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Here we are again and some still might be wondering how and why I, MISTRESS NATALIE, am riding a bike at all, let alone fundraising and setting out for this grueling, hilly 55 mile ride. If this was a year ago I’m sure most would say, “Natalie cycling, ha, you MUST have the wrong girl!  Biking does not include stilettos, tattoos, swinging from meat hooks, pink hair dye or candy and does involve being OUTSIDE in the SUN.  You must mean a different Natalie” That would have been a very valid response.
I am the slave driver after all, forcing my obedient pets to pamper me, worship me, and work for me. In all honesty I would like to harness my slaves to a string of bikes, climb into my chariot and crack the whip forcing them to pedal harder, faster, harder, faster, laughing the whole time (but I’ll save that for another day.) But others may have seen the transformation over the past year and know that I am now able to put down the whip (TEMPORARILY) and do the hard work myself. Obviously this must be an extraordinary situation, and it is.  “Having multiple sclerosis means that you may not be able to walk when you wake up. Or that you may suddenly have impaired vision. Or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason. The symptoms of MS are different for everyone – the only certainty is that it will affect yet another person every hour of every day.” I think that is all the reason I need.
For those who don’t know I will briefly explain why I got on a bike for the first time in 25 years.  I suffered a serious injury, the worst and ever had, about two years ago and could no longer participate in my favorite physical activity of pole dace. Through the encouragement of a great friend to get me on a bike (an activity approved by my doctors) and who’s mother passed away MS I started investigating this new activity.  In theory this would be a great option, but there were a few obstacles, first was the whole outdoor/park thing -I’m so not a fan, then there was the not being on a bike  for about 25 years thing and oh yes lets not forget my totally debilitating completely irrational fear of falling, yeah that was a big one.
I must admit I do love a challenge and using this to help get over my fear of falling was looking more and more like something I just HAD TO DO.  While mulling over this crazy notion I couldn’t get out of my head my friend’s motivation for biking.  He told me his drive to pursue biking with such ardor was driven by watching the loss of his mother’s mobility and eventually life from MS.  His passion and motivation was inspirational. Faced with challenges due to my injury I felt more connected than evhttp://mistressnatalie.com/wp-admin/post-new.phper to his situation and made me hold tight to my rehab motto…at least my legs still work… I was not going to take them for granted.
So the seeds were planted, the challenge defined, I was going to ride a bike. And ride I did.  Last year’s “Project Biking” was an utterly transformative experience and it culminated in doing the Southern NY Bike MS ride raising $5065.  I will forgo the grueling details of the ride as I really don’t want to think about what I’m going to me putting myself through in just over a month but what I will share is the most wonderful feeling of finishing the ride surround by those with MS cheering and clapping for you.  It changed me in such a profound way that I was determined to continue biking and of course ride for MS again.
I have spent the summer training with my Naziesque (takes one to know one) bike coach and practicing with my riding partner.  I already accomplished a personal biking goal this year of completing my first century (100 mile) ride and now am preparing for the last big event of the season.  I do like to save the best for last.
Now that I have been all nicey nice and let you see the human side to me don’t think for one second YOU are getting off easy.  Your work is about to start right now- YOU MUST DONATE.  This is MANDATORY, No excuses, disappointing me is not an option. As soon as you are done reading this I command you donate immediately.  I’ll know if you don’t!