Every once in a while, I come face to face with an obligation to walk-the-talk about living life on the edge of my comfort zone by committing to something that feels crazy – even by my standards. This past weekend was one of those times.
I’ve written in a previous post about the Friends For Life Bike Rally from Toronto to Montreal in support of the People With AIDS Foundation. I was so proud of my son Jordan, and my ‘adopted’ sons – Trevor and Dempsey – who completed last year’s ride under very adverse conditions.
My pride grew when they registered to do it all again this year. They’ve been busy for months … training, fund-raising, and working on various committees which support this Bike Rally.
So this weekend – on Mother’s Day – when Trevor asked me to join the volunteer crew as a driver for the medical team, I couldn’t say no – even though my instincts were screaming at me to run far and fast in the opposite direction.
I’m not a joiner. This kind of volunteer-large-entourage thing has no appeal for me. I tend to prefer solitary activities that don’t require much interaction with others. If there is a bandwagon, it is unlikely you will find me anywhere need it.
… but I find myself now pulled into the Bike Rally machinery. Earlier this week I had a 40 minute telephone interview with the team captain for the medical crew and today I completed the registration form. I am now officially part of the volunteer crew, driving one of five medical vans supporting the 200+ riders during this July’s 600 km trip.
I lied during the interview – I confirmed that – of course – I’m comfortable spending at least 8 hours a day behind the wheel of a vehicle for a week. Of course I’m comfortable sleeping in a tent every night – setting up and breaking camp every day. Of course having a shower every day is not important to me.
In spite of any impression you may have gathered to the contrary, I admit to being a bit of a princess. I value and treasure all the comforts and conveniences of our modern society. Nay – I expect them as a matter of course. I don’t usually give them up without considerable whining.
In one thing, however, I did not lie. I said I would cry – at least once – before the week is over. The fatigue, the stress, the sheer emotional reason for this incredible fund-raiser, are guaranteed to make me crack at some point. I thought it was important that the team captain should know that. I was assured I would not be alone.
I’ve undertaken some interesting challenges in my life, but this one is pretty audacious. I’m older now. I’m already starting to imagine how this 59 year old body is going to react to the long hours of driving and then sleeping on the ground in a tent – every day – for a week.
I am used to challenges that require some type of training but I don’t know how I will train for this one. Maybe spending endless hours sitting down in front of the TV without falling asleep, camping outside in the backyard, foregoing a shower for a few days. Or perhaps not.
One thing is clear though … this is a very worthy cause and all the discomfort I may face during the week of the Bike Rally will be nothing in comparison to the challenges encountered every day by those suffering with AIDS or who are HIV Positive.
The links above are to the sponsorship pages for Jordan, Trevor, Dempsey, and me. Any donation would be greatly appreciated.