I believe we're all in search of inspiration. We look for it in books we read, movies we watch and in the lives of those rare people we are fortunate to meet. With many notable exceptions, we often accept their exploits, while dismissing the possibility we could do something others would see as inspiring.
I have met many people who have ridden across America. However, I had not met anyone who had written a book about their experience and the "why" behind their decision. In 2014, Tracy Draper fulfilled her more than eight year dream of making the epic ride and afterward described her experience in her book, Live It. I met her at the Horrible Hundred this November and had a chance to talk about her story.
The idea was given to her by a friend who had successfully made the trip. What stuck with Tracy was the statement her friend made that "if I can do it, anyone can" since she was not particularly athletic. When she first dreamed of making the trip, Tracy was in her 40's and was hardly an experienced cyclist. As she took the sport more seriously the idea of the trip crystallized into an inspiring goal.
Not everyone has the burning desire to ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Still, we all have those quiet dreams we would love to knock off "one day." Some refer to their dreams as their "bucket list." Tracy turns this notion on its head and urges us to create our "live it" list and work to make each entry come true. Why put these goals off towards what we may believe is the end of our lives? She urges us to dream big today and take action to accomplish those dreams while they are still possible for us.
If bicycling across America is something you would put on your "live it" list, Tracy’s book is a terrific place to start. She encourages readers to think about their purpose or why. Tracy and her team chose to raise money for Hope for the Warriors and successfully raised tens of thousands of dollars. She also describes how she selected her team and all the support, planning and equipment required. Tracy shares her ups and downs, the tremendous highs as well as the unexpected and unplanned adventures they encountered. The goodness of the people they met was heartwarming. Her daily log of each segment during their five week trip gives a real perspective of what each was like.
She has included fantastic inspiring quotes throughout. One of my favorites:
"You have to dream before your dreams can come true" (A.P.J. Abdul Kalam)
Tracy lives in Mount Dora where she trains cyclists and athletes. She said the ride gave her the desire to continue dreaming. I hope you share that desire as well. To get a signed copy of her book, go to her website www.TrainingWithTracy.net