Just When I Think I Figured Live for 175 Out, This Happens
Live for 175 the annual child abuse awareness event is wrapping up its fifth day. Every year I've been a part of it, there have been different vibes/feelings. It usually starts off slow, then steadily builds throughout the week. This year was no different. Sure the bikes were full throughout the weekend. Stories were shared, pictures were taken, but something seemed different. Honestly, I wasn't feeling the heart that I've come to expect to feel. Maybe doing five years of the bikes had become mundane. Maybe the staff wasn't as passionate as in years past. I don't know what it was, but it was just like a bad taste and I thought it was the beginning of the end for Live for 175.
That all changed today when I realized once again why we are out here doing this. Sure, bringing awareness to child abuse it the main goal but this year there's more. This is the first year I've realized families, groups, and organizations have been participating for multiple years. It's a fact I've known but never really realized. I have seen kids grow into teenagers and teenagers into adults. Many of the riders have gotten to know each other outside the event. This event has a history. That's powerful, even therapeutic.
It's not Keke, myself, or even KISS FM that does Live for 175; it's truly the community of riders that come down to pedal. I feel like if KISS FM decided not to continue, the event would. It's that strong. So this year is a realization and understanding for me of what we build over the past 11 years and in some respects how it's changed. It's not "that thing" KISS FM does for kids anymore, we don't own it. The riders own it.