This will mark year #5 of my participation in the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC).
While it’s great to be a part of such a fantastic event, counting the years only serves to remind me of how long it’s been since my niece, Meg, was diagnosed with Leukemia. In only 2 more years, my PMC career will be longer than her life was. That is a terrible thing.
I reflect on my motivation to contribute to such a worthy cause and question why I was not doing this, or anything like it, before my own family was directly affected. I have great admiration for the folks with no direct connection to a cause they put so much work into. Why do they do it? Why didn’t they choose something else? There must be an answer. They are good people.
Preparing for this event is a lot of work that consumes a great deal of time and energy (lost energy can be replaced with beer). Personally, I try to combine training and life wherever possible. This season has been no exception. Most weekends I rode 20 miles to Belmont, from Maynard, played flag football, then rode home again. Some weekends, I brought one or both kids in the trailer. One weekend, we even did a family ride where my wife joined in. That was pretty nice.
We do not bring our car on vacation. Just the bikes with lots of trailer space and all of our gear. Eight days of towing kids and beach equipment to the ocean, swimming all day, and riding back home again. It’s fantastic.
Tomorrow I will leave my house and ride 50 or so miles to Sturbridge where the official ride begins. I will try not to go fast, but sometimes I get carried away. My knee is having some trouble at the moment and I need to take care of it. I’d like to get through Saturday and still feel good enough to enjoy the day and have a few beers. Sunday is a bit shorter and there’s plenty of time to rest at work on Monday.
I am elated to know that we (all of you and I) have surpassed the minimum fundraising requirements and the “heavy hitter” threshold. This means three things:
- We are giving cancer a decent hit.
- Max and I have a lot of thank you notes to write.
- I’ll get some sort of prize, like a pair of shorts or something (woo!)
Have I trained enough? Is my bike tuned up? Did I pack everything I need? Will my knee explode? Does any of that really matter?
Tomorrow I ride.