Qualified, Bike Camp, and some form of R&R….

On Monday I found out that I qualified for the USAT Age Group Nationals! I finished in the top 10% for Tri-Oswego which landed me a spot to race in Milwaukee. Pretty awesome, although I think I’ll be taking a pass on this one… while I’m sure I’d have a blast, packing up everything to go out there and race isn’t how I want to spend my vacation time this year. Still, I’m pretty stoked.

USAT Olympic Age Group 13More importantly, I have to tell you about my awesome week! Why was my week so awesome? Well, it wasn’t because I finished the 70.3 last week, or felt great about that whole event (refer to Thursday’s post). The reason this week was so great was the fact that I had a chance to volunteer at a bike camp which teaches children with developmental disabilities how to ride a bike on their own. My friend C told me about this program a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to help out, and I am so happy that I agreed. This is one of the most rewarding things that I have done in a very long time. The program is put on by the people at iCan Shine and they use bikes that have a roller for the rear wheel to teach the kids how to pedal and steer a bike.

Bikes for iCan Shine Bike Camp - photo credit: iCan Shine
Bikes for iCan Shine Bike Camp – photo credit: iCan Shine

During the week, the roller gets swapped out to become more and more like a regular wheel (allows the bike to tip more) so that the kids learn how a bike with 2 wheels will feel. As they become more confident and then eventually practice their balance and steering, the kids then get to ride a tandem bike before they are placed on a 2 wheeled bike on their own. It was amazing to work with the kids all week long and watch their progress. They would practice for about an hour and fifteen minutes per day and by the end of Thursday’s session, all of the kids in our session had made the conversion over to the 2 wheeled bikes. It truly was amazing to see how happy and excited all the kids were in their accomplishment of learning how to ride. Definitely a great way to spend the week, and I’m so glad I was able to participate. This truly is a special program and I am so proud of all the kids!

Bike Camp – Last Day (Sorry it’s blurry… it’s all I’ve got!)

I used to volunteer as a camp counselor each summer for a week in the Adirondacks to give kids a week in the woods hiking, kayaking, sailing, and other fun activities. I forgot how much fun I used to have being a counselor, and this little camp definitely reminded me of my time spent at camp and how rewarding it is to work with kids – especially as they learn new skills and encounter experiences that push them outside of their comfort level. It’s neat because I often feel like I take away just as much from these experiences as the kids do. I can’t wait to help out with the bike camp again next year, however in the meantime, I would love to seek out some other opportunities to help with similar programs in the area.

Last night, after I wrapped up the final day of volunteering at bike camp, the kickball team gathered at my house for the annual end of spring season party – it was a lot of fun to get everyone together for a cookout and yard games. It was also awesome because my friend S was able to join in – she’s getting married in 1 week and moving to Alaska – I’m going to miss that girl so much but I’m so happy for her!

Today has been a total lounging day with A, it’s so nice to just have a day to chill out – I don’t think we’ve had one together since we started dating and the downtime was definitely needed! The craziness is going to start up again soon so we made sure to do our best to enjoy the day – next week is full of family parties, a wedding, and some other fun before we start racing again with the Boilermaker, a 15K Trail Race, and a Tough Mudder!

…I know, it’s a tough life we live… so many fun things, so little time…

I hope you are all having a great Saturday & enjoying your weekend!


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