That should have been the title of my last post but I pushed “publish” too soon.
I apologize for having forgotten to extend my thanks to Adam Hanin in yesterday’s “Relief and Overwhelming Gratitude” post yesterday.
If it weren’t for Adam, Nick’s Masonic brother, I couldn’t have blogged during this adventure because this site wouldn’t exist if he hadn’t created and designed it as his contribution to Laura’s Ride 2016. Thank you Adam!
I have been asked how I feel about having completed our ride. I will try to answer that.
First, I am of course pleased that I accomplished what I set out to do. It also felt good knowing that now our energy can be focused on returning home and that means getting to see family, pets and friends that I have missed over the past couple of months.
In some ways, however, the “excitement” was/is somewhat muted. The best analogy I can draw is from my professional career. When I actually take a case to trial, virtually all of my thoughts and energy are focused on the trial, which becomes my whole world, and on winning. My experience has been that the high of winning is not nearly as high as is the low of losing, mostly because my expectation is that I am supposed to win so that the major feeling is one of relief when I do.
In many ways, finishing the ride was the same. For 2 months (really for a bit longer than that because it started before we started riding), my focus was on the ride and on completing it. Once we set out to ride across the country, there could be no satisfactory alternative to finishing the ride; that was what we were supposed to do and it is what I expected to do. So finishing just accomplished what I had expected and what we were supposed to do. While it feels good to have done it, it doesn’t approach the low I would have experienced if I hadn’t. In many ways, rather than excitement, I had a feeling of relief, relief that I had done what I set out to do and that I hadn’t proven those of you who said we could do it to be wrong.
However, my main feeling, which started before the end of our ride, is one of great gratitude. I know that a number of things had to come together for me to be able to take this adventure and I am thankful for all of them.
I know that I am extremely fortunate to be healthy enough to have been able to even consider this at my age. I have thought of friends who have given up riding because of heart problems or whose riding has been curtailed by injuries, even if just temporarily. The gratitude for still being healthy at my age was reinforced today when I tried to call one of my 2 best high school friends when we were driving through the part of the country he had moved to. I was concerned when the voice that answered wasn’t his and that fear was confirmed when I was told that Larry had died this past February. We were virtually the same age. I know that my health is largely a matter of luck and I appreciate my good fortune.
I am also thankful that my conditioning was such that I believed I could make this ride. While that is largely a function of my training, even that was helped tremendously by those I ride with because their normal rides are rigorous enough that I didn’t even increase my miles in anticipation of this ride.
I also know that I am very fortunate to have the time and resources to do this ride. More than 2 months away from home is a long time and 2 months of travel expenses isn’t insignificant. Both are the result of years of good fortune and not everyone would have the same opportunity.
Having the right significant other was also essential. Sandi provided the understanding and support that was necessary. While some could say that having me gone for 2 months was to her benefit, it did place burdens on her and not once did she complain. To the contrary, she supported my effort from its inception through the completion. Thank you, Sandi!
I am also thankful that I selected the right riding partner. Nick was equally determined to finish this ride and that was important. While I would like to think I would have finished alone if necessary, I know that the entire ride was easier because I had his company. Thank you, Nick
Of course this ride wouldn’t have been possible without our drivers, Alejandra and Sarah. Not only did they drive the SAG, but they made most of our room arrangements, unloaded the truck every evening and reloaded it in the morning, kept track of our receipts, did laundry, went shopping for us and gave us massages when we asked. Thank you to both of you.
I am also grateful for the support many of you have given us. The support ranges from donating to our cause to commenting about our posts, from congratulating us on our efforts to encouraging us to keep on pedaling.
So, this ride has given me much to be grateful for. THANK YOU!!!
(From Kansas City)