Yes, I walked 10 kilometres today. For any Americans reading this, that's just over 5 miles. I think. I wasn't planning on walking that far today. When I got out of bed, I thought that the most I'd walk would be five km. I knew today was Ride day and I knew that I'd be walking with Aris while she rode her bike. What I didn't anticipate was how far she'd go.
Aris doesn't ride her bike that much. In fact, she has her training wheels on. She hasn't been taking them off, and her bike is more for pleasure than for actual speed. Littler kids were whizzing past her up hills as she patiently meandered up them. If you know my daughter, you can imagine how she'd do this, singing to herself as she peddled. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of her, but she was very cute in her colourful gerber daisy raincoat, pink my little pony bike and matching helmet. She even has a pink basket on her bike. This was used to hold her chips later after we stopped at the rest stop. She couldn't feed herself while biking, so for awhile I'd deposit chips in her mouth at intervals. She reminded me of a baby bird or the giant dragon from "How to Train Your Dragon". Except of course, she was cuter. :)
Because Aris is not a cyclist, I wasn't expecting much. Last year the kids just rode their bikes around the very large driveway. I thought maybe we'd do the same or go on the road a bit. This morning, Aris asked to bike the course so I agreed. Why not? She struggles with fear issues and if she was brave enough to attempt it, I was not going to stop her. So off we went. She went down hills, and up hills, by herself and surrounded by masses of other cyclists, all going faster than she was. Most of them encouraged her as they passed her. Since a cyclist had almost taken her out at the starting line, I was nervous when they passed her, but she did fine. At one point, she got off her bike and started dancing while waiting for her Zaida(paternal grandfather) and I to catch up.
It was around the 5 k mark that I started to get worried. It was obvious that we were in for the long haul now. Even if we turned around, we'd still be doing 10k. I'm not sure what I've shared this week, but I have chronic fatigue and have had a very bad week health-wise. As in, I could barely climb the stairs this week. As I hit Westmount and Northfield, I called my parents and asked them to pray. They prayed for supernatural strength, for energy and for protection. Well, God answered their prayers! I walked the full 10k, got Aris food afterwards and could still speak. I wasn't dizzy or lightheaded or unable to put a sentence together! I couldn't say apple cider properly, but that wasn't a big deal. :) I still managed to drink about 3 glasses of it. Being able to walk that distance was nothing short of a miracle. I'm still amazed. I came home and slept for several hours afterwards, but it was good.
I'm thankful for an amazing day. I'm also thankful to all of the volunteers who did such a great job cheering, making food, serving food, setting up the course, sweep riding, encouraging, taking pictures, taking down the course and everything else. It was a lot of fun to walk with Aris and her grandfather. He shared stories of when he raced in double marathons(or more) in South Africa. I learned more about his family as well as his wife's family. It was a blessings to learn these stories, so I will be able to share them with Aris. The only downside was that I walked 10k and didn't raise any money. *sigh* The coolest thing I saw today was the riders who participated on horseback! They had even painted the Ride logos on their horses. It was an awesome day for a great cause. Thank you very much to everyone who supported us. Aris raised $165, my family raised over $400 and our team raised $620! So far the Canadian Ride raised $503, 404! This money will go towards helping the vulnerable, the exploited and the displaced.