Winter has arrived in south central Pennsylvania. The earth is resting and relaxing in anticipation of the upcoming spring. We too take this time of year to relax a bit; to reconnect with family and friends; to begin building our stores of energy for the upcoming spring. As you know so well, spring is a very important season for RFTW. Your Board of Directors is ready, willing, and able to move forward. Is it May yet?
When I relax, I often like to do a bit of reflective thinking. My thoughts often come around to RFTW and the Mission; to those who contribute so much and those who have given so much. I think of resilience, dedication, commitment. I think of how those words describe the volunteers who make RFTW what it is.
Resilience – I remember being out staging the pack one cold morning in Angel Fire, NM. It was dark, around 20 something degrees, and we were getting ready to ride through a mountain pass above 8000 feet in elevation. I was cold and feeling a bit of self-pity. Then I caught myself thinking of those who are still unaccounted for, who may still be a prisoner of a foreign government. Those who would probably give anything to trade places with me. Suddenly, I realized I didn’t have it so bad. I looked around and saw the Road Guards working, the Staging Team working, leadership meeting, all so we could carry our message across this wonderful nation of ours. Resilience – determined to carry-on despite conditions or circumstances that mere mortals would shirk from. We are resilient!!
Dedication – I often say a silent thank-you for the dedication of the many, many people who really make the Run happen. Our state coordinators work so many hours, drive so many miles, meet with so many people to ensure the riders have food, fuel, and a warm place to sleep. Our route leadership teams meet countless times, pour over a myriad of details to ensure Mission success. All this so that our riders can carry the message across the nation. Dedicated to the Mission, our philosophy, and to achieving our goals. I am thankful for their dedication and feel a sense of comfort knowing we will succeed because of their efforts. We are dedicated!!
Commitment – I think of our riders, the people who truly execute our Mission. I think of the countless acts of silent heroism many have made so that we could be where we are today. The danger so many have faced so bravely. The continued determination to ensure our message is heard, despite age issues, health issues, perhaps even family and job issues. Many of our riders and volunteers spend vacation time away from family and jobs to ensure the success of our Mission. Many of us may not be as young as we once were, but WE ARE COMMITTED!!
We came off two years of COVID restrictions and pulled off RFTW 2022 because of the resilience, dedication, and commitment of all involved. I ask that in this holiday season, regardless of whatever your beliefs are, that you too take a moment and reflect on the Mission, on healing, on our philosophy. Let us be determined to make RFTW XXXIII even better than previous Runs.
WE RIDE FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T
If you haven’t yet registered, I encourage you to click here do so!!
If you haven’t yet finished your holiday shopping, I encourage you to click here and help yourself and RFTW.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all. I hope you and yours have a peaceful, fulfilling, and gentle holiday season.
IS IT MAY YET?
John “Turkey” Staub
Acting President, RFTW, Inc.
2011- CR FNG
2012 – CR Participant
2013 – CR Staging Team
2014 – 2015 – CR Staging Team Ass’t. Lead
2016-2017 – CR Staging Team Lead
2022 – CR Platoon Coordinator
2020 – Present – RFTW BoD member
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