Shifting Gears: Runner to Cycle Cross-Country for American Lung Association
Elizabeth Schreiber of Shaker Heights, Ohio is another of the 18 riders in the group.
Editors notes: Larissa Powers will be meeting up with another rider Sarah Briskin, recent Brandeis University graduate from Boston and the two will be flying out Friday afternoon for Seattle. Still another rider, Elizabeth Schreiber of Shaker Heights, OH will be joining up for the ride. She is from Shaker Heights, Ohio and blogs her riding experiences on the Beachwood, Ohio Patch. Here's her story.
She’s not an avid cyclist – at least not yet. But she's decided to take a 3,300-mile bicycle ride this summer to raise $6,500 for the American Lung Association.
She would have some free time this summer, Elizabeth Schreiber said. And why not, right?
“Getting two months off from your life is never going to happen,” she said. “Most people can’t get seven weeks off. I didn’t want August to roll around and think, I could have done that.”
“That” is a pretty good-sized bike ride – in fact, it's called The Big Ride: from Seattle to Washington, DC from June 18 to Aug. 5.
Most of the money – nearly $4,000 – will go directly to the Lung Association, while the rest will pay for food, support services and camping for the cyclists to raise awareness across the country during their ride.
Schreiber is one of 18 riders from across the country taking the 49-day journey.
After earning a bachelor’s in anthropology from the University of Vermont, she returned to the Cleveland area and has worked in her other passion – food – for a few years.
Now the Shaker Heights native works at Beachwood’s Cleveland Yoga – and trains, of course, “as much as possible:” spinning classes when it's cold, long bicycle rides when it's not.
Recently she decided to go back to school, and she signed up for The Big Ride within days of getting her acceptance letter to Ursuline College’s accelerated nursing program.
Her friend’s father died recently, she said, and her attitude after his death inspired Schreiber to leap.
“I didn’t want to regret anything,” she said. “You have to take the opportunity if you have it. You can’t pass anything up.”
But it’s not the first time she has leapt.
A Runner, But Not a Cyclist
A field hockey player in high school, Schreiber has always been athletic. She started running after college, first alone, then in a running group, then with just one partner.
She said she never thought she would run 10 miles – until she did. And the miles kept racking up.
“It’s a very euphoric feeling once you kind of drop out of your head,” she said.
Last summer, she ran a 31-mile ultramarathon on the Buckeye Trail.
“It’s all about telling yourself you can do it," she said, "even if you think you can’t.”
Schreiber said she was sure Cleveland Yoga would support her undertaking. She was right.
"The people there are so dedicated to what they do so I figured that if I put a cause behind it they would support it. It’s a great community for it."
The studio is offering classes this Friday and Saturday and asking for a donation to Schreiber's fund for payment.
The Mandel JCC also has given Schreiber free and discounted access to their facilities.
These cyclists will ride 80 miles to more than 100 miles a day, six days a week, for seven weeks, and Schreiber said she hopes the cause will help her get through.
“Doing it for something greater then yourself— the impact is going to be huge. It’s a very personal thing, but at the same time, it’s not about me,” said Schreiber.
“A lot of the running is so ego-based and it gets so old,” she said. “This is a team effort and you literally have to support each other.”
She hopes this will be the beginning of a shift of gears in her life – one from her career to a future one, from races to causes, and for something more personal.
“I think when you go to school and you make big life changes, you carry a lot of crap, and I think I just want to kind of get rid of it all,” she said. “Shed some layers.”
But don't think she's not a little intimidated.
“It’s terrifying," she said. "But I think if you weren’t scared, then why would you be doing it? This is my time to do this.”
How You Can Help
Cleveland Yoga’s teacher trainees are donating classes for Schreiber this Friday and Saturday – during four classes, they will take donations Shreiber's ride with the ALA for payment.
Schreiber will be blogging on Beachwood Patch about her preparation and fundraising for the trip. Read her first blog — Genesis on Two Wheels — and leave her some encouragement in the comments!
You can donate directly to her fund by clicking here.
Could you see yourself biking across the country like Schreiber? Tell us in the comments!
Editor's Note: Earlier, this story incorrectly stated Schreiber played lacrosse in high school.