By Lindsey Olsen
Today was an interesting day for me. It was my first "short day" after joining the gang in La Junta CO about a week and a half ago. It was also the first day I got to be a "sweep", one of the two riders who stays in the back of the pack to make sure everyone makes it to our destination safe and sound. Since the ride was only 20 miles today, we were about able to sleep in an extra two hours (instead of waking up at 4 am), but of course my body naturally woke up at 5 am. Also, Nadine and Midas, who usually travel in the van and take care of media/Facebook stuff, decided to give the 20 mile uphill trek a try on Melissa and Brett’s bike, since Brett was sick from whatever bug I caught in Craig CO a couple days ago. Once we arrived in Duchesne we all did our own thing; I was feeling a little energized still and went on a 2.5 mile run, which pretty much covered the whole town about twice. Then 7 of us biked 4 miles to the lake right outside of Duchesne and had a lovely time swimming in the freezing water, playing frisbee, and diving (attempting to dive for some of us) off of the dock. For some of us it’s nap time right now, others it is ‘find the coffee shop with the free wifi’ time, and others just layin’ back and doing your own thing.
This ride has been such an adventure for me so far. I joined halfway through the ride, apparently during the toughest segment, and have already experienced the emotionally draining days, the sore butt and legs, the laughs and tears, and the occasional stomach virus that hasn’t hit me since high school but decided to hit me right after my first week here. I freaked out because I was in an unusual place, with people I just met a week before, and I didn’t have my bed to cozy up and camp out in for the next couple of days like I wanted to. I knew I was in good hands though. These people, each and every one of them, have already claimed a special place in my heart. They welcomed me with open arms and made my adjustment into this unusual lifestyle relatively smooth. I am so blessed to be apart of this family and journey we are all on together. Every day we are challenged, whether it be flat tires, bad weather, or bad moods. Somehow we find a way to make it through. No matter how many hills I want to quit on halfway up because my legs and lungs are telling me I can’t do it, I push through because I know the team is waiting for me at the top, and when we hit that downhill it will all be worth it.