As many of us are about to ring in a new year, I wanted to reach out.
First, I want to wish you a Shana Tovah (a Happy New Year) – a year of health, fruitfulness and affection.
And second, I want to speak about challenges and goals. Diana Nyad comes immediately to mind. At age 64, after four previous attempts spanning 35 years, she succeeded in swimming from Cuba to Miami – 110 miles, 53 consecutive hours in the water! She had a goal and she set her mind to it, determined to overcome the challenges. She didn’t let her age, nor the immense discomforts during the swim, stop her. Now, I’m no Diana Nyad, but I’ve set myself a challenge with a goal.
For five days near the beginning of this new year, I will be participating in The Climate Ride. I will ride my bicycle for five days, over 300 miles (not all flat ones, either) from New York City to Washington, DC. I will be with 200+ other cyclists, all of us inspired bythe joys of bicycling the mid-Atlantic countryside, as well as our mission to raise awareness about environmental causes and sustainability. More personally, I’m doing it:
- because, like Diana, I want to prove that I can undertake a physical challenge and succeed at it. I understand, as she did, that my trials will more likely be mental rather than physical, and that makes it all the sweeter.
- because I believe that I, and all of us on this earth, need to address the specter of the changing climate and the many not-so-nice and downright dangerous impacts that it will have. So, I am raising funds for organizations working to stave off climate change and reduce its impacts. I welcome your support via my fundraising webpage.
- and, because many of you – 46, thus far – have, indeed, contributed to my campaign. I am riding because I know that you are behind me, and that you believe that I, and all of us, can be strong and victorious in the challenges we face. I thank you for your confidence and for your generosity.
What better way is there to begin a new year with the love, support and trust of those who know you. I wish the same for everyone, whether or not Rosh Hashanah has personal meaning or just serves as a convenient time to show and feel appreciation.