Paying it Forward with Melinda Milton

Paying It Forward By Paying It Forward, 11th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3dus-b2e/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>General

Melinda engages and reports on those making a difference!

One Mile At A Time!

When was the last time you woke up and said to yourself "I think I'll ride 545 miles on a bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles, even if it takes me seven days"? Well I met a young lady, who among over 2,000 other cyclist, did just that. This past weekend I met Catrya Young, a resident of Washington D.C. who flew almost 3,000 miles with her bicycle clear across the country to participate in the Aids Life Cycle. The ride fundraiser raises money and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Prior to this ride, Catrya had only done local rides with a cycling group in D.C. but never had she embarked on such a challenge.

Her itinerary for the past week consisted of waking up each day and setting out at around 6:30 am with the goal of riding upwards of 100 miles in 11 to 12 hours. Of course there were rest stops along the way. I asked her what was it like to just ride for hours upon hours. She said "each day seemed so long since the previous day and allowed for a meditative experience unlike any other, it really clears your mind riding every day".

Such a long ride doesn't come without the injuries and fatigue in body and will that some had succumb to. Catrya, who had at one point said "she felt like she couldn't go much longer and wanted to give up", recalled the moment when she met a fellow rider on the journey who also rocked a coif of purple hair. He shared with her how he had been personally assisted by the services provided by the organizations they were riding for. It was then that she knew she had to keep going.

The drive to overcome obstacles had already been primed for Catrya who's bike had been stolen just three weeks before she was scheduled to fly out to San Francisco. Despite the set back Catrya purchased a new bike and continued on with her mission. She was riding to honor her brother who had died in 1998. Additionally, she raised $3,000 of the $14.2 million dollars for the fundraiser.

She shared with me that "she was exhilarated by the experience" and had already signed up for next year's ride.

I inquired as to what was it that drew her to take part in this event at this time in her life, "I really haven't been giving back. After college, you get a job and you don't have time to volunteer", she continued, "and this was my way of giving back."

Now that's Paying It Forward.

Tags

Cycling, Fundraising, Volunteering

Meet the author

author avatar Paying It Forward
Melinda is the host of Paying It Forward. She engages with those making a difference in their community. She explores what it means to Pay It Forward.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
21st Jun 2013 (#)

Inspiring - so uplifting to read about the young with ideals and willing to pay forward - siva

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