So obviously I did no blogging in July, and I did very little riding in July; had some other stuff on my plate, so I took some time off the bike. I did however, go to Brevard, NC on the 12th to do some climbing with my brother. We parked inside the Pisgah Forest at the visitor center, climbed up to the Parkway, and rode west for about six miles before turning around and rolling back to the cars. I say "rolled" because I don't remember pedaling much between the Parkway and the cars; saw some serious downhill at speeds up to 44 mph! I know if I ever bust it, I am in trouble, but man that is fun!
I took the last half of the month off so I could do something special: a medical mission trip to the island nation of Western Samoa, way off in the South Pacific. Went with a church group out of West Coumbia (only 18 of us came from SC; the other 21 came from 9 other states. All different church backgrounds, one common cause.) and visited six different villages on two Samoan islands to take them some healthcare and the Good News. We took care of over 2500 people and saw over 800 of them ask Jesus to come into their hearts and forgive their sins. That's awesome stuff!
We worked like slaves and ate like kings and had an incredible time experiencing the Samoan people and their beautiful islands. Saw jungles, beaches, mountains, etc., and even had the opportunity to go snorkeling on a reef with myriads of tropical fish, something I had never done before.
I guess it's because of the volcanic origin of these islands and the warm waters, they are surrounded by reefs which break the waves and create almost a lake-like setting in the beach waters; no waves beating you up and knocking you down, or stirring up the bottom. The water was as clear as tap water and the views were mind-boggling, above and below the surface!
As nice as it all was, it was soon time to come home, back to reality. I haven't returned to work yet but will soon; haven't been back on the bike yet, but hope to in the morning. Put some more weight back on, I have a real knack for that, but I have come home with a renewed vision and will work to get it back off, and more. I weighed in this morning at 263.5 pounds and think I can do Mt. Mitchell next May at 200 or less. Got on the treadmill yesterday to start the ball rolling and ran for the better part of 20 minutes; doesn't sound like much, but it's all relative. I will work to increase my running time, get miles in on the bike, and revolutionize my eating habits to make these goals happen. I've found that without goals, I have a tendency to flounder a bit. Okay, a lot.
Next organized ride in which I'll participate is the Children's Chance Night Owl Ride, a kid's cancer fundraiser. It's on a small closed course in Columbia and goes all night, from 8p to 8a. It can be a tad monotonous because of the small course, but it's still a lot of fun, a great social time and a way to raise money for children's cancer.
A week later is the Breakaway to the Beach MS150, from Columbia,SC to Sunset Beach, NC, a two-day ride spending the night in Florence, SC. This too, is a fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
So, I have a couple of great goals to motivate me and get me back on track to hit the 6000 miles I want in 2010. Let's see if I can turn it around and make it happen.
Be blessed, be safe.