Yes, I am in Indianapolis, pursuing my dreams. I announced it on Facebook and other social media, but not here.
Anyone watch the movie Legally Blonde? Well, there’s a scene where Reese Witherspoon walks into her academic advisor’s office and declares that she’s going to Harvard Law School. Her advisor wears a grin of disbelief and says Harvard is a top 5 law school, “What are your back ups?” Reese, without a beat, replies, “I don’t need any backups; I’m going to Harvard.”
Well, let’s just say I feel like Reese’s character right now. I have big dreams. I need to work hard to achieve them. Maybe impossibly hard… But that’s not going to stop me from trying.
For the people back in Columbia, I will be home to visit my mom, so we can still connect. For the people all over the country who helped me successfully make it across the U.S., I salute you and thank you with all my heart. Please message me and let me know how you’re doing!
I am going to write again tomorrow. I am going to start with Pennsylvania and take you from State-to-State. So many magical, scary, and fun things happened on my trip.
BTW, Fiji is settling in well. She is a bundle of energy!
People keep asking me how cycling across the country changed me. Well, living off three pairs of clothing for the last six months will definitely alter one’s perception of material needs. The fact that I lived simply on the kindness of others, the little possessions I could fit in my panniers and a visit to the thrift shop once in that time shows me it’s not the materialistic contents of life that matter, but rather the itinerary.
Never once did I feel embarrassed about my situation because, even so, I was doing something worthwhile. You can have the least amount of money in your pockets, the least amount of clothes in your closet, only a bicycle in your garage, or hey, maybe you don’t have a garage; at the end of the day, it’s what your schedule looks like. When you choose to spend time with the people you love, when you get to go to the job you love, when you get to hug and kiss your adorable doggy, when you get those fleeting moments to just gaze up in the sky and admire the beauty of the tiny galaxy we call home.
With that in mind, I think I can cut my expenses, and double the value of my time left on this planet exponentially.
With that in mind, I want to take chances, try new things, do fun stuff and make spontaneous decisions with a level headed heart.
That’s why I’ve decided to stay in San Diego and pursue a job opportunity near and dear to my heart. I will also be continuing my studies in violin here. Welcome to California, Jasmine! Your journey has just begun.
But, don’t exit scene, yet. I still have a ton of updating to do, and I will give you all more details of my possible relocation and transition soon. Also, instead of writing a book, I plan to write an in depth report of my journey right here on the good ol’ blog.
I’m glad I took my time on the East Coast. I started this epic challenge with very little training. If I had just jumped into it doing 50 and 60 mile days, my knee injury could have been ten times worse–irreparable. But, I started off slow, and I took time off when I recognized the pain. I didn’t judge or criticize myself for not going as fast as others who cycle across the country, and I’m better for it. I adjusted my saddle, took supplements, stretched, got a complimentary massage and acupuncture treatment.
The result… An abundance of energy and renewed spirit. Over the past few days, Fiji and I put in 50 mile days, three days in a row with little discomfort. Fiji started to get a little sick from the constant pedaling. When one’s down, the other one’s just fine. I stopped and gave Fiji the TLC she deserves, including making some adjustments to her trailer.
We’ve had a blast. We met awesome cyclists such as John Correlje. He’s been cycling around the world for four years. I picked up some interesting tips from him. He keeps a notebook with all the email addresses of people he’s met. He’s complied a long list. I better get started on mine.
Ohio has given us an abundance of rain which I prefer to humid, hot days. There have been a couple of nights where I didn’t know where I was going to sleep or eat. Thank you to our rescuers. You know who you are.
In other news, Pet Project Magazine and UsaToday interviewed me. Robert McAdams, a talented photographer who I met through a wonderful friend and fellow musician–Dave Miller–came out and took our pictures. He sent them off to the reporters before deadline, so look for us in those publications some time soon.
In addition, thanks to a wonderful donor, I will finally be able to fulfill the other part of my cycling across America dream–violin street performance. A woman I worked with at the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation helped to fund a cheap, student violin for my travels. I hope to upload a ton of violin cycling videos for you all in the near future. Check out mY YouTube channel http://m.youtube.com/user/Violinfanatic?feature=guide
We’ll be in Indianapolis in three days. My legs are finally starting to crave the road. No more sitting in one place for too long. Let’s Ride.
About a week ago, my knee started to ache. It worsened. My first host in Columbus, OH ran a massage clinic and offered me a free session. The massage therapist injury knew about sports injury. She told me my knee cap had some degeneration behind it. I’ll probably need a knee replacement before age 40. She massaged my legs, loosening the muscles. She told me to stretch, take anti-inflammatory pills, or put ice on the knee when I could. I also bought a knee brace. I’ve been resting up in Columbus, but also riding everyday with Fiji to keep up my conditioning. My knee feels much better. So, that’s good news. I’ve been overweight since my teen years, so it’s the pounds that caused it, not the cycling. Losing weight and changing my eating habits is the best I can do for my knees. This is why losing weight was a big component or goal of my cycling across America journey. I want to take control, prevent future problems due to weight and be a fit person. Full transformation when I get to California, you know? I’ll work on it.
I will hit the road soon. I am going to start taking pledges for the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation. It’s about 314 miles to Chicago. I’ll tell you all why I might be going there first a little later. And then, I drop back down to Missouri. I hope to raise $1.00 for each mile I cycle from Columbus to Chicago to St. Louis, MO. I’ll announce it! So, on your mark, get set…
Fiji keeps my knees warm. Such a darling!
Please consider making a personal donation to our ride. Funds go to our ride expenses…food, shelter and emergencies. Thank you! http://GoFundMe.com/FiJaBAM