Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Year Later

A lot has changed in my life since being a part of the Moving Muscles Ride last year. When the trip began last May, I was a recent university graduate, having written my final exam only a few weeks earlier and the prospect of no upcoming school for the first time in recent memory. Since our trip ended last August, I’ve worked in construction - building airplane hangars and other steel buildings, harnessed off and working at heights of up to 75 feet - I’ve gone back to school briefly, I’ve worked as a research assistant on Vancouver Island investigating an ugly fish known as the midshipman, and I’m currently in charge of maintenance at Silver Lake Mennonite Camp, the place I’ve spent the majority of my summer months for the last 10 years. I like to joke that I’ve become transient, moving from place to place and job to job.

As I look back on our bike journey last summer, I think of all the different scenery we saw across this beautiful country, the determination it took to get back on that bike seat day after day, and I think about the incredible amount of money we were able to raise for Muscular Dystrophy. But there are two things that really stand out in my mind: the people we met in the course of our travels and the good times we had among the five of us guys. Even today, it amazes me how people we’d never met before were so generous and willing not only to open their homes to us but also to help in whatever way they could, from providing meals to riding with us for stretches, to helping out with last-minute bike repairs. I think it really speaks volumes about human nature that so many people were so willing to help perfect strangers, especially scruffy, spandex-wearing strangers like us!

And then there’s Mike, Brian, Keith and Pat. You’re never quite sure how well you’ll get along with someone you meet for the first time, but from that first cold rainy day leaving Tofino to the arrival in St. John’s, we all hit it off really well. Going through an intense experience like we did together, I’ve learned a lot about each of the guys and we have forged a friendship that will last for the rest of our lives. As the years continue to pass, I’m sure I’ll look back on this trip as one of the best experiences of my life.

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