Monday, September 14, 2015

Thank You

Glancing down at the big cheque before the presentation photo I got choked up as soon as my eyes focused on the total amount that we had raised.  The goal was $25,000 and the amount written on the cheque was above that goal.  We had raised $29,000 for JDRF! This brings our total raised and donated to JDRF to close to $150,000 since 2007! 

When I think about this for a moment, I realize that it’s more than we paid for our house in 2002.  That is crazy!  Compared to other larger scale events like walks and family events, it’s not as much, but considering that we are a local cycling club in a small city and that the participation at all of our Cyclebetes rides has never surpassed 70 riders, including this year with 69 participants, that number becomes so much more impressive.  $150,000 donated to JDRF to support research that has literally changed lives with better treatments and certainly gotten us closer to realizing my dream for a cure in Adele’s lifetime.  Without Cyclebetes, Mike’s Bike Shop and the Mike’s Bike Shop cycling club, JDRF never have had that $150,000.  Thinking about that just blows me away. 

I appreciate receiving congratulations on the event’s success, but honestly I am but a small part of it.  It would be nothing at all without the support of everyone involved.  I understand when people affected by Type 1 Diabetes step up and volunteer time and energy in the quest for a cure, but when someone who is not affected by the disease puts in the amount of hours that some of my friends have to make this ride a success I feel really blessed to be surrounded by so many good and kind people.  I really appreciate all that you do to for JDRF.  Thank you very much. 

The ride was the most successful yet in regards to funds raised, but I am also sure that it was the best all-around with all of the food, refreshments and after-ride party as well.  I really, really enjoyed the entire day.  We made a few minor mistakes from which we will correct for next year, but for the most part, the day’s events ran quite smoothly. 

Thank you to our main sponsor, Mike’s Bike Shop, without which the ride simply could not exist.  There is no other bike shop that I know of that even comes close to everything that you have done for our charity.  Your kindness is very much appreciated.   Thank you Rick Snyder.   

Thank you to the Mike’s Bike Shop club members for all of your help.  Thank you Luc Belliveau for all your work.  I still can’t believe how many sponsors you were able to find.  And thank you for all of your hard work getting most of the food served during the day.  You are a huge part of the event’s success.  Thank you Pablo for all your work also, the many emails, phone calls, the website…etc…  And thank you for willingness and courage to sport your new Mister T look for the cause.  Your work and enthusiasm really means a lot.  Thank you Bill Goobie for the maps and for spending the day driving around at 25 km/h ensuring rider safety.  Thank you Jeff Currie for all the input during our meetings, the printable maps and directions.  Thank you Michelle Chase for marking the course, helping out during registration as well as with lunch.  Thank you Christian Charette and Melissa Bordage for your help with the feed stations.  Thank you Martin Pelletier for marking the course even during your first week back to school.  And thank you Don Ricker for all the photos.  Your photographic talent is beyond words and photos that enable all participants to relive the day is simply priceless.  Thank you. 

Thank you Janice Lirette-Evers for your amazing work of handling the money as well as setting everything up for the door prizes.  You are an invaluable part of our Cyclebetes team.  Merci beaucoup.  Thank you Mariette Roussel for helping with registration.  Thank you to all support vehicle drivers Gerry Allain, Patrick Evers, Christian Jasper, Steve Kikkert, Bruce Thorne and Sheena Lutes-Spicer.  Thank you Elmer Wade.  And thank you Jennifer Boyd, Cindy Belliveau and Johannah Bubar for taking care of all of the food and beverages.  Thank you to all that came out to help set things up Friday evening. 

Thank you to all of our sponsors which are almost too numerous to list.  Thank you Mike’s Bike Shop, Sobey’s in Dieppe, MacDonald Buick GMC, Tomlin Sports Marketing, Guy Pellerin of Giant and Arcteryx, Starbucks Dieppe, Sysco, City of Dieppe, Molson brewery, Adrien Levesque and Falstaff Media, Cape Bald Packers, Ray Cormier.  I am sure that I have missed some since there were so many who gave…  Thank you. 

