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Monday, December 12, 2011

FREE is a good thing!

Hello everyone, I am so excited to actually have a real internet connection. I know it sounds cliche but you really don't know how much you miss something until it is gone.

Okay, I hope that some of you respond to this offer.  FREE, how can you turn that down?  A copy of Blake Mycoskie's new book, absolutely FREE.  You don't even have to pay shipping.  All you need to do is post your most memorable moment of human kindness, either here in the comments section or on the Facebook page.  It can be a moment when someone was kind to you or a moment when you felt the joy of doing something for someone else. How easy is that? In return you get a FREE copy of "Start Something That Matters", the new and inspiring book by the founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS shoes.

Along with the FREE book you just may inspire someone to create their own most memorable moment of kindness. 

Here are my most memorable FREE gifts since leaving on this journey.  First a ride through some rough territory with my bike and gear stashed in the back of a pickup truck.  Great company and a few scary moments but nonetheless FREE and safe.  Next, a most beautiful apartment with a view to die for, all to myself, and FREE.  I will post some pics for you and you will see what I mean.  Soon after that, a new friend with a great dog and a warm shower, you guessed it, FREE.  That same new friend, gave me the most awesome sight seeing tour, yep, FREE.  Life is great and now I want to hear about yours!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Human Kindness

This post will be short as I have limited access to the internet. I hope to post again soon. I wanted to let everyone know that the experiment in human kindness is going well.
I just finished reading Blake Mycoskie's new book, "Start Something That Matters". I will do a full review in the coming days. For now I will say, it is the greatest book I have read in quite some time. Prepare yourselves to win your own free copy. I was chosen as a participant in books for bloggers and was given an extra copy to give away to one lucky winner. Check back for more details in the coming weeks. If you can't wait or you don't win the free copy, I would recommend you buy it.
Gotta sign off for now. Internet is a precioius commodity and it is time to go.
Have you made someone smile today? If not what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Survivor's for Life...

As a survivor of many different hurdles placed in my path I have noticed a few attributes that all survivors seem to have in common. 
1.  I believe we all have Faith, faith in God or some higher power.  We have an inner knowing that we are being watched over.  We know that whatever adversity we face, we do not face it alone.
2.  We all have Hope.  Hope that is a combination of assurance that everything will be fine coupled with the reality of what is and the knowledge to know what to focus on.  What we focus on grows.
3.  Love, love of family and friends, love of life.  These are the love "potions" that give us reason to survive.
4.  Changeability, helps us to let go of what was and create new strategies for our new reality.  We know that when everything changes, we need to change everything.
5.  Resilience and Flow, we bend just like a tree in the wind and flow like the mountain river moving through the rocks.  We have a "never give up" attitude.
6.  Heart and Compassion, heart lets us handle the pain and keep moving forward.  We always get back up one more time than we fall down.  In the face of any adversity we reach out to those in need with the knowledge that in helping others we help ourselves. 
You may be reading this and wondering how do these things apply to your life if you have never had cancer or dealt with a hand such as mine.  Think about life and what you face on a daily basis and ask yourself, how many times have I needed to apply these attributes to an everyday situation.  Although you may not have ever dealt with cancer or any of the things I have mentioned that I have been through, I am sure that you have found yourself a "survivor" on more than one occasion in life.  Inspiration and solutions are everywhere, just listen and look and they will be revealed to you. 

I would like to invite all of you to go to the resources page and find the Cancer Solution Center, I am honored to be able to call the leader of this team my friend.  They have teamed up with 7-time Olympic Medalist, Shannon Miller and are offering a free book by Shannon on her journey with cancer.  For all of you who are reading this that are undergoing cancer treatment, know someone who is, or have finished treatment they have an amazing line well worth looking into.  If you have read "Anti-Cancer" you will most certainly want to take a look at PhytoFusion.  This is a product I would recommend even for those who just want to give their health a boost with some phytotherapy in a great tasting drink.  I do hope that all of you check out Shannon's free book!

Enjoy life, you are amazing!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A World without Cancer?

