Many of my close friends and coworkers know that I’m doing the 24 Hours of Booty ride again this year. While I didn’t train as hard as I did last year for this event, I know that I am physically ready.
As physically challenging as this ride is, a lot of people fail to realize how MENTALLY challenging it can be as well.
24 STRAIGHT HOURS of riding. It’s a 3-mile loop. It gets redundant after a while. REALLY redundant.
Fortunately, there are 1,200 other riders on the course and that’s where the fun lies. I will meet so many interesting people along the route tonight and tomorrow.
Some of them will be cancer survivors.
I really love to hear their stories of overcoming this horrible disease. These survivors have such a zest for life. They look at things in life differently than most folks do. They don’t take things for granted, and they relish in the little things in life. It’s a philosophy that I find inspiring.
As the night (and mileage) unfolds here tonight, and I start to fade a bit, it’s these conversations with the other cyclists that will keep me from quitting.
My Uncle Bill passed away from cancer the day before I did the 2008 Booty ride. He was on my mind quite a bit during that ride.
Last year, my sister and my mom who both battled cancer and survived, were on my mind during the ride.
As I start to get older, I seem to know more and more folks that have either battled cancer and survived, or they battled cancer courageously, but lost.
My wife has an Aunt that battled breast cancer (and won.) Her Grandmother also battled breast cancer.
As I shared my enthusiasm of once again participating in this 24-hour “marathon” of riding, my friends and coworkers look at me like I’m crazy. They ask me how I can possibly sit and pedal on a bike for so long?
EVERY TIME I think about quitting and getting off the bike and calling it a day, I think of all the people I know who had NO CHOICE when it came to battling cancer. They HAD to endure chemo and radiation and the pain, discomfort and side effects that go along with that treatment. MONTHS and MONTHS of this. Day in and day out. It has to be excruciating both physically and mentally.
Me? All I have to do is ride a bike. I LOVE riding bikes. I’m good at riding bikes. Yes, it does become physically challenging to ride over 200 miles in one day, but I’m sure the pain I endure (mental and physical) PALES in comparison to what a cancer victim goes through.
That’s what keeps me pedaling. Plain and simple.
Yeah, I’m in pain, but I’m sure having cancer sucks WAY MORE than riding a bike.
Here’s to over 200 miles tonight!