Once upon a time, in a tiny town in Florida, a lanky girl wandered around outdoors. She could be found exploring canals, sometimes swimming in them (with her sisters and childhood friends), or she might be seen picking blackberries promising herself that she would not eat them on the way home, or she might be discovered climbing trees in the forbidden "No Trespassing" Eden of orange groves.
Then, she grew up.
Her tanned skin turned shockingly pale, and the outdoors no longer appealed to the improved scholarly young woman.
That is... until Brian's Ride.
My colleague asked me to join him on a cross-country bicycle trip. Not riding, but driving. Driving five to seven miles an hour for anywhere from four to eight hours a day. I said, yes! So I found myself passenger side en route from San Francisco, California to Pueblo, Colorado. As part of the van support crew, I blogged, snapped photos, and updated Brian's Facebook page.
During this ride (summer 2015), I ALSO realized how much I loved being outdoors.
Slowly... I regained my childhood sense of wonder back over a 45-day period.
When I returned, I was no longer the same person. Even colleagues noticed a difference.
Something shifted... something realigned.
And so, here I am, thanking Brian's Ride for serving as the catalyst for my Mississippi River riding adventure.
I was always an explorer at heart; I was always curious about the world; I was always a creative wordsmith.
I simply lost my way.
Isn't that how it always is?
My trip is less than 20-days away, and I am not exactly ready.
A litany of "to-do" items remain, yet I know that some of those items won't be completed. And that's okay, too.
After all, this blog is a few days behind. However, a personal development workshop through Landmark took precedence.
It's why I have these nature shots around the Lakeland area.
Notice all the beauty Lake Hollingsworth houses?
This body of water serves as the foundation for the handsome Florida Southern campus.
Even as I write this -- within the confines of an air conditioned structure (the Lakeland Public Library) -- all I have to do is look up to rest my eyes upon the glistening Lake Morton.
The "to-do" items will wait...
I close with a short clip on what it means to be a human catalyst for others.