Ride Don't Hide 2019
Ride Don’t Hide Awareness Ride
Thank You to All the Sponsors
Thank you to all those who supported me on my ride! Your donation will help CMHA bring mental illness out into the open and support mental health programs for those who need it. You helped me raise a total of $1150 which surpassed my goal of $1000. Everyone who donated should be proud of themselves for contributing to such a great cause!
I want to give a special thank you to my friend for supporting me and my mental illness and riding with me! We did the 105km which was no easy feat for me. Together we raised a total of $2560. This is just amazing and warms my heart. This is something that was very personal to me, as you most of you know I suffer from anxiety. I am very grateful for anyone who supported us on this ride to help me bring awareness to mental health.
The 105km was a challenging ride. The last 25km was difficult because I was feeling the fatigue, had some pain, and there was really long hills. Throughout the ride I just kept thinking about all the support everyone has given me and what I have accomplished over the past few months. I usually ride the pathways and highways near my area which are mostly flat and only had a few weeks to prepare for this after doing the marathon. This ride had an elevation gain of over 900m. We rode from Springbank into the Kananaskis. The views in the mounts were amazing!
I picked up the rider kit the Friday before the ride. The kit included a free t-shirt, some snacks, coupons, and other things from the sponsors. Since I raised over $1000 I also got a cycling jersey. But knowing me, I always have to have things that are perfect. I was given a size small t-shirt and a medium jersey. Both seemed a bit big. Always wanting to have everything proper I needed to get the right size. I get so worked up about things like this. I don’t know if it is my anxiety or just me being a perfectionist and having everything exactly as it should be.
I checked the morning of the ride if they had the size I needed, of course they didn’t. I knew they probably wouldn’t have, but I tried not to let that affect me. Small things like this sometime stress me out but I did not want to worry about this during the ride. The jersey really wasn’t that big. It was just a little loose fitting but it wasn’t long.
For my ride I brought my camel bak for water and carrying my energy gels. Drinking from a camel bak is a lot easier to do than a water bottle. Especially when you are riding uphill. Just one less thing to worry about so you can focus on the riding. Only negative thing my shoulders get a bit sore from a long ride like this from carrying the camel bak.
One thing I debated was wearing a toque and mittens. Since it was a chilly morning and the possibility of rain. I didn’t end up wearing either which I was happy with. It did rain a big the first part of the ride but I felt good, just worried a bit about my tires because they are worn down and need to be changed soon. Here is a flat lay of my cycling gear I brought with me.
Why I Ride
My anxiety prevented me from expressing myself and talking about what was happening to me. I was unable to talk to my friends or family and could not ask for help either. The thought of talking to a complete stranger was overwhelming just to think about. I suffered for so long and in silence because my anxiety prevented me from being able to talk about it.
I am doing this ride for anyone who also suffers in silence. For anyone who does not have a voice for their mental illness, I will be that voice for you! I want to spread awareness that mental illnesses are all around us and that you are not alone. I ride to bring mental health out into the open and to end the stigma!
Mental Health Awareness
Although this ride is now over, there is still so much work to be done. There is still much to do about supporting those with mental illnesses and ending the stigma around it. Let’s keep talking about our mental health! Remember 1 in 5 will suffer a mental illness or addiction problem this year. But 5 in 5 of us have mental health! Let’s take care of ourselves and each other.
Thank you CMHA for bringing awareness to mental health and providing so much support for those who need it, and all the organizers, volunteers, and sponsors that helped support this ride!