Ok so I've said it before and I'll believe these words forever... Life truly is a balance of holding on and letting go. Of people, of places, of emotions - everything. I've grown to understand that you can't control peoples actions or reactions - you are responsible for your own and that is it my friends! It's hard to keep that in check sometimes - I find that every time I go back to my yoga mat I am breathing through things and trying to let go. Sometimes I lay there and say to myself "inhale gratitude, exhale negativity. inhale love, exhale negativity. inhale, exhale" over and over again until I lull myself into a shavasna coma.
I'm about a week out from my second Ride to Conquer Cancer. It was another powerful experience recognizing the now angels I was riding for and the current warriors whom I was sending my energy to. They powered me up those hills climbing the escaprment and they were with me when I wanted to complain about riding in the rain. That is until I realized that I was going to complain about being out on my bike, feeling rain on my skin, powered by my strong healthy body and alive. Really? I was going to complain? Wtf Lou give your head a shake.
Last year I had no clue. I was under the influence of a lot of Pinot Grigio when I agreed to do the ride and I had no idea what to expect. I was still under the impression we could stop for ice cream along the route like Angela promised.... At our fundraising dinner I told the story of the young boy last year who wore his "I Beat Cancer" tee beaming with pride and high-fiving us riders as we sped by, cheering out Thank You with his family and friends. It was that moment, on Day two at probably 150km in, that I knew I would make this an annual trek. This little fighter whose parents had enough grace to teach him what it meant for these people to be out riding their bikes was there to say thank you. I choke up now as I just think of it but that day I literally had to pull over to the side of the road to compose myself.
Some days with just life in general I want to bury my head or run away on vacation and I think of Allie's words "Be Brave". I wonder if she ever fully knew the impact that thsoe two words would have on this community. I think in her humble self she didn't fully know the reach of her love and her manifesto on those who she left behind. I can' truly only hope to honor her life and allow her words to live on. I can only dream that my life will make an inkling of matter as hers did.
9 hours on the bike really gives a girl a lot of time to think and appreciate how precious life is. As hard as it is at times to realize the letting go part of the aforementioned statement, there are moments when doing just that is truly what is best for us. For our own growth, for our own health. Our days are truly numbered and precious - why would we ever dare to waste them with hatred in our hearts? What type of honour would that be for those who have become angels already to not live our lives with the best of intentions? I thought about a lot on that ride and of letting go of negative people in order to allow new, positive people into my world. I had to make room in my heart.
Crossing that finish line was a blur of both rain and tears in my eyes - so many emotions jumbled together in that sappy ol' heart of mine. I was proud of myself for this accomplishment - of doing the small bit that I can do in order to raise money and raise awareness and spread Allie's sunshine around! I was honoured to ride for her and for everyone fighting. We can only do what we can do and this is what I could do. So as small as it seems sometimes, together the close to 5000 riders made an impact. We may never conquer cancer in our lifetime but we can slowly & surely kick it's sweet little ass.