Day Three, Jacumba to Calexico, CA

Day three began leaving Jacumba, CA. The fun thing about Jacumba was the giant community hot tub we got to sit in after riding all day. Great people and conversation. Jacumba is a virtual ghost town on the border of Mexico with two open businesses. A convenience store and a Hot springs hotel where we stayed. It was nice and with our sore muscles it was a wonderful thing to enjoy. After the hot tub it was a shower, dinner, prep for the next day and then to bed. We did squeeze in a walk of the town that consisted of two blocks on shut down buildings so it didn’t take long.

The ride today was a climb of 1,100 feet then a huge downhill on the freeway I-8 where we reached 39 MPH blowing past everyone. Lots of fun after being passed by most on the climbing portions of the trip. The bike is solid and stable working well. With close to 340 combined pounds on the bike we are one of the slower riders on the up hill. Hold our own on the level and blow past everyone on the downhills keeping us about average overall. Its nice to have a group all wearing the same safety vests so we can see those ahead to know where we are going. They do a nice job of marking the roads but there were a lot of turns through San Diego that it was really nice to be in the pack.

It was interesting riding along the border of the country. Seeing the fence and the Border patrol. They are very active in watching out with trucks, Suv’s and some even on horseback. They drag tires through the washes to smooth out the sand each day so they can watch and follow fresh footprints. — Steve

Calexico, CA was our first Indoor stay of our trip. We all stayed in the auditorium in our air mattresses. It worked out well. The students hosted dinner and breakfast as a way to raise money for their school. Many of the students live in Mexico and walk across to Calexico each day. Their stories were inspiring of hard work, dreams and ambitions. We walked the streets before dinner and found a cute little restaurant to eat. That evening after dinner we heard from one of their teachers and the principal.

This was hanging in their school – it reads: I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world. Malala Your power is your radical self.

Today we cycled 51 miles. Making our total so far — 136 miles! Although we’ve cycled more miles in a row … three days is the longest we have ridden back to back days! We are so grateful for this experience.

Visiting Family before our Coast2Coast Ride

Knowing we were going to be gone for 52 days, we scheduled a quick trip back to visit our kids in DC and VA and wish Kendall a Happy Birthday! It was so great to see them and spend some time together. See you in FL in two months for dad’s birthday was the plan!

Oh how I love them! Chris, Natalie, Dahlia and Kendall in Virginia.

Follow our Coast 2 Coast Journey

https://www.facebook.com/becky.andrews.5815/videos/2531168920431606/?t=0

We are so excited to blog, IG (lookupmoveforward), FB (Becky Andrews, Resilient Vision) our journey from Coast 2 Coast on our tandem!

I’m reflecting on how this tandem activity started when I lost my eyesight and could no longer ride a single bike. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!!

Coast2Coast Prep

I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions lately on our upcoming bike ride across the country. Yes, you read that right – Steve and I are cycling across the country starting in San Diego, CA and finishing in St. Augustine, FL.

Tandem cycling represents so much to me. Over 20 years ago, as I lost more eyesight – had to quit driving – felt like I had to stop doing many of the activities I loved (had not yet learned I just needed to do them in different ways), we started to talk about riding a tandem bike! We bought one and for the first summer after not being able to drive, it seemed like an alternative for my young kids to get a little rest as they rode on the back to swim lessons and other activities.

After my ophthalmologist, indicated my eyesight (or lack thereof) was not safe for me to ride in the front, Steve and I began to ride together for recreation.

As I share in my book: Look up, move forward: “It (tandem cycling) opened up a new chapter of activity in our life and a renewed sense of freedom and vitality for me.”

I feel very blessed that my husband – my best friend loves to tandem bike. Anytime that our schedules allow, he is also eager to get on the bike and go for a ride. This is such a blessing and I am so excited to cycle across America with him! We will laugh – a lot, we will have some hard times, we will have moments that we will cherish, we will have difficult times where one of us may be struggling, we will have stress/concerns from home – family – friends that have us wondering if we need to get back, and yet we will continue on a pedal at a time to St. Augustine, Florida.

So, how are we preparing? We are both still busy – VERY busy in our careers so why now? Why this year? Today we are both healthy and able to do this ride. We don’t know what tomorrow brings so we will cease this opportunity and prepare to leave our careers for a brief time and make this memory. We will return home with new experiences and insight and ready to take on that next chapter of our careers and life!

So, what are we doing so far to prepare? We have joined a group – Bubbas Pampered Pedalers 🙂 that will do all the organizing/logistics of this ride. There will be 40 cyclists. We will arrive in San Diego (working out the logistics of all those details now — will probably rent a car and drive to San Diego with our tandem.) My guide dog, Georgie, will stay with a dear friend.

We have an amazing coach, Diane, helping us prepare our bodies for this ride.

Steve is preparing a lot of the details for the bike and business aspects of being gone. I am looking at what needs to be done at Resilient Solutions, Inc our business to be able to leave for that long. Step 1 – making sure our office is fully stocked for 6 weeks. LOTS TO DO – for sure! However, a step at time we are going to be SO ready for this!!

