Ellice Whatley Bowman

Ellice Whatley Bowman

As I enter my second year of participating in Paceline, I am discovering more and more reasons to do this every day. So many friends and loved ones have been affected by cancer, and this is my way to take part. I’m fortunate enough to have my health to be able to push myself to do something like this. I feel it is the least I can do to play my part in something that is so much bigger than just me.

Through my first year of Paceline, I learned how to be a cyclist. It was not easy, and at times I resented the challenge I selected. How could I be ready for 100 miles? During the first Paceline Ride, there was a stretch where I really wanted to call it quits. My mind was overcome with doubt that I did not think I would be able to shake. That negative voice in my head kept telling me to tap out, call sag, you’re tired and have pushed yourself enough. Everything I had been preparing for over the past few months was to complete this ride, and the thought of not being able to follow through with what I had promised was deteriorating me mentally. I approached the 70 mile rest stop and could hear the volunteers cheering. I realized as I rolled into the rest stop that I was going to finish. I realized that I had the luxury to quit, the option to take an easier path and not finish, and the temptation to do that was so profound that it woke me up. I could end the pain and exhaustion I was experiencing, but my pop pop, my nana, my friends and loved ones who have had to stare cancer in the face, they could not stop the pain, the fear, the exhaustion. They had no choice but to push on, so I knew I had to finish this bike ride. I finished the 100 miles to push through and suffer in such a comparatively small way to their experiences with cancer.

Through my first Paceline ride weekend experience, I learned to embrace the choice to suffer on a bike, and to embrace it with love. I keep riding, too. Riding a bike to me has become a symbol of freedom that I gravitate to, freedom to move, freedom from illness, freedom to take charge and make a difference. I’m grateful for that freedom and the hope it inspires through Paceline.

“O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you,
You express me better than I can express myself,
You shall be more to me than my poem.”

Ellice Whatley Bowman

Instagrammed at September 20, 2019 11:57 AM

Mark your calendars guys! I’m having a bike ride in October and you should come! The route is a loop that can be ridden however much you would like! No registration fee, but donations are accepted and encouraged! 100% of every dollar raised goes directly to life saving research and survivorship at the Georgia Cancer Center! All are welcome even if you don’t want to ride-we will have music, drinks (BEER!), food, and yard games. Come out and let’s have a good time at Biketoberfest! Sign up today! https://p2p.onecause.com/paceline-ride-2020/personal-event/biketoberfest

#jointhepaceline #curecancerfaster

Ellice Whatley Bowman