The Ride...of my life

First off, let me apologize. This post is insanely late! I came out of the ride feeling surprisingly good (maybe a little too good thanks to all those endorphins), but within a few days I went down hill. I finally dragged my butt to the Dr's - the diagnosis Pneumonia - YUCK!

Now, just over 3 weeks later I'm finally getting back to my usual self and catching up on the things that need to be done.

 

The question that has allowed me to put this off for so long is this...where do I start? what do I share? how do I put into words what this ride has been?

This morning I had an email from a friend who had originally intend to ride beside me. He was apologizing for taking so long to ask me how the ride had been. This was my response:

"Oh my goodness! It was quite the experience. It was in many ways an emotional roller coaster. The joy of what I was doing, the pride that I actually made it through, the overwhelm of all the support along the route including my parents and fiancé, the grief as we rode past my late Aunts house (it had been less than two weeks since her passing), the determination to keep push on in those last 3 hours in the pouring rain on day two, and so much more."

 

The recap for those who haven't heard:

This year I challenged myself to complete the 2014 Embridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. It's a 200+ km bike ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls to raise finds for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in Toronto. PMCF have a huge goal in mind to "conquer cancer in our lifetime" and are leading the way as the #1 cancer institute in North America and one of the top 5 in the world!

 

At the time I signed up I was biking 10km or so a couple times a week with the family and figured "why not?"

To be honest, in that moment when I signed up I had two opposite theories going in my head....

1) I'm superwoman and can do anything!

2) I will never raise enough to be allowed to participate so it's ok.

 

Days later as the reality of this 200+ km bike ride started to sink in I realized that along with my excitement and nervousness something else had started to emerge. What if I did it? How would I feel? How would my daughter and fiance feel to watch me finish this huge task? What would my co-workers and students think? What if I really could make a difference? I could make a difference in the lives of current and future cancer patients with the money I raised. I could make the difference in my own health (physical and mental) with this huge challenge. I could make a difference in what my daughter believed not only I, but she was capable of too. I could show my insanely patient and supportive fiance that I wasn't just dreaming big but that I could follow through too. I could set an example to my students by showing them the things I was doing with raising the money, eating healthier (I sat and ate with them 2-3 times each day), biking to work (so they could see me being more active). I didn't tell them about these things, I just did them and answered their questions anytime they asked. Suddenly I saw all the potential of what this ride could be. What a positive force it could be and that I was not the only person affected by my decision to participate or not.

 

As often happens, life through curve balls. Schedules got busy, I made excuses, and training did not go as planned. Finally, three weeks before I kicked my butt into gear and got my first 45km day in. The next day I planned to do the same, or maybe a little more. I only got 20km in that day. That night I got the call, my Aunt who'd been in hospital for a few days at this point was fading fast. I rushed to be by her side and with my family. A week later I returned home after days at the hospital and the following memorial services.

At this point I once again doubted everything I was doing. Could I really make it though this? I wasn't as worried about the physical at this point as the emotional. Thank goodness for the friends and family who stood by me.

 

Come 8am on Saturday June 7th, there I was...all suited up among the sea of riders ready to go with my daughter and fiance looking on. It was actually here!

There were moments when my body ached. There were times when I sat on the side of the road and cried (my late aunt's home was on the route). With some encouragement of friends and family who came out and supported in person or sent words of encouragement along the route I made it to the finish line with my new friend Robert by my side, my amazing Fiance Ross smiling and snapping photos, and the rain pouring down on us. As I crossed that finish line I was overcome with emotion. Relief that I had crossed the lien and could rest (and get warm and dry). Pride that I had completed this journey. And so many more, but, I held it together. I really did...until Robert leaned over to hug me just feet behind the finish line and whispered in my ear "Your aunt would be proud!" Then the waterworks truly began.

Today I'm thrilled to share this experience with you. I know I haven't shared so many of the moments along the way...the stories of riders encouraging each other, of survivors sharing their stories, families by the road with signs of encouragement & how their own lives have been touched, of my parents & niece joining me in camp, and so much more but let's face it, I could write novels for days!

