Note: To read all the lessons, click on the category: Making Big Things Happen

I am so grateful for all the lessons I learned on the Tillie Ride.  I was learning the same lessons you were.  It’s easy to talk about things like pacing yourself, but hard to put them into practice.  As I look over all the wonderful and not-so-wonderful things that happened, two really stand out.

The students and teachers–in other words, you!  Every single one of you.

I am grateful for how welcome you made me feel

I am grateful for my team

I am grateful to my mom and dad for coming to cheer me on!

I am grateful to teachers for introducing the lessons in a creative way and taking time out of their packed schedules to engage students in the ride

I am grateful that we didn’t get lost

I am grateful to my husband for coming with me and planning the route. I am grateful that–at 50–we are healthy enough to have this big adventure. I am grateful it didn’t rain too much

I am grateful to this lady for inspiring the ride with her courage and strength

I am grateful to Alice and Terry–Tillie’s family–for being so enthusiastic and for helping us so much

I am grateful for your cards and notes of thanks and encouragement

Gratitude is more than just feeling thankful. It can help you move forward.

While I was training for the Tillie Ride, I would often get frustrated.  Maybe it was all the miles I was putting in on the bike.  I don’t know.  I found myself getting angry a lot.  A very wise friend told me to take the same subject and think about why I was grateful for that person or organization.   Here’s an example.  Maybe I was angry with Tillie the Terrible German Shepherd for running off when I let her outside to go to the bathroom.  Instead of yelling and stomping my foot while I was looking for her, I could think about why I was grateful to Tillie.  I’m grateful to Tillie because she makes me laugh.  I’m grateful for her soft fur.  I’m grateful that she protects me.  I’m grateful to come home and have her be so happy to see me.  It’s hard to be angry when you’re grateful.  Gratitude just melts it away.

Even cars that cut me off!  I can say, “Thank you for helping me to be present and take care of myself.”  (However, I still think they should be better behaved.)

Gratitude IS a tool.  But mostly, right now, for me, it’s just a feeling.  I am grateful for your youth, your energy, your spirit, your hopefulness.  When you share it with me, I feel young again.  I feel wonderful. I want to go out and make the world a better place.  The only thing that could make me more grateful than I am right now is hearing from you in the future about all the wonderful adventures you’ve had and the amazing things you’ve been able to do through hard work, practice and perseverance and sometimes just plain old stubbornness.

Don’t give up.  You can do it.  I believe in you!

I am grateful for each and every one of you