Thank you to all the riders who participated and to all who donated.  I am always impressed by the efforts made to fundraise as well as on the bike during the ride.  Thank you for inspiring.  The rider smiles after the ride always make my day.  Thank you Ben Thorne for giving me the privilege to ride with you as well as for speaking to the riders reminding them why they were riding.  And last but not least, thank you to my family for all of your support. Thank you for putting up with me during the very busy week before the ride. Thank you Michele and Adele.  I really appreciate it!

 I feel very, very blessed to be surrounded by so many incredibly generous people.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you. 

I still remember the day that I learned to ride a bike as a young child.  I instantly fell in love.  Who knew that over 40 years later I would still be riding a bike, but with a much larger purpose.  Thanks for supporting me in the pursuit of this purpose. Thank you.

Friday, September 4, 2015

A new me?

September 10th will be exactly 5 months since I woke up with chest pains and was diagnosed with Pericarditis.  I am now back at work full-time, feeling better but still not 100%.  

I believe that our purpose here on earth is to learn, but in order for this to happen we need to put in the work and be still enough to listen and closely pay attention.  And this work is likely that hardest work that we will ever do.  The results and benefits are very subtle unlike our more common outer pursuits.  But I do believe that the payoffs of this work are our greatest accomplishments and a true measure of a person’s success.  I have been living much slower and working very hard this past summer trying to learn what the universe is trying to teach me.  I like to believe that what I have lost in physical stamina and strength, I have gained in wisdom and depth.  In my opinion that’s what getting older should be like once you’re on the other side of the so-called “hill”.  Some days I’m much better at seeing the positive side of this experience and doing the work, other days not so much. 

In many ways I feel like I am stuck somewhere between where I was and where I need to be.  The new me seems to be doing very well until the old me suddenly makes an appearance, and if I’m not paying attention, takes over.  Too often, I have a difficult time determining what is too much.  My head judges and decides on a plan, but my body just tells me that it isn’t going to work once I get started.  My apologies if I have cancelled plans last minute lately with anyone reading this.  I have been trying to listen to my body for a change. 

A few weeks ago, I was frustrated with this feeling of being stuck in “no man’s land” between being sick and being healthy and fit.  I still get really excited thinking about biking and bike racing with friends, then my heart (and by heart I mean my physical heart) sends me these signals that really put a damper on this excitement.  When I’m rested and calm, I feel mostly normal, but as soon as I try to do too much and get fatigued, I feel these subtle twinges or mini cramps in my chest around my heart.  It’s like I’m now living with a built-in fatigue and stress barometer that I now need to listen to.  My doctor says that these symptoms are normal, but I can’t help but feel impatient at times.  Even on the good days I often live in fear having lost confidence in what I can and should ask or expect my body to do.  

Thinking about this I realize that one of the reasons that my recovery has been slow is because I still have to learn to be more patient.  What we resist persists.  It is really quite simple.  Having patience means learning to be okay with not knowing if or when I will be better.   

Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling bad about my health situation given that I can still ride my bike and live a normal life and that it could certainly be much worse, but other times a part of me feels self-pity.  I guess the important thing is to be aware of these feelings.  My job isn’t necessarily to fix anything but rather simply to recognize and acknowledge.  Once I manage to do this, the self-pity simply goes away. 

My journey back to health the last few months has also been a catalyst for letting go of the obsessive hold that I had been trying to maintain with Adele’s Type 1 Diabetes.  In a way, I didn’t really have a choice in this letting go process since I no longer had enough energy to keep trying to control everything and micro-manage every Type 1 gaming detail.  Adele told me the other day that she liked the new me better since I’m generally in a better mood more often now.  Strange how she can see this side of me while I often feel mostly consumed with frustration on the inside.  Thinking about this as I write, maybe I too like the new me better than the old.  Well, maybe not always, but at least on the good days… 

On Saturday, September 12th, I will again be biking in support of Type 1 Diabetes research in the 8th annual Mike's Bike Shop Cyclebetes ride to cure Type 1 Diabetes. 

Thank you