My amazing parents, Jenise Parris and Bob Hoshour, visited me in the Ithaca area yesterday and today! They were both surprised, to say the least, when I told them I was going to bike across the country. I am a very lazy person. I spent my childhood getting out of hikes, or moaning when physical activity was required. My parents, on the other hand, are extremely active. As it became clear that I was definitely going to be embarking on this journey, they got on board!
My parents are my biggest supporters, and it was so fun getting to share this experience with them. After arriving, feeding me some fish and ice cream (not at the same time, don’t worry), my parents met all of my new family members–and then my mother set up shop in the church basement. Lying on our thermarests (mini air matresses) on tables, my mom worked her acupuncture magic on ten aching bike and builders! My knees finally stopped hurting today.
Today my parents rode with me from Grotton, through Ithaca, and to Watkins Glen. I am so proud of both of them! Even with a flat tire early on, we made it the 40 miles in four hours. It was my mother’s longest ride ever, and a challenge for all three of us with the hills out of Ithaca. They were a blast to ride with!
I couldn’t help but think about how different my relationship with them is now than it was a few years ago. Like most, being a teenager drove a huge wedge in our family dynamic. Years later, as my hormones and idiocy have leveled out, we are now back to a solid unit. Spending time together is fun, and I miss them terribly when our visits are over. Today really drove home just how lucky I am to have them. They are incredibly supportive and excited about this journey, and were thrilled to get to join me on this leg.
We laughed, chatted, powered up hills, and cheered each other on. I glowed with a feeling of ease–these are the two people who have known me my entire life, and they were able to help fortify my body (with needles) and my spirit for the rest of this incredible experience. With their love and support, I know I’ll be able to push through the hard and into the beautiful, each and every time.
The end of my day–after my parents finished their part of the ride–was spent coming out of the mountains and into the open countryside. Mountains are magical places, tight and enclosed, keeping their mysteries close at hand. Coming out of the mountains and into wide open land was a shock to the system. I could see far into the distance, and knew what terrain I was heading into. The vast sky and rolling hills rocked me into a meditative state, where each pedal stroke took me farther and faster, and each mile brought me to a stronger and more joyful place. What an amazing and relaxing day today was, after days of struggling–I think I actually am getting stronger and more able to do this work!