In light of the most recent tragic loss of Steve Jobs, one of the greatest minds this world will ever know, I really have to ask what would our world be like without cancer?  Can you imagine a world where cancer is something you read about in a history book and never experience first hand?  I can and that is what makes this trip so much more important. 
If we can create a vaccine that eliminates a virus that is linked to cancer thereby effectively eliminating that cancer, there is no reason, in my mind, that we can't do it for other cancers.  Which vaccine does that, the HPV vaccine.  We can't stop there.  We need to keep pushing toward a cure for all cancers.  I don't want to hear about "rare" cancer's, all cancer sucks!  Whether you experience cancer first hand or you are a family member or friend, the impact is great.  We can't just sit back and do nothing.  Look around you 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will at some point in their lives be faced with cancer, those numbers need to change.
Okay so maybe those of you reading this aren't crazy enough to ride a bicycle around the world, but we can all do something.  It may be just holding the hand of someone suffering or offering up a prayer, it may be speaking out and keeping this disease in the forefront of everyone's mind, we all have some way of giving back.  I challenge you to find yours!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The importance of One!

All change begins with one, and that one is you, that one is me.  If we each resolved to make a shift in our thinking, in the way we do things, and in our daily intentions, we would have a collective of intercultural cooperation. 
I will give you examples of those shifts from my own life.  Have you ever heard this when you were a child, "You need to eat everything on your plate, we don't waste food, there are children starving in other countries."?  At the time we all thought, but gee I don't like it and more importantly we couldn't identify with those starving children.  Even better, we would have gladly given them that food.  Now we are adults and we know all too well the reality of children who are starving in other countries.  The first step to ending world hunger;  be more mindful in your own home and at your dinner table.  As I learned the power of the message I was given as a child, I realized how important it was to only take what I could eat and even more importanatly to share the bounty with others.  When is the last time you made food to share?
Another great shift in my life came as a survivor of multiple types of physical and emotional abuse and being able to not only survive those realities but also come out a stronger woman.  I first had to bring peace into my heart.  There came a point in my life when I no longer let the fear and self doubt control my life and what I knew I needed to do.  I learned to love myself so I could live.  I came to accept that those things happened to me, however, they did not define me.  I believe that if we want to see an end to domestic violence, child abuse and to see world peace we must first shift our hearts and homes to a peaceful mindset.
I wear many different coats in the physical realm.  I am a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, aunt.  I am a survivor of domestic violence, rape, molestation, and several serious health issues.  The list goes on, yet who I really am is simply Spirit.  All those other things are nothing more than roles I play on the stage of life and this is no dress rehearsal.  There are no second chances.  So my question to you is how will you make a shift?
I would be ill serving if I did not say to those of you reading this who may be struggling, it can and will get better when you intend it to.  If you need to talk it through, I encourage you to use the Say Hello page and send me a note.  I am here to inspire. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Final Countdown!

Wow, I can't believe I am on the final countdown.  In a couple of weeks I have my visit with the doctor and I am anticipating all will be fine and she will give me a green light.  Then it is out the door and down the road.  The fear and realty is setting in, I am about to spend an extended period of time purposefully homeless.  I hope to inspire all of you that I meet along the way.  I also hope you will follow my journey and post comments on here as I update the blog page. 
My apartment is looking like a tornado went through it, sale again this week.  The large furniture is gone.  I am sleeping on an air mattress until I head out, it is actually kinda comfy.  Still not sure what I will do about the puppies, really want to keep them together.  They would be like siblings who went to separate foster homes, sad.
Fixing some last minute issues with the bike, and I will simply say that if you are considering long distance cycling, be sure to use a customer friendly bike shop. :(
I can't wait to post pictures and video from the road!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I have to make my opinion known!

I needed to take the time to make my opinion known about a controversy that has arisen through the political scene. I would not normally do this but this hits very close to home for me.  As someone who was diagnosed with HPV and has had ongoing cervical issues, first 18 years ago, and then again for 3 out of the last 4 years, I am disheartened by anyone who speaks out against a preventive vaccine.  I firmly believe that it is our duty as parents to protect our children in anyway we can.  To the best of my knowledge, this is the first vaccine available that has been shown to protect against a virus that causes certain types of cancer.  It is time for people to get some courage and speak out, this is not a taboo subject.  Yes, HPV is sexually transmitted, and I ask, how many of you are celibate?  Studies show that a very large percentage of all women will at some time in their lives contract this virus, which also means that a large percentage of men will also.  The greatest thing is the vaccine is now available for both boys and girls.  If this had been available when I was young it would have saved me numerous surgeries, the emotional stress, and ongoing fear of living with this virus.
As you all know cancer is a cause I take to heart, I do what I do because I can, so many people cannot.  Please watch the video, I ride for many reasons, cancer being one of them.  I have lost a Grandfather, 2 Aunts, an Uncle, and a Sister to this disease.  I have a sister who holds my hand in survivorship.  I want to know that there will be a day when my grandchildren are reading about cancer in a history book, not experiencing it first hand. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

How is being a survivor just like riding a bike?

