In the summer of 2021, I had the opportunity to ride my bicycle across the United States along the TransAmerica Bike Trail. It was an exhilarating and life changing experience to complete the 4,427-mile trek. The scenic views, the people met, and the life lessons (also known as my take-a-ways) made for some great memories.
I also rode to bring attention to the Lord’s Gym Ministries of the Greater Cincinnati Tri-State Area and youth addiction through our Youth Resiliency Adventure. This year, the adventure for the Lord’s Gym Youth continues using cycling to help our youth develop greater resilience and grow stronger in the Lord.
Resiliency is the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity. It is an ability that we all need to acquire and nurture. Deep purpose and values are core qualities that fuel our resiliency. At the Lord’s Gym, we rely upon the Word of God to reveal purpose and instill values. Long bike rides, laden with responsibility and fun, provide the environment to exercise the seven personal attributes of becoming more resilient.
One of my favorite experiences is to see the satisfaction on the faces of both youths and adults as they accomplish such a lofty goal by riding a great distance. Does it make a difference? Yes! I remember the experience of one young man, who was living with my wife and I at the time we made the ride to Niagara Falls. After the ride, one morning he was getting ready for school and did not feel well. I asked him if he wanted to stay home from school. To my surprise, he said – “No”! He told me it was like riding to Niagara Falls. I was shocked. Explain what you mean I asked him. He reminded me it was like mid-week of the journey. You are tired and sore, but you aren’t going to get there unless you get back on the bike and keep pedaling. Exactly.
Please feel free to contact me at SBowers@LordsGymMinistries.org, if you have any questions, would like to donate equipment or resources, volunteer, or be part of this (or other) youth programming at Lord’s Gym Ministries.
P.S. To learn more about the work being done at Lord’s Gym Ministries, please visit our home page and check out our introductory video.