Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Shannon Cunningham Rides [a "How are you healthy?" special feature]

Does riding 200-miles in two-days make you a healthier person? Perhaps. Does riding 200-miles in two-days to improve someone else’s life make you a healthier person? Maybe. Health is so much more than physical. Mental, spiritual, and emotional health is a part of staying “healthy”.  The choices we make in our lives contribute to the overall health and happiness we experience. Below is one of several stories from participants of an annual event called the Ride for AIDS Chicago. The Ride for AIDS Chicago is a two-day, 200-mile charity cycling event that raises money for Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN) and partner agencies. TPAN and the partner agencies that benefit from the Ride for AIDS Chicago provide direct service to those living with HIV and help prevent the spread of the virus through information dissemination, HIV testing, and education.
Why I ride? Great question.

If you asked me ”why I ride” when I signed up in January, I would have said that I’m committed to being a better steward to my community.

If you asked me”why I ride” when I got my first donation, I would have said, because I can make a difference $25 at a time.

If you asked me ”why I ride” when I got to know the great people of TPAN I would have said, because this organization is amazing and I want to help make a difference.

If you asked me ”why I ride” when I when I went to my first PFLAG meeting and got to listen to Richard speak, I would have said, “For you, Richard.”

If you asked my “why I ride” after this past Sunday, I would have say, “I ride because I’ve come to the realization this Cause needs me as much I need this Cause. “ I needed support on the course after a fall and suddenly felt an overwhelming sense that my fall somehow equated to me being a burden as a result of my own actions.

Then it hit me: I wonder how many diagnosed with HIV/AIDS feel like a burden? How can I help change that?

This is more than just a physical challenge of the Ride, or the financial commitment to raise money.

I want to help change the way people see themselves and help guide them to their own greatness.

That’s why I ride today.

-- Shannon Cunningham

How are you healthy?
Please join the hundreds who have shared their tips.

Tell us HERE. Send a pic to the same place.
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Gay men and all allies welcome to participate.

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