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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Ride is Over

While I was on the ride, I posted at the Team #5 blog spot at givetolive.ca Hope you will visit... there are pics, blogs and lots of video... here is my last post...

Notes to the Future

*There are few things that can happen, that can be rolled up into about fifteen days (that’s about 1/1,500 of my present life) that...I could imagine would have the impact of these days with my new friends (for the rest of my life). Certainly, with the exception of my marriage to Lynnda, and my own experiences with cancer and open heart surgery, nothing in my past has had such an impact.

At the same time, this was the hardest thing I have done physically, and the easiest thing mentally. There were days where my legs didn’t want to go, where my body argued… but my mind didn’t even consider alternatives to riding. Yes, there were two times when my body “couldn’t” climb, but my mind made me get back on the bike and finish the day after a rest… and why was this?

It was, in many ways, because of the people we met along the way. There was Dawn in Idaho who’s husband Dick had died the day before (esophageal cancer) we met her in her home. We all hugged while Dawn signed our Canadian Flag, then we all cried, laughed, remembered and realized why we raised money and why we had to do something hard. There was the Post Master in Ellington, NM who stamped the flag with a date and time, and reminisced about his wife who had passed a few months previous (stomach cancer)… reduced to tears. There was the Grand Tetons National Parks Police officer Donna (I think) who signed the flag and sent in a large donation, who talked about her best friend who has terminal metastatic brain cancer… and there were hundreds more along the way… There was the partners on the road… only we know how close it gets after two weeks of riding 100km+ per day… day after day. Then getting into the van and driving to the rest-stop to break out the sleeping mats or cots. Getting to sleep in a large auditorium or church at around mid-night, only to have a lights on at 5:30AM and start it all again… trudging to a common shower, finding a sink to brush and wash in… quickly, since someone was waiting… we became like zombies some times. Maybe it was the stories that were persistently relayed to us in the morning or evening… written and or told by the people who lived them. There was a day we rode with Chris McDougall who lost his son Charlie to this disease several years ago… his story related to us by Todd McDonald, the organizer of the whole program at givetolive, with his partner in life, Ashley Ward. I even told a little of my story which has a great out come… except when you count Lynnda’s and my 14 family members who have died from cancer in our lifetimes.

What ever the reasons, we all rode… we all finished… together! We finished with our noses into a stiff Texas wind for the last two days… harder than any of the mountains that we climbed. There are pictures and videos that prove it… but these are not even close to the memories that we can reach back for… they unleash themselves in mind gusts, like the Texas wind, that blew through our brains to remind us of what we accomplished… what is left to do… and the quandary of why it is that we have to do it. I will be back… I didn’t think so, but I will. I hope many others will be too. We have to fight this cancer… we have to change the world who’s leaders would have us believe that they are doing all they can… but we know they aren’t. There are eight million (8,000,000) people that will die this year in the developed world… from cancer! There are twenty-three million (23,000,000) people fighting cancer as I write this missive from my wind blown mind. How does this compare to the rational for each of the wars the world has fought over the century… I thought so… it doesn't! It dwarfs even the strongest rationalizations!

Our mantra should become… MAKE WAR ON CANCER… not people.

Blueknowser

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Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!