This past weekend was one of my favorite in a long time. Full of laughs, hugs, great conversations, a bike ride and helping raise awareness of and funds for important cancer support services. And intertwined through it all….kindness. From friends, family and strangers. Keep reading to learn how a bike helped spread kindness.
The fight against cancer continues
Covid has caused disruptions in so many ways. It’s been disappointing to cancel or postpone plans because the virus is hanging around as vaccination rates rise too slowly. But cancer hasn’t stopped. Nor has the critical need to provide support to the thousands of people diagnosed with cancer each year, and those in the midst of treatment.
Last weekend was supposed to the Livestrong Challenge event in Austin, Texas to celebrate 25 years of the nonprofit helping people impacted by cancer. I planned to attend with some fellow cancer advocate friends (thanks to Covid vaccines!). The in-person event was unfortunately, but understandably, canceled due to Covid numbers in that state. The event transitioned to virtual, encouraging people to be active in their local communities. My friends and I were bummed to cancel our trip, especially since it’s been much too long since we’ve seen each other due to Covid. So we decided to do a small cycling event in the Detroit area (cue me being super excited to spend time with special people!).
It started with a bike
Wondering how a bike helped spread kindness? It started when one of my out of town friends hoped to not ship his road bike in for the weekend. So I decided to try to find a local one to rent. Unfortunately, the manufacturing and shipping issues have made it challenging to find bikes so the local shops sold their rental fleets. My next thought was to borrow a bike. However, my friend is a tall guy so can’t just ride any bike. But I still asked.
I was striking out. So I started messaging some cycling friends, wondering if I was missing any shops. One friend said she’d post my request in her bike club message group. A short while later, she messaged me that someone in her club offered a bike.
Letting a complete stranger borrow a really nice bike is…..super kind. He went on the faith that we were ‘good people’ since we knew my girlfriend and we were biking for Livestrong. This seemingly simple act of kindness truly touched my heart.
Last week, my friend flew into Detroit and we went to pick up the bike. We met one of the kindest, coolest people. First, I could have listened all day to his cycling stories (great adventures!). Then, my friend and I shared how we’re riding for Livestrong’s virtual Challenge, both cancer survivors, Livestrong Leader volunteers and more. Our bike guy then shared that his wife and he are also cancer survivors. As if the connection wasn’t crazy enough, he pulled out a Livestrong guidebook (one of the original binders) that he used during his treatment. But, wait! It gets crazier….after feeling like we were familiar to each other, it finally clicked that this guy and I worked at the same company many years ago! I almost hugged him. It felt like we were meant to cross paths!
That bike came in handy – a small but mighty cancer-fighting crew biked 45 miles, sometimes against strong winds but always with smiles. We joined thousands of others virtually celebrating 25 years of Livestrong providing support to people facing cancer. It was an awesome bike ride with friends. My heart was so full. Still is.
These moments are never wasted on me. I cherish time with these special people, many I met through my cancer experience. As a three-time cancer survivor, I never take a day for granted and I especially never take my health for granted. I know how fortunate I am to have the physical capability I do and I love every minute on a bike, hiking in the woods or whatever I may do.
The positive impact of being kind
I share this story because it really touched me that someone would go out of his way to help strangers. It reminds me that kindness comes in the simplest forms. And yet can make the biggest impact on someone. As you read this and see how a bike helped spread kindness, I hope you’ll pause to consider how you too can share kindness with others.
Here are some ideas:
Do a random act of kindness for someone else. [Read this post for some ideas.]
Donate to a great cause that helps others.
Take time to tell someone special that you care. Don’t wait to share your feelings. There may not be another chance.
Offer to help someone, whether drive to an appointment, pick up groceries, assist with a house project, share some knowledge, etc.
Volunteer. Use your talents, time and energy to make a positive impact for a charity.
Simply listen when someone needs an ear. Be there to support as they need it.
Smile at others. It’s one of the simplest acts of being kind to one another.
Spread kindness to help cancer survivors and caregivers.