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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles.

The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard. ~Sloan Wilson

I am Andrew, the Events Coordinator at Love146. I was somewhat hesitant to post this blog. I was, however, guided and encouraged by my wonderful friend Desirea Rodgers here at the Love146 office, from whom you regularly hear via these blogs. She convinced me that my personal take on the Ride4Love event was something I should share. So I bit the bullet and, despite lingering doubts, here I go.

Love146 is about to embark on the second annual "Ride4Love" on September 19th in Ballston Spa, NY. For me personally, as Events Coordinator for Love146 and in my capacity as a human being, this marks a few "firsts". This is my first blog for Love146 after almost 5 years of working here - where have I been?? This will also be my first ever aerobic activity with a duration of more than 15 minutes. It is my first bike ride event and most certainly the first time I have ever attempted to travel 75 miles under my own steam on the same day.

And here is another "first". I have the huge privilege to work at Love146. I am surrounded by dark stores and images of the most terrible situations that I can imagine, as the father of two young girls. But I am surrounded by hope, stories of restoration and the energy of Abolition. And I work to help fuel this, our programs, our funding and the momentum of the Movement, here at my desk and my computer. I work with phone calls, emails and meetings. I feel no physical discomfort or hardship. I want to engage at that level with the children we serve in some way, but it is difficult to feel any visceral pain in my cozy corner of the office. So, in my own small way, taking on that hilly 75 miles at 51 years old for the first time ever, with little time to train, promises me considerable discomfort and challenge.

My earlier hesitancy to post these thoughts is re-confirmed to me on reading back the last paragraph. It may sound like the effort is about me. About my needs. It may also read a little like my discomfort will somehow compare to that of the children we serve, but both these thoughts could not be further from the truth. I suppose what I want to feel is that I have an opportunity to work way outside of my comfort zone and spend the 6 hours in the seat contemplating the children, their restoration, their faces and their futures. And to feel something physical while doing it. Something I will remember well after the event that will leave some small mark on me. I hope so. It's not a perfect solution but for now it's all I have. So I'll take it.

So - that said, the ride takes us through the scenic countryside of Ballston Spa, NY. It will be a beautiful journey. There will be all levels of riders participating, from competition bikers to children. So please consider joining us. You could ride in the event yourself, or sponsor us while we grind our way up and down the hills of upstate NY. There will be a route for you (either 10, 25, 50 or 75 miles) and we would be honored to see you on your bike with us on September 19th! If you don't have your own set of wheels, there will be rental bikes available on the day of the ride.

You can join the ride by visiting www.ride4love.com and registering.

Or, if you would like to sponsor us and help us achieve our goal, please use this link - http://www.active.com/donate/ride4love-2009/AZsigmondpage

If you have any other questions regarding the Ride 4 Love, please contact Matthew Miller at matthew7@nycap.rr.com

We look forward to seeing you and joining efforts to bring support and freedom to the children we serve!

Andrew Zsigmond
Events Coordinator/Fundraising/Artist Coalition Manage
r
Love146

1 comment:

Sally Peck said...

I used your 'teaching your child to ride a bicycle' by S Wilson on all my thank you notes for my sponsors for Ride 4 Love. I also used your vision/mission statement in the notes as well. Both are very powerful words, thank you for sharing them. It was a great ride in B'Spa and look forward to next year.
Sally Peck, Northville, NY