Racing for Life. Think about it. . . .
How many of us can really say that we have been to the edge and back and when I say ‘edge', I don't mean having to decide if you want pepperoni or mushroom I really mean that you are staring straight down the barrel listening to the four horsemen approach from afar preparing yourself to meet your maker. I know that I have not. Not even close. There are some that have and unfortunately have not made it back unwillingly succumbing to the pain of their circumstances. Some though, have beaten the odds and have miraculously lived to tell about it. In either instance, to have an ounce of their strength and courage would make us all better human beings.
On August 23rd, I will be participating in the Livestrong Challenge, cycling 100 miles alongside my wife and approximately 5000 other souls. At first glance from a purely physical angle, the thought of riding 100 miles does not phase me in the least; just another day in the saddle for me. After all, I have spent the better part of my life riding, racing, and championing the cyclist way. Just another day in the saddle?? Could I be any more selfish?? There are many people who would give and have given more than I am willing to be able to ride 10 miles, or maybe even just 1 mile.
The Livestrong Challenge was an idea born from a man who had been to the edge having had his body riddled with cancer in the prime of his life and his cycling career. Lance Armstrong was given less than a 10% chance of surviving his condition. Riding his bike again, was something that I am sure he, at times, thought would be just a distant memory.
His comeback in the sport of cycling is nothing short of amazing and represents to so many people, including myself, that the eternal flame of hope is just that, eternal. Nothing can extinguish the hope of the human spirit when it is something that you want and though I cannot speak from experience I am sure that if you were to consider the alternative, hope would look very appealing.
For 2009, the Livestrong Challenge will visit 4 cities in the United States; Seattle WA, San Jose CA, Philadelphia PA, and finally Austin TX. drawing in participants by the 1000's. Since the Lance Armstrong Foundation's inception, in 1997, the LAF has raised over $250 million for the fight against cancer, primarily focusing on cancer prevention, access to screening and care, research and quality of life for cancer survivors. The Lance Armstrong Foundation unites people through programs and experiences to empower cancer survivors to live life on their own terms and to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer.
As we struggle through our days doing our best to make ends meet in an economy that seems to have one idea in mind, take, take, take, I urge you to consider making a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation or any charity that you take a shine to. I think that Jens Voight, a cycling colleague of Lance Armstrong's put it in perspective for me. Lance is no longer racing to win, he is racing for life. Think about it . . . .