I leave you with a picture of me the summer of 2000. We had just started to ride our bike – our shiny new red Burley Duet when we fell. I broke an arm. Ten days later I fell again and overcompensated and broke the other arm. That summer was spent in casts and surgery followed in December.

The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall. — Vince Lombardi

We rose again and have been riding ever since. On the back of the tandem I find much clarity, creativity, joy, and peace. I love the breeze as I ride in synch with my captain that I love so much. This also became the space where … if I can be active in this way … how else can I find a way to be active with vision loss. SO MANY OPTIONS as we find a way.

We all take falls and get back up. Share one of yours!

Cycling Across America

No time like the present to make those dreams happen! After some contemplation – exploring options we did it! We are joining a team cycling across the country! We start in San Diego, CA in the spring and will finish in St. Augustine, FL. We can’t wait to share details of our training and adventure. And oh, so much preparation to do to be ready to leave for this adventure!

Yet as in all aspects of life … one step at a time, one task at a time, one mile at a time.  

So excited to share in this journey and experience the country on the bike with my best friend!!  With love,  Becky

Here’s a clip that shows us cycling .. I love living an active life! 

https://www.youtube.com/watcQ$Edp%zE()sbdCKM#g08t7mIh?v=DGrnJlxVRGY

Dog Day. 22 Years Ago

There are those days etched in your memory … September 17, 1997 was one of those days for me. I was a young mom – 32 years old and at the campus of Boring, Oregon to receive my first guide dog. This is how I share this experience in my book: Look Up, Move Forward: “I’d been eagerly awaiting Dog Day, and I finally met my guide on Wednesday, September 17. We’d been asked to wait in our rooms for our dogs to be delivered to us, but after several minutes, I couldn’t stand it anymore and I opened my door  out in the hall to find that several of my classmates had also given up on waiting patiently. We shared our nervous anticipation and excitement and it wasn’t long before I was presented with my 63 pound yellow lab, Pantera. She was almost two years old and full of life. We went back into my room to get to know each other better. … I told Pantera how happy I was to meet her and how much I was looking forward to our adventures together. If a bouncing dog indicates a happy dog, Pantera was full of joy. She wagged and wagged her tail as I stroked her yellow fur and gave her a bone. I called Steve and the kids so they could ‘meet’ her too and share in my excitement about being matched with this energetic new partner who would help me navigate life safely and independently.”  This dog was going to change my life in amazing ways and we both seemed to sense that excitement and anticipation on that day.

Photo description below:  Andrews family with Pantera in Park City – after purchasing our Olympic berets in 2002.  Pantera served as my guide dog for 9 years and was a key part of our family.

Today 22 years later with my third guide dog, Georgie, by my side … I’ll reflect on the special three dog days I have had — Pantera, Cricket and Georgie – my beautiful guide dogs who have opened up so much possibility in my life.

What is a life changing day etched in your mind?

Look up, move forward!

Look up, Move Forward

Oh, It’s fun to start blogging again.  Looking forward to sharing my thoughts about life as a therapist – author – speaker – woman who is gaining vision and insight while losing eyesight to retinitis pigmentosa. 

Why the name? Look Up, Move Forward?  It’s a mantra that I believe we continue to do in life as we navigate life’s challenges and joys. Here’s the story behind it (also the title of my first book: Look Up, Move Forward — my journey of finding my vision while losing my eyesight.  

The story goes as follows: 

After a busy morning at work, cricket my guide dog and I stepped out of the office for a walk. We had just got our stride when my cell phone rang. The call was from one of my colleagues and so I picked it up. My colleague was going through a difficult time. She needed to talk and I was happy to listen, hoping I could support her in some way that would help. I slowed down as we talked and cricket sensed that I was preoccupied. She slowed down too and then got distracted herself, sniffing along the edge of the sidewalk.  Hoping I could redirect her without interrupting my friend I whispered “cricket hop up. Move forward.”

My friend said, Becky what did you say? 

“ Oh sorry, cricket was just off focus. I told her to “hop Up and Move Forward.”  I thought you said “Look Up, Move Forward.” My friend Melanie said. That’s exactly what I need to hear.”  She heard a gift in my instruction to cricket a bit of wisdom that has stuck with both of us. Cricket gets all the credit for the insight that day and for teaching me a lesson I treasure. 

So often were encouraged to just move forward during difficult times or press on through challenging circumstances. The frequently prescribed remedy is to get moving again or to keep moving through pain. Obviously I believe in movement – I love movement. Moving forward does play a role in healing. But just like I asked cricket to “hop up” or “look up” first real progress requires a period of refocus, a sort of pause in our lives. 

For me looking up is often seeking spiritual help, but it can also be taking a moment to look for silver linings, or to bask in gratitude for the silver lining, or to bask in gratitude for the beauty in my life. It’s the quiet moment of contemplation or the consideration of my values and how to incorporate them into the challenge. When I take that moment to refocus and reflect on my motivation and desires, I feel the strength to move forward with purpose and determination. Then moving forward really does make sense.

Share your thoughts on Look Up, Move Forward.

Becky

Becky Andrews, LCMHC

www.beckyandrews.info
www.resilientsolutionsinc.com
www.oasiscenterforhope.com