Awesome news! Casey got word from the doctor that the c diff is non-recurrent! This means that the prayers and insane bleaching we did in the house were successful. Thanks to this, we can move forward with our December trip to Missouri to visit Casey's family. Hopefully we will not have a repeat of last year's trip. One close encounter from ice is enough. As for an update regarding my counseling, I tried one counselor. (The only one to return my calls...) Unfortunately, it felt as if he was trying too hard to relate or he himself was dealing with a similar issue and didn't realize it. Due to this, Casey and I decided it would be best if I cancelled my second appointment with him. As of yet, no new counselor has been found. However, the Best Practices book was extremely helpful and insightful. (And vulgar, just a warning. His favourite word involved the F-bombs and it's conjugates.) Nonetheless, as I mentioned, helpful. In almost every chapter I was nodding my head and having "A-ha!" moments. I would recommend it.
On Sunday was my fourth century ride, the Day of the Tread. It was great, until the heavens unexpectedly filled with gray clouds which promptly opened with a downpour and subsequent lightning. I had done just under 81 miles at that point, so I decided to forego the chance of a lightning strike and/or pneumonia and called Casey. As it was a charity ride and not a race, I didn't mind as much, even though I did wish I could have finished. However, related to this, I have yet again decided to change my GoFundMe structure. Casey and I were talking about how I was disappointed that after three months, I was only at $425 of a hopeful $5500. While I am definitely thankful for the few donors I have had, we feel we need to reorient it. We discussed the possibility of the lack of donations being caused by it being for a personal goal that will only indirectly help others. We feel it would be more successful and more rewarding all around if it were going to help others as the primary end. As such, the goal will now be $1500. This will not go to a new bike at all. This will solely go toward maintenance, nutrition, and entry fees for charity rides. If I decide to move forward in pursuing actual racing with a better bike, it will be on our dime, not yours.
The charity rides will primarily be for health and community projects. However, in addition to doing those charity rides, I will also be riding for charities. Similar to how I have ridden for mission teams in the past, I will continue to do so with various organizations, including one that has definitely grown on me. It is called World Bicycle Relief. They have several different functions, but one is providing high quality bikes at low or no cost to people in Africa (over 205,000 since 2005!). Whether it's to help kids get to school or farmers get more food to market, it is an incredible asset to have. As I start this endeavor, I will soon provide the link through which to donate. My yearly goal will be $1340. This covers 10 bicycles! As you help keep me moving on my bike, will you also consider helping to get our African brothers and sisters going on their own bikes?