Thursday, September 5, 2013

One Last Hoorah!

Well Hello Everybody!!

Long time, no post!

     I hope that you are doing well as you read this. I am currently sitting in the library during study hall with all my teammates. Let me catch you up.

     Since the end of the bike trip, I have begun my freshman year here at Anderson University. For those of you who don’t know, this is a small, Christian university of just over 3,000 students. I am running Cross Country and Track here in the NCAA, Division II, part of the South Atlantic Conference (SAC). I am in my third week of school here, and I absolutely love it. I am enjoying my classes, for the most part, and am enjoying meeting new people and all that comes with the college experience. I am about to run my first 8K (5 miles) in a college race, tomorrow afternoon at 7 in a meet called Eye Opener in Spartanburg, SC. Being part of the team has been a great experience, I think it has made the transition into college a lot easier. The built in regiment and friend group are great to have. I am currently undecided in my major, but hope to have one declared by the end of this semester, or at least by the end of freshman year. We shall see how God directs that. 

    As for the bike trip ending. Man, I still don’t understand all that happened. I haven’t had time to process the trip. Basically, I put my bike in the ocean, came home, tried to cram in a whole summers worth of seeing people, moved into college, and have been in a whirlwind of activity since I arrived (That’s why it has taken me so long to write this). All good things, but that leaves little time to process and understand all that went into the trip or any lessons I learned. When people ask me about the trip, I have done my best to describe it to them, but it is so hard condensing a 60 day, cross country bike trip, into one or two sentences. The closest I can come is, “It was a great trip, really hard, but really rewarding. I got to see things I would never have gotten to see any other way, and it was a great way for me to spend my summer.” Beyond that, I have to resort to specific examples of what happened on the trip to try to convey what the trip was like. I love telling people about it, but I’m sorry, the only way that you will understand fully is to do it yourself. Pictures help, but they cannot even come close to comparing to the majesty of God’s creation and being there in person. Stories help, but it’s not the same as being there in person. With this blog, I hope to encourage yall to get out and do SOMETHING! It doesn’t have to be biking across the country. It can be going on a weekend hike somewhere you’ve never been, going skiing, camping, anything that gets you outdoors and in nature. It’s a great thing to be so lost in creation that you can’t receive a text message or read an email, nor do you want to do either of those. Listening to the quietness without distraction. The only way to experience it is in person. Not through a movie, and not through me. Go out and do something that you enjoy with someone you enjoy. 

     Thank you to everyone that has followed us, and supported us with homes to stay at, meals prepared or paid for, rides given when bikes broke, water given, donations given to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and prayers lifted as we trekked across the USA. But really, I would like to make a special emphasis on thanking all of yall that have donated financially to help the Foundation. We are less than $3,000 away from reaching our $10,000 goal. This organization has done and is doing tremendous things to help those with seeing problems like my dad. My dad has been such a role model, and I hope, just this little bit that we raise can do something to show how thankful we are to who he is and how he’s been there for us, encouraging us, guiding us. Thank you Dad.
As for any future plans, I can tell you this. If I ever even think about doing a similar trip again, it will be a while. Other than riding my bike around campus (which is only 1 mile around, I mostly use it to get to practice which is a little over half a mile away) I have not ridden my bike. My current plans are to do my best in Cross Country, do my best in school, make good friends this first year of college, and continue to pursue Christ in all I do.

     And as I wrap up this last post, and bring the trip to an official end for me, once again, thank you to everyone for following us, and please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments about the blog, the trip, or something else. 

With Sincere Love and Gratitude,

Thomas Garrigan



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