This is the part of the story where time passes. While it’s passing, I can report that I am very sore from working out. I had a period of a couple of months where I just couldn’t find my groove. I hurt my shoulder, I’ve been busy with school visits and finishing up a book. But there was nothing like turning 50! to get me motivated to get in shape for our big ride (Roger doesn’t turn 50 until May).

This t-shirt reads “Sue: Copyright 1961″. In the meantime, we are planning our celebrations for when we reach Chicago (see how optimistic I am!) and finalizing our schools. When I was feeling blue, two people said things that made me feel better. First was Bob, who is taking a week of vacation to make sure we get to Chicago in one piece. When I worried I wouldn’t be in shape, Bob said: “Spring will be here quicker than we think. The roads will be pulverized by the numerous freeze-thaw cycles ahead but we will get out for plenty of rides to adequately prepare for the epic Chicago ride in May.” Then there was my friend, Connie. We were deciding what to tell schools about my talk and I said I wanted to discuss Tillie and maybe something motivational. I mean if I can ride my bike from Grand Rapids to their schools, just think what they could do. To which, Connie replied: I think you seem to be right on the money with what you are thinking about sharing with the kids you will meet on your ride. Some of your presentation will be driven by kids questions, of course. But an encouraging explanation of what you can accomplish if you try seems to be the ticket. Who else would ride across three states in their long underwear except someone who knows this message is critical!

Friends like Bob and Connie help me power through when my behind gets really sore from spinning class. Thank you, guys!