This past weekend my brother and sister-in-law visited us from Pennsylvania. When I first mentioned I wanted to do this fundraiser for PeaceJam Northeast two months ago, my dear sister sent me an email on Facebook and said she was interested in joining me.
First, I must let you know that she had never been on a road bike. Kaori is an athlete, and an incredible woman. She excels in everything she does. As a mother, she has brought up two phenomenal boys. Her sons are intelligent, and full of loving kindness and energy. As an athlete, she is an avid runner and trains in the gym regularly. She is a baker and chef. She has won cooking competitions, makes wedding cakes, and can knock your socks off with anything she creates.
Her field of work is even one to be admired, as she works full time with mentally and physically challenged adults. When Kaori said she was interested in doing this ride with me, I was doubtful. The idea of having her by my side for 600+ miles sounded phenomenal, however knowing she had never cycled made me reluctant. Kaori and I also never really had the opportunity to get to know each other. We have always lived very far apart, and our busy lives never allowed us much time to know one another. Those circumstances did not deter her. Within two weeks, she bought a used bike off Craigs List, and began riding solo.
Within a month, she was riding 20-50 miles… and this past weekend, she arrived with a 15 year old Schwinn strapped to the back of her car… and rode 100 miles with me… and then another 22 on Sunday…. After both rides, her only symptoms were minor fatigue.. I on the other hand, walked like I was severely beat up. My sister came to the United States from Japan to attend college. She met my brother, and they fell in love and were married in South Carolina. She has remained in the states ever since. On Saturday, we not only did the century ride.. We did it together and we worked incredibly well as a team. We finished strong, and with enthusiasm to do a “recovery ride” the following day. We can do this! Two and a half months ago my sweet sister had never been on a road bike, this past weekend she cycled 123 miles in two days. She also cycled on a 15 year old bike that weighs three times as much as my road bike. Talk about inspiration moving into action.. That is what PeaceJam is all about… Finding your inspiration to help you take action towards change.. and that is precisely what Kaori Kelly did. Thank you sister. I am honored to have you in my life. On September 18th, we will depart together.. and we will finish together eight days later in Thorndike, ME.
We also got our first clothing sponsor! ISIS for woman! An incredible clothing company founded by woman, for woman!! Based out of my loving Green Mountain state! Thank you Isis! We will represent you well!