This weekend I participated in a bike race at Road America called “The 12 Hours of Road America”. It is a fundraiser for the charity Team Triumph, which raises funds for endurance athletes who are disabled. The goal of the ride is to do as many laps as you can from 7 PM to 7 AM in the morning (no that isn’t a typo!) The ability these athletes show is nothing short of astounding!

Team Triumph

Prior to the race, several of the athletes shared their stories. A woman who has one leg shared her story about how the charity helped make it possible for her to do a 1.2 mile swim in open water. Also, If that wasn’t impressive enough, she did that while pulling a fully paralyzed athlete in a boat!

When I encounter people in these situations it makes me think that maybe we need to rethink the word disabled. These folks aren’t disabled. They find a way to participate which means they are able- they just figured out alternate ways. Maybe we should describe them as alter-able.

The above picture is from the ride. There were athletes pulling some of the other athletes. When going up a hill you would pull in and help push them up the hill. 12 hours curling around that 4 mile loop in the dark and they were so grateful for your help. There were athletes with no use of their legs using arm powered bikes. Some on 3 wheeled recumbents and even a person peddling with one leg!  Where there is a will there is a way.

The question isn’t are you able to do something but are you willing, even when there are obstacles. If you have the ability, why aren’t you using it?

The energy around the ride was incredible. This was a perfect example of what can be done without full capabilities but fully motivated. So bless the perceived weaknesses you have because those weaknesses force you to strengthen.

As Queen so famously sang “ GET ON YOUR BIKES AND RIDE”

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