Yuliya

I appreciate all of you that have been following Bike and Brain along with the Red Schwinn project. Without this support, Bike and Brain would not be possible. Thanks to your continued support and faith, the Red Schwinn was completed on April 4. Three days later, it was presented to its new owner.

Meet Yuliya.

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“My name is Yuliya. I came to the Unites States from Kazakhstan in 2004 and have lived in Brooklyn ever since. I work with adults who have developmental and intellectual disabilities on a community inclusion initiative team. Last year I ventured on a new journey — I am now a student at the Silberman School of Social Work completing my MSW (master of social work). The experience has been great, if at times overwhelming!

To say that the life of a New Yorker is a busy one is to underestimate the craziness of daily hassles: work, school, family and friends, events, projects, responsibilities, and commuting, with coffee and food to-go in between.  Anxiety creeps in and mental breakdowns, once in a while, become part of the routine. This is an inevitable stop on the path of life. Sadly, those around us get affected as well. But it does not have to be this way. Does it?

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I think people are quite resilient and can be pretty creative in the ways they deal with stress and daily pressures. Bring on hiking, biking, climbing, and/or paddling any day! Growing up in the country, being in the nature has always kept me in the moment and given me the balance to go on with a smile on my face. I definitely miss that.

Now living in the city, I believe riding a bike can give me that sense of presence: focus on the road and the body, switch off the racing machine of the mind and feel alive, and recharge with positive energy of movement.

I look forward to making friends with my new bike, riding to work, visiting friends in my neighborhood, and exploring my community in a new “on the wheels” way. But mostly, I want to allow myself to stop, smell the roses, work my muscles, and relax my brain. I want to be the best I can be for the people I love, for those I work with and for myself. Let’s ride!”

-Yuliya

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Yuliya describes it beautifully. As a social work student working full time, Yuliya truly understands what it is like to experience stress. Yuliya’s old bike recently broke down and could not be fixed. Considering the cost of survival in NYC, fixing her bike could not be her number one priority. However, at Bike and Brain, I do not believe anything should be a barrier to riding a bicycle. Yuliya should be able to ride, relieve her stress, and live well. I am happy knowing this Red Schwinn was provided to the right person.

I look forward to following up with Yuliya in the near future to learn what the Red Schwinn has done for her. So stay tuned!

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