Last week my father and I went to Dalton, GA to join my friend and former teammate Saul Raisin for his annual Raisin Hope Ride to benefit brain injury care and awareness. The ride was a nice way for me to start getting back into training, taking in a lot of quiet back roads around Dalton and even climbing up Fort Mountain, one of Saul’s favorite testing grounds. It was a fantastic weekend and I met some truly amazing people. The stories of recovery that several people had to be back and able to ride a bike in an event like this was truly astounding. I am really lucky in that I will be able to race again next season. Many people with head injuries not much different than mine have had to deal with far more drastic and permanent changes in their lives. It was inspiring to talk to many of the other Raisin Hope participants and hear their stories of dealing with brain injuries and their affect on their loved ones. One thing everybody I met here shares is a passion for life and in many cases a passion for the bike. Like Saul and I, the bike provides many people motivation to regain what they once had before their injury. The simple action and joy of just riding a bicycle is enough to keep pushing and not give up, even when recovery seems on a different planet. A big thanks to Saul and his parents, Jim and Yvon, for putting on this event and for their hospitality all week long. For more info and photos from Raisin Hope check out www.RaisinHope.org
The lessons learned, the obstacles overcome, the limits pushed, the goals attained…these things make up the spirit of sport. One must define success in sport based not on victories alone, but also ask the questions; did I push myself to the edge? Did I learn from my mistakes? How can I apply this to my life beyond sport? The Just Go Harder Foundation provides assistance to those pursuing the answer within themselves.
The Just Go Harder Foundation is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 organization that relies on fundraising and donations to offset the costs of sport and mentorship program fees.