This post is for all of you who have asked how did I get through the life experiences I have had and come out with a positive outlook. It is also for those of you who are struggling to find answers.
I would first have to attribute some of my ability to staying positive through adversity to a gift. At a very young age I discovered that I was able to separate who I am from my physical being, with the knowledge that what is happening to my person is not happening to me. This I truly believe is a gift from God.
I also know that some of the credit goes to watching my father. Having 8 children and many unexpected hurdles, to this day he just has faith and does whatever it takes to get through.
My life isn't just about surviving, anyone can do that, all you need is a pulse. My life is about living and not giving my life's energy to the negative things or negative people that come along. It is about awareness and about being here now. Does that mean I am never hurt, disappointed or have a bad day, absolutely not. I am just as human as the next person. What it does mean is that I don't live in those hurts, disappointments or bad days, I live through them to get to the other side and back out into the sunshine.
What can you do, well here are a few things to look at. What kind of energy are you surrounding yourself with? Studies have shown that we tend to become like the people we choose to spend our time with. Is it time for new friends, more positive friends?
What are you feeding your brain? What books are you reading or are you reading at all? Are you spending mindless hours in front of the tv? Are you learning new things? Here is a fun exercise for your brain; for one day do everything you would normally do but with your non-dominate hand, brush your teeth, comb your hair, do the dishes.
How are you caring for your body? Are you eating healthy? Are you moving each day? How about annual exams? Are you taking time for yourself?
Maybe you look at your life and all you see is stress. Determine is it dis-stress or eustress, is it bad or good. A bad stress would be a constant fearfulness, a good stress would be the excitement you feel when you walk into a gathering of friends and family who have surprised you for your birthday. If you are unsure how to deal with dis-stress contact me for suggestions.
Now you have a place to start, a new way of looking at the hurdles life throws in your path. No excuses.
I recall when I was about 7 or 8 years old my father was teaching me how to ride bike. He held onto the seat and I started pedaling. Of course, as any child would, I thought he would protect me from falling. I was so wrong, he let go and I landed in a rose bush. I was crying and scratched from the thorns. My father reached out his hand, helped me out of the bush, and said get back on the bike. At the time I had no idea that would be such a life lesson for me. When life throws you into the rose bush and leaves you wounded, get up, and get back on. The freedom I felt when I got back on and learned to ride is the same freedom I have every time I get back in to the game of life.
Being a survivor for me is much like riding a bike. The pedals on my bike are a reminder that I am the source of the power. God helps those who helps themselves. If I don't pedal, I go nowhere. The gears allow adjustments for the climb and help me to accept that change is a positive thing in life and it is there to help with the climb. The handlebars are clearly for direction and the knowledge that I can choose the direction my life goes. And last but not least, my helmet, my protection. This represents so many things. Friends, family, an organization that supports me in my time of need, and so much more. Most of all it represents the love I give myself everyday and in turn the love I have to share with others.
Share your love everyday, you will always get more than you give.

Monday, July 25, 2011

21 Days of Smiles

Thank you for taking on this challenge, I guarantee it will be fun and rewarding.
Studies have shown that it takes 21 days of consistent behavior to change a habit or create a new one. I am giving you a list of things that will fit in any one of these categories, good for you, good for someone else, good for the planet. All of them are sure to bring a smile to your face. These are just ideas, if they won’t work for you, create your own, mix them up, think outside the box, do the same thing twice, there are no rules, just flex your kindness muscles, and then share your stories here. I want to see the most outrageous, hear the most heart warming, and find out how many of you can hang for 21 days.

 Be a pick up artist, wherever you go today pick up the trash you see along your way.
 Call an old friend to say hello.
 Stand in front of your mirror, smile and tell yourself “I love you”, use your name.
 Offer to watch a friends children and give them some time away.
 Smile at everyone you meet for the day.
 Talk to a stranger.
 Do something special for yourself, get a manicure, a massage, or something else you enjoy.
 Take a child to a movie.
 Donate lightly used books to the library.
 Pay the tab for the person behind you.
 Read to a child.
 Let someone go in line in front of you.
 Return someone else’s shopping cart.
 Hold the door for a stranger.
 Write a letter or thank you note to someone who made a difference in your life.
 Say hello to everyone you meet throughout your day.
 Donate to a food bank.
 Make someone laugh.
 Complain less.
 Play with a child.
 Take care of your body, get out and ride bike, take a hike, or play a game.