I still have a ways to go in my fundraising (you can still donate at www.conquercancer.ca/goto/RebeccaNash) but I am still in awe of the entire experience. I know that I came out of that ride a little different from the woman who stood at that starting line and I'm so grateful for this experience.

 

*Huge thank you goes out to my fiance Ross for not only his support, his belief in me, his cheerleading, but, also for his photography skills in capturing the ride so you can see a little of my journey!

It's back! The Etsy shop returns with new art and support for a great cause!

Over a year ago, I bid goodbye to the Rebecca Nash Photography Etsy store and created a store located here on the site.  

In retrospect, this was unnecessarily challenging both for setting up and customs to use. So, after some feedback and thought, the Rebecca Nash Photography Etsy store is back!

 

What will you find on the Rebecca Nash Photography Etsy store? - Exhibition Originals from group & juried art exhibitions, and the traveling exhibition "Windows on the War of 1812" - Limited Edition Prints of some of my favourite images - Exclusive Image Launches that will not be offered anywhere else - Gift Certificates that can be used for artwork or services - Gift items including stationary sets, portfolios, and more (Coming Soon)

 

As if that wasn't enough excitement, for the months of April & May you get the bonus of purchase beautiful art for your home or office AND support a great cause. How?

All proceeds from sales in Apr & May (after shipping costs) will go directly to supporting the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation through the 2014 Embridge Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Find out more about the ride and why I got involved at www.conquercancer.ca/goto/rebeccanash

 

Thank you for all your love and support for both the art, plus fundraising for an amazing cause with this challenging ride.

 

Yours Enthusiastically Rebecca - Rebecca Nash Photography

 

 

 

London's Rebecca Nash is the London, Ontario based Creative Director & Photographic Artist behind Rebecca Nash Photography. She takes her emotional, elegant, artistic, and whimsical style and applies them to every portrait, wedding, or fine art experience she provides her London, Ontario photography clients.

"I believe every person’s story is different, every person is unique, and no two relationships are the same - this means no two photo shoots are the same. I thrive on the opportunity to create stunning images for amazing people all around me while giving them an experience they'll remember for a lifetime. Each client is trusting me with the opportunity to know their story, share their story, and help them in celebrating life and love in art." - Rebecca Nash

Join Me in my journey to the Ride to Conquer Cancer!

A few weeks ago I spoke in a personal post about my goals to be the best possible version of myself for my daughter, my family, my clients, and myself. Today, I'm thrilled to share with you the next step on my journey.  

About two weeks ago I was out picking up a coffee (ok a hot chocolate with whipped cream - yum!) when I saw a flyer for the 2014 Embridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. After taking a look over it I went wow...a 200+Km bike ride? That's really cool but I could never do it.

 

As disappointing as that initial reaction was, it didn't last long. By the time I reached work a new conversation was going on in my head....

Maybe I could do it...

...would my bike make it through?

Would I make it through?

How would I train for this event?

Do I have enough time?

 

Somewhere in this conversation I came to the simple conclusion...

I have months to train

I'm strong, healthy, and rather stubborn

I will find a way to get a new bike

And I am going to do this!

 

To me this event is about so many different things. It's about being the best possible me. It's about setting an example for my daughter. It's about challenging myself to do something that I never would have believe I could or would do if you had asked me even a few months ago.

 

It's also about supporting an amazing Ontario based charity event that sets goals high for it's participants to make their goal of conquering cancer in our lifetime a reality! I've set my goals high...

1)I will complete this event and possibly the added afterburner challenge of an additional 50Km in Hamilton once we reach camp.

2)I will raise $4,500 or more for this awesome event

3)I will involve my family, my students, and my community in the journey whenever I can

 

From now until the ride (June 7th & 8th) I'm excited to begin training, sharing frequent updates on my personal ride page (http://www.conquercancer.ca/goto/RebeccaNash), and monthly updates here on the whole journey. Join me, your thoughts, advice, and encouragement always pushes me onward!

Find out more about the ride and how you can get involved with donating or register to ride with me on my personal fundraising page http://www.conquercancer.ca/goto/RebeccaNash