Why I Continue To Do Bike MS

Why I Continue To Do Bike MS

170 miles in two days, no problem.
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Now you might be asking yourself what Bike MS is. "Bike MS is the fundraising cycling series of the National MS Society and raises more money than any other cycling event for any other cause. To date, Bike MS cyclists, volunteers, and donors have raised more than $1 billion so people affected by MS can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what's been lost and, end MS forever." Am I happy to be apart of this movement? Of course, I know people who suffer from MS and I have seen what it has done to their lives. I want to help in anyway that I can. In New Jersey I do the coast to coast ride. In which we start at Monmouth University and bike all the way down to Cape May. The most southern point in NJ. In total it is 170 miles in two days. Now yes, it is a lot of miles and a long time to be sitting on a bike. But I can still bike for those who cannot.

Here is what Bike MS is all about:

So each year for a weekend in May, I hop on my road bike and take the journey. You might be thinking that I am a little bit crazy. I'm in college, right? I could be doing so many different things on the weekend. But could I really? This ride gives me the opportunity to spend quality time with other people who enjoy riding bikes as much as I do. I have the amazing opportunity to raise money for a good cause that hopefully will be able to cure MS. I get to meet people of all different walks and hear their stories. I would much rather do something like this on a weekend knowing I am helping people, that I am a symbol of hope for someone. I'm there to inspire other young people that they can do this too.

In a demographic that is primarily middle-aged men I am a rarity in the biking community. But I want to show people that it's ok to do something you enjoy no matter how silly you look or how much your muscles will ache while doing it. It is no easy task, it takes strength, endurance, and heart. It is just you and the road out there for miles. You get to see parts of the country that you would never have seen and for that I am thankful.

This was my 3rd year riding with Bike MS and it wasn't easy. When cars honk at you and startle you to the point where you almost fall off of your bike, or when cars cut you off because they are getting impatient with you. There were points in which the wind was pushing us back so much it felt like we were biking backwards. Going up those huge bridges to cross into the shore towns you just wanna quit because it hurts so much and one wrong move means you are on the ground praying that a car doesn't run you over. But it isn't a daily pain like MS, it is a temporary short pain that in reality you can handle.

Biking on the side of a highway or some backroads in the country isn't always the safest and you must be very aware of your surroundings. We work as a team even if we do not know each other. The people in the front slow down at intersections to check and see if it is all clear. The people in the back warn us about cars coming up behind us. we all work together for no one can get through these rides alone.

If you do not know what MS is, take a look at this video:


So why do I continue to do Bike MS? Because I can!

What are you doing to help those around you? You never know how much you can impact other people's lives to make the world a better place until you get out and try.

Cover Image Credit: Kelsey Hoffman

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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UFC 241: Showtime For Nate Diaz

The Long-Awaited Grudge Match Has Been Made

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Former UFC Lightweight Champion and Former WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis gets himself an opponent he has been waiting for since he was sitting at the throne in the UFC's Lightweight division. Coming off of a knockout of the year candidate after he knocked out top welterweight contender Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson with a flying superman hook is booked in a fight that could very well be the fight of the year. It was announced that the returning Nate Diaz will meet Anthony "Showtime" Pettis in the Co-Main Event slot at UFC 241 in the welterweight division.

The long-awaited return of Nate Diaz is finally here after he was originally supposed to make his octagon return back at UFC 230 when he was expected to face the now interim UFC Lightweight Champion Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier, but that fell through after Dustin suffered a hip injury. After that, there was no news of any kind of return aside from Dana White saying the Diaz Brothers turn down fights.

On Ariel Helwani's mix martial arts show he had Anthony "Showtime" Pettis as a guest as Anthony really broke down how much he is looking forward to this fight. He also detailed how he will already be heading into fight camp even though the fight is on August 17th because that is how much he wants to knock out Nate Diaz. There always have been some kind of dispute between these 2 fighters so it will be interesting to see what would be said at the press conference if the UFC decides to hold on for UFC 241.

Since entering the UFC Anthony "Showtime" Pettis has stacked up 8 fight bonuses with the amazing performances he continues to put on. The former UFC Lightweight champion also has 9 wins in the organization with wins over huge names like Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Charles Oliveria, Jeremy Stephens, and now since entering the welterweight division former title challenger Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson. Anthony "Showtime" Pettis is looking to become a serious title contender in the UFC 170 pound division as he will meet the huge obstacle that is Stockton, California's own Nate Diaz.

Many were unclear and speculated if Nate Diaz was going to return. Including, who his potential opponent would be. Everyone was under the assumption that the only way that Nate Diaz would make his return to the octagon would be that 3rd fight with "The Notorious" Conor Mcgregor. Nate Diaz who become the first person to finish Conor Mcgregor in the UFC is also coming off of a loss to Conor Mcgregor in their rematch leaving both of them with 1 win and 1 loss against one another. It was even shocking when the UFC announced last year that Nate was gonna return against Dustin in the lightweight division.

At UFC 241 Nate Diaz will be returning to the welterweight division is a bout that will be huge as the main event is the rematch between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic and the current UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel "D.C." Cormier in a rematch that has been way too far overdue.

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