You don’t need to post everyday, try posting once a week or when it fits your schedule, you will have the bonus of inspiring others with your posts. Go to the comments and leave your heart warming stories. At the end of the 21 days I will pick a winner, the person with the most kindness given and the best posts on here will be rewarded with a special honor. Get in the game to win.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Can't take it with you.

Are you living life on purpose? Are you just playing the game? If life is a game, why not win? I am the first to admit I have spent many years just playing the game and not living my purpose. What changed? I call it my awakening. My awakening came in those moments where death was within a whisper and with one common theme.  Life could end at any moment.
With the realization that at any moment my life could be over also came the realization that we take nothing with us, zero, zip. Not our money, not our gold, not the car we drive, the house we live in, the clothes we wear, not even those sentimental belongings, none of the things we hold as valuable would go with us when life is over. So I started to question, what was the real value of what I would leave behind. I have discovered along this journey that the real value I leave behind has nothing to do with my possessions.
My most valuable possessions start with who I am, the love I am here to give and live, and how I can contribute to the greater good.
Have you ever told yourself "you will be happy when", _________ fill in the blank? When you have a certain possession, when you have a certain amount of money, when you find your soul mate, and I am sure you can add to this list.  What is on your "happy when" list? Happiness won't suddenly fill your life when....happiness will fill your life when you live each day asking, who am I, what is my purpose, and what must I be doing. You don't need to know all the answers, life will send the answers to you, just live now, tomorrow is not promised. Follow your heart.
In my next post I am going to offer you a 21 day smile challenge. It will be fun, exciting, and guaranteed to make you feel great.

Monday, July 18, 2011

How many lives can you touch?

I am just one person, how can I make a difference? What can I do, I have no money, I can't ride bike, I have no talents? I have heard them all and I have an answer for all of them. I challenge you to give me one I can't answer.
Each day I discover a new way that I have inspired someone, many without even trying. It may be a smile I gave to someone who really was feeling sad. It may be sharing an inspiring word on social media. Sometimes it is simply going out on a limb and doing something I may not have ever considered as I grew up painfully shy. I have learned to think outside the box. Things that you may think are impossible or not even worth trying are the things you should be doing. What is the worst that can happen? One of my new friends says, "falling on your face is still moving forward" and I agree.
If you have been dreaming it, thought you never could, feel like people may laugh or judge ask your self these questions. Will it make you happy? Does it serve you? Will it make someone else happy? Does it serve the greater good? If you have said yes to these questions, what are you waiting for? If you have said no to any of these, look at what needs to be changed for you to answer yes to all and get moving. Stop worrying about what others may think, don't fret the how, if you have answered the why the how will take care of itself.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Preparing to go the distance.

You may be asking yourself, how do you prepare for a ride around the world by bicycle.  I am here to answer that question.  This is the answer to the physical side of this question. 
If you have never visited the beautiful state of Pennsylvania I am here to tell you, you are missing out.  This state is one of the best states for training, not much of it is flat.  My intent is to ride as many of these hills as possible until they are just as easy as the flats.
I went out yesterday in the heat and humidity, and what a workout.  If you are up to it, leave me a comment and I would love to have you join me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Panniers, racks, and roll!

The most important part of preparing for an adventure like this is the equipment.  The bike is rolling along beautifully.  Many people ask, do you need to spend a lot on equipment.  That is a complex question, I will take a shot at it.  Certainly I would not want to take this challenge on a bike from the local big box department store however I knew I could do it without spending thousands on a bicycle.  Let's be honest, not many of us have thousands to spend on special equipment.  I am no different, this is a self supported tour and I need to do it on a shoestring so I have money for the more important things like visiting as many survivors as possible.  I chose to modify a bike a currently owned, a Specialized women's specific mountain bike.  We changed out the suspension fork, changed the gearing so I would have those much needed gears for hauling my life on a bike, added safety equipment, and racks and now we are on to the panniers. For those of you who aren't bicycle savvy, panniers are bags that attach to the racks on the bike.  Right now, just for fun, I am designing a coat guard and a friend is trying to see if he can find a metal worker to make it for me.  It is a fun, exciting process.
I encourage anyone involved in a project like this to seek our sponsorships, even the smallest things are helpful.  It may be something as small as a donation of a new bike seat.  There are many good people out there who want to support a good cause and you will be surprised to see what offers you may get, sometimes it is a service, sometimes it is a product.  I have gotten many great donations along the way.  The most recent is a wonderful sponsorship opportunity for the panniers with Arkel, a great company with great bags.  
 If you have always wanted to do something and you are hesitating, there are no excuses.  I challenge you to at the very least, whatever it is, try it for 30 days.  Even if you decide it is not for you, you won't be able to say that you never tried.  Life is for living, enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bike is back, yipee!

