As you may have noticed, I do a lot with Wounded Warrior Project. The truth is, this organization has been instrumental in my growth and an ally in my battle with PTSD. As much as I enjoy time with my civilian friends, nothing compares to the natural bond that can exist among Veterans. There’s always a deep-seated understanding. Those who want to chat, chat, while those who prefer to observe in silence can do so without being intruded upon.
One of my adventures with Wounded Warrior Project was a bicycling event called Soldier Ride. I cycle for fun but have never been one to bike long distances, so I was a bit nervous I wouldn’t make it. However, with other Wounded Warriors around, failing is not an option. Staff members like Carlos, Michelle, and Lorinda make sure you are outfitted with the necessary equipment to make your ride possible. We had Trek bikes; some were upright and some were recumbent.
The first day of the event involved getting our gear, being outfitted for our bikes, and getting to know one another while competing in a guacamole/salsa contest. We started out early the second day and the bus took us to Bulverde for our first 14-mile bike ride. The hills were challenging, but not impossible. Every safety precaution imaginable is taken and never did I feel afraid. The Bulverde Police Department was on hand to ensure everyone’s safety as well.
Later that afternoon we headed over to the Wounded Warrior Project offices just off I-10 in San Antonio. We were all given rollers and instructed in how to use them. I can honestly say it worked because I was not sore at all the next day. We capped the night off at Top Golf for dinner and friendly competition.
The next morning, we left early again and headed to Tour de Gruene. This time I was more nervous. There were a lot of cyclists and you could tell some were very experienced. None-the-less, I took off. We met up at the halfway mark for photos, snacks, and drinks before we headed back. The ride was beautiful; the tour took us along fall colored trees and lovely scenes of the river. Some of our group completed 14 miles while others opted for 28. Once we were all back, we had lunch, loaded up, and went to McAdoo’s for dinner.
I made some good friends from this event. Some of us went on to keep in touch and actively make efforts to get together for the holidays outside of Wounded Warrior events.