Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sharing My Story In Public

The Ride to Remember is next Saturday.  Nine days.  (Eight days, six hours, forty-five minutes to be exact.)
My Hubby and his friend before R2R 2013
I've talked the ride being a big fitness goal for me, but I haven't talked too much about the ride itself. The Ride to Remember is a bike ride to honor and remember fallen police officers.  In 2012, Springfield Police Officer Kevin Ambrose was killed in the line of duty.  My husband is a Springfield Police Officer, so Officer Ambrose's death was very hard on him and hit very close to home for me.  In 2013, the department organized the first Ride to Remember in honor of Officer Ambrose and Officer Jose Torres, a Westfield police officer who died in the line of duty shortly after Officer Ambrose.  This year will be the third Ride to Remember, continuing the tradition of honoring fallen officers.

This is a charity ride.  Riders pay a fee, which goes to support the Law Enforcement Memorial in Boston.  This year, there have been several organized fundraisers to cover the costs of the ride and to support the renovation of the Michael Schiavina and Alain Beauregard Memorial Soccer Field.  Springfield Police Officers Schiavina and Beauregard were killed in the line of duty in 1985.
My school is planning a fundraiser next Wednesday to raise money for the cause.  The plan is to sell blue ribbons to the public.  I will go with them in my Ride to Remember clothes.  Monday we plan to stay after school to make the ribbons.  Today I went to classrooms to tell them my story and ask for their help in making the ribbons.

My story.  How do I tell a group of high school kids my story in five minutes or less and convince them that I need their help to support the cause?  

I organized some pictures, showed them before pictures of me, told them about Mike.  With the first class, I got choked up, had to take a minute to collect myself.  (Geesh, Tracey, pull it together!!)  I told them about doing the Rugged Maniac last year and telling Mike that I want to do the Ride to Remember.  Told them that I never really imagined I would be able to do it, but that I have been training for it and am ready.  So many of them volunteered to stay after on Monday.  I was blessed.

I showed them these pictures of me...before and after
Mike Made Me Do It
Mike helped me to believe in myself.  When he died, I was devastated.
His death affected a change in me, which has pushed me to accomplish my goals.
I want his life to matter:  to me, to others, as well.
He inspired me to overcome my obstacles.
 I think my story got to a few of the kids.  I heard their reactions.  "Miss, what happened to him?"  "Miss, he was so young!"  "Miss, you're mad skinny now."  "Miss, how did you lose so much weight?"  "Miss..."

I'm not sure how or if I will be able to share my story with more people.  My audience here is limited, but part of me wants to sing it from the rooftop.  This is my story.

Nine days until the Ride to Remember.  Nine days.

A pic from Monday's ride.  I did a metric century with the Competitive Edge group.  It was a good ride.  It was HOT, HOT, HOT, but I felt good.  I'm ready.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and  a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4

I hope you dance:  Lee Ann Womack

Follow me on Instagram @tracoleman99

Questions for you:
What's your favorite inspirational song?
What one goal or dream do you wish you could do?  What's keeping you from accomplishing it?
Leave your answers in the comments below.