Hello ya'll! I am so excited, the bike is back from the shop.  Touring tires, higher gearing, new front fork, racks, lights and the computer has been synced.  All I need now are the panniers, for those of you who aren't bike savvy, that would be the bags to carry all my essentials.  I just sent a letter to a company that I hope will offer an in kind donation of the panniers.  Once the bags are on, I will be doing fully loaded training rides to get used to carrying the extra weight.  There will also be some new filming with PBS at that time.  I will update you when to look for that.  See you on the road.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Long fruitful day.

From the front lines of advocacy, I spent the entire day at the PA Immunization Conference.  I learned quite a bit that will help me in the future as I speak to others.  I was a guest speaker for the part of the day focused on the HPV vaccine.  I followed a very knowledgeable, fun loving, physician.  I was given the opportunity to share my story and why I believe it is important for us to be spreading the word about this vaccine.  Our presentation sparked a very informative conversation with the audience and that was a good thing.  If you were there, thank you.
I made a new friend as I sat next to a wonderful physician from the local area.  He introduced me to one of his friends and as the day went on I had met many wonderful people.  I even recruited someone who wants to volunteer to help out Tamika & Friends.  This was a great group to speak to and everyone there was very receptive to the conversation. 
I am so blessed and I love getting the opportunity to share and help others.  If I can bring a smile to one persons face it is worth it all and today there were many.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another great day!

Hello everyone! Another great day of preparing for this trip.  With an estimated leave date of September 30, time is going by quickly.  If you are a cyclist and would like to ride with me here in the area contact me and let me know when you are available. 
Next week I am giving a presentation for a large group of medical professionals, wow, I am actually nervous.  It should be exciting.  I guess if I can handle the politicians in Washington, I can handle a group of doctors.  If you have a group small or large that you would like me to share with please feel free to contact me. 
Please head on over to the dedication link and send us a dedication to honor someone you love, it is free and I will carrying those prayers, messages, and names with me around the world.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Love life, live now and always remember to smile

Hello everyone, I just wanted to check in with the latest info and to let you know to stay tuned for a pleasant surprise on the website.  I spent last night with a crowd full of great spirits.  The energy was high, I made new friends and felt a connectedness to those around me.  I had the chance to share my story with quite a few people at a concert venue while enjoying some of the most uplifting, spirited music gifted by Michael Franti and Spearhead.  I went upstairs to meet with Michael and the band after the show and once again got the chance to share a bit of my story.  Each day is a blessing.  Today it is an afternoon of training for the ride, send off is getting closer and I need to be ready.  This won't be "round the world in 80 days" :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Updates from the journey

I wanted to check in with all of you who are following this journey.  Amazing things are happening every day while I get prepared to leave PA.  I have met survivor families in response to sale ads as I sell my personal possessions.  I have listened to heart breaking stories.
I am open each day to whatever blessings may come my way.  In that openness, I was walking into an office a couple of days ago and the shirt I was wearing opened a conversation with the gentlemen who were leaving that office.  Once again, I met someone who was touched by cancer, his wife was a breast cancer survivor.  I shared this epic journey with them and learned so much about their experiences.  One more blessing.   One more reason why this epic bicycle challenge is so necessary; to bring an even greater connection between survivors.  See you along the way.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Hi everyone, and welcome to the blog page of the site. I encourage all of you to leave your comments here, I will be checking in often. This is going to be quite an adventure and I hope you follow me along the way. Please send us your dedication we want to get that page filled with love quickly. At this point this trip is in the planning and preparation stage, and that gets crazy. The bike is being built to specs, I am selling my personal possessions, taking care of passport and visas, and preparing my mind and body. My plan is to leave no later than next Spring, however I am shooting for much earlier. Thank you for your support, maybe we will meet somewhere along my journey.