participated in this weekend long event every September for 8 years and it has become a part of our lives.  A weekend that I look forward to every year.  There is a camaraderie like none other at this event and I'm blessed to ride with some amazing people.  I jokingly say that the bike weekend is like a family reunion....we laugh, we eat, we drink, we ride and someone usually cries (that's typically me).  Together, we've seen and done some pretty amazing things over the years including completing our FIRST century ride together.  I've met some incredibly inspiring, funny, stand-up people who I'm fairly confident I wouldn't have met otherwise.  And I've had to mourn the loss of one of the best men and cycling buddies around.  

When I found out just a couple of days before we were to embark on my 8th year of this ride that Erin's Fight was being retired, I found myself bawling uncontrollably.  I cried for the loss of something built by friends and family and maintained by a faith that we would find a cure for this thing.  I cried because this is 1 of 2 years that I decided to volunteer and not ride and I wasn't going to be ON. MY. BIKE for the last ride?!  I cried because I feared that I would lose those friendships found on 2 wheels.  I cried for my friends who so unselfishly had poured their lives into running this team and had the courage to say that it was just too much.

So, the event went on as it always had with just a little extra touch of nostalgia.  Team Erin's Fight crossed the finish line that Sunday afternoon more beautifully than it ever had before:  with a slow-moving peloton of orange-clad cyclists that rode as a united front to honor Erin.

Our team will be merging with another team for next year's ride and while the future of the official "Erin's Fight" team is uncertain, I can tell you this:  I will not give up fighting and I will not forget WHY I do that ride.  I'll sure miss that team and wearing that big orange flower, buy will forever be grateful for it's time in my life. Things may be different, but my goal will always be the same. 


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
-- 2 Timothy 4:7 

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