Courage. In Spandex. On Two Wheels.

By Erin Bodine

Wednesday, Sep 14 2016

Jessa 2016 Courage Classic

At the 27th Courage Classic bike tour, more than 1,500 riders – including roughly 100 kids – came together at Copper Mountain to raise money for Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Examples of courage were everywhere.

At every bend in the road.

With each turn of a wheel.

In the tears and determination and smiles on the faces of riders and their supporters.

So what does courage look like, when it’s clad in spandex, on two wheels and gearing up to reach the peak of yet another mountain pass?

This. This is what courage looks like.

Courage is…pedaling forward against all odds.

From cancer to genetic metabolic disorders, from strokes to open heart surgeries, the former and current patients of Children’s Colorado and their families who ride in this event have been through so much – and continue to rise to new physical challenges. They pedal forward not just because they can – for many of them, a feat in and of itself – but also because they want to give back.

Courage is…showing gratitude after you’ve summited literal and figurative mountains.

At the top of Vail Pass, several childhood cancer survivors, including Jessa, who is pictured here, pause to refuel. As oncology patients, these young adults have overcome many hurdles in their lives before even reaching these mountain passes. Yet even as they add one more impressive accomplishment to their lives, they turn their attention to others, thanking volunteers and everyone cheering them on, rather than focus on the obstacles that they have endured and conquered.

Courage is…celebrating the triumphs and perseverance of the human spirit.

The atmosphere at Courage Classic is hopeful. Electric. Inspiring. One can’t help but get swept up by the excitement of it all. Team Courage, a group of cyclists made up of current and former patients and their caregivers, crosses the finish line together, and many spectators are overcome with emotion. We celebrate their milestones – and their indomitable spirits.

Courage is…welcoming the breathtaking beauty – and challenges - of Mother Nature in the Rocky Mountains.

At Courage Classic, riders battle the elements amid Colorado’s majestic, awe-inspiring scenery. On their journeys to health and healing, kids at Children’s Colorado experience moments of heartache and moments of joy. They travel a road that is both difficult and life-affirming. Surrounded by Mother Nature in all her glory, the setting for this tour only adds to the amazement at what our patients achieve as they embrace life outside our hospital walls.

Courage is…reaching the finish line only to start again.

Over the course of this two-day cycling event, riders start and end their journeys in Copper Village, crossing the finish line the first day, only to start again the second day at the same place they began. Just like these riders, many of the courageous kids at Children’s Colorado fight every day or have a health challenge return. Courage Classic demonstrates that all of us working together have the power to change lives and transform children’s health. And with each new day, there is hope for a cure, a better treatment, and a future where all children can lead full and healthy lives.

Comments

I know this writer Erin Bodine. She suffered a very serious accident and lost a kidney playing high school basketball. Erin almost died from loss of blood, but came back with a vengance and again ran with her track team that were state champions for five years. No one is more qualified to write about courage in the face of adversity than Erin Bodine. Her dad loves her.
Posted by Kadizzle on September 15, 2016

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