In joining this bike ride I had no idea it was as faith based as it is. I became a bit concerned about acceptance. I was raised Pentecostal and I was outcasted at every opportunity. I really tried to be a good Christian, but for some reason my best was never good enough! It strains one’s self image a bit. To always strive and always come up short makes one doubt their faith and ability.
My concern was about having to relieve my childhood. To be outcast and to be made to feel inferior is the last thing I want to deal with in my life. I actually have much pain about things in my childhood. Always being an outcast, having to endure sexual harrassment or be sent to the office for discipline if you try to defend yourself, these have all left deep emotional scars.
I was informed that when people first meet me they have this perception of me being a tough chick. I have moments of weakness, but I do have fairly thick skin and I will kick some ass and take names if necessary. Being the tough chick does wear one down though. Always having to let things slide off and not take any crap gets old. Every once in awhile I really feel the need to cry, but I always suck it up and push on.
During this trip I have discovered that people are generally nice to me. They seem to accept me as I am, I have even found that little old women seem to like me. Many are overly concerned that I am not eating enough. Being a vegetarian in the south would be very difficult.
We stayed at Meadow Grove Baptist Church last night in Brandon Mississippi. The pastor was very nice and in the morning came up to me with a package of kale, arugula and a seaweed salad. He said he had read my blog and wanted to get me something that I was craving. It was the most authentic act of kindness I have ever received. This tough girl was softened for just a moment.
Today I did not ride due to vertigo in the morning, on top of a potential UTI, so I rode in the van all day. I ate that salad and treasured every last bite. Thank you Pastor Jamie if you read this. I shared the kale with others for lunch today as well. Apparently many of us are missing dark leafy veggies.
We made an epic trek today. The original Vicksburg bridge is closed to traffic. Today it was opened up just for us. We were the only ones on it aside from the guards that guided us. The bridge is still open to trains and one passed us at a very close distance. It is so amazing how much power is around us daily that we totally take for granted.
Upon our arrival to Richmond Mississippi, I went to the ER just to ensure there were no serious health issues. It seems that I may have had a UTI but caught it early enough to reverse it. No signs of any infection so the conclusion was that I was dehydrated, so they pumped me full of saline and sent me on my way. The hospital was the strangest set up I have ever encountered. They were nice and the girls putting in the IV and drawing blood were spot on. The IV went in and she uncapped it too soon, blood was all down my arm and leg into my shoe all over the bottom of my foot. All I could do was laugh. She was a bit frazzled and said yep that is a good vein!