A Little Bit Of Crazy

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.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in 52 New Things, Adventure, Outdoor Stuff, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to A Little Bit Of Crazy

  1. Pingback: Surfing The Past | My Life Lived Full

  2. jannatwrites says:

    I’m really far behind on reading, but I just wanted to say I think it’s great you signed up for this. (I had to laugh at steering clear of the bandwagon and the part about being a bit of princess… there’s something to be said for creature comforts!)

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Janna. In fact your comment is rather timely as I’m now in the details of organizing gear and must-haves for the journey that starts in 6 days! I can’t believe it’s here already.
      In fact I have to be ready by Thursday since Friday and Saturday will be busy packing the medical vehicles, organizing all the medical forms, etc. My excitement – and nervousness – is starting to escalate.
      It will be epic 🙂

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  3. Purpleanais says:

    I hope it won’t sound patronising when I say: “well done you”! – because it’s not meant to be at all, I think stepping out of your comfort zone for the sake of others is a wonderful thing to do 🙂

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    • joannesisco says:

      I don’t know how I missed this comment, but I’m very sorry I’m so late in responding. Thank you so much for your support. As our departure time quickly approaches (yikes – 6 days!) I feel a combination of excitement and nervousness. I’m sure there will be many stories to tell 🙂

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  4. Sounds like a tough gig! All the best for it and good on you!!!

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  5. You’re a trooper Joanne. I could manage the driving – possibly – but sleeping in a tent? And not showering? Good luck to you all. I hope you have a great week. When is it? I haven’t checked out your links yet.

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    • joannesisco says:

      The Rally is the last week of July so I have about 10 weeks to gather the gear I’m going to need …. obviously I’m lacking certain essentials – like a tent :/
      The boys are thrilled though … I’m startint to suspect their real ploy is to have me experience the incredible emotion of this event close up and personal so I will agree to do it again next year AS A RIDER. They’ve already made squeaky noises to that effect. I think I’ve been played.

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  6. Afterwards, you might consider changing the name of your blog to something less arduous as this is all starting to take too much out of me. But since you probably won’t and there will surely be more adventures on the horizon, it’s really cool to know that you’ll never be one of those people looking over your shoulder and wishing they had done whatever. I am hoping for the best possible weather! No repeats of last time.

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    • joannesisco says:

      LOL – I felt strangely proud at the thought that my adventures were starting to wear you out 😀
      … I think that might be another example of my perverse side 😉

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      • LOL! You’re not perverse – just a teensy bit evil which is a character trait you know I find immensely appealing. BTW, I deleted my earlier question about exactly what the bathroom facilities are figuring this entire thing was terrifying enough without going into detail.

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        • joannesisco says:

          OMG – we think alike! I’ve asked Jordan and Trevor a dozen and one questions …. but I haven’t yet got up the nerve to ask about toilets. I’m afraid of the answer. At this point, ignorance is still bliss 😉

          Like

  7. Su Leslie says:

    “if there’s a bandwagon, you’re unlikely to find me anywhere near it.” I love that phrase!! I know what you mean about not being a joiner, but this sounds like an awesome thing to have done (note, past tense). We all know won’t be all beer and skittles at the time, but I’m sure you will look back on it with a real sense of pleasure and satisfaction. You go girl; you’re a star for signing up to such a worthwhile cause. 🙂

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  8. NotAPunkRocker says:

    You (and your friends) are awesome for doing this ❤ !

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  9. hilarymb says:

    Hi Joanne – I liked Sammy D’s tips re stretching etc … Well done you for volunteering and signing up – the must be pleased as punch Mum is coming along … good for you .. and as you say – you’ll be doing things because you ain’t got no choice – signed up … and rarin’ to go …

    I would not look at it, and I definitely wouldn’t re-look … it’ll be a fantastic experience and the competitors are the ones who deserve all your support and volunteering willingness – good luck in the run up and practise sessions … cheers Hilary

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    • joannesisco says:

      Oh Hilary – that is the best part. My son(s) are soooo excited that I have joined the crew and will be sharing this experience with them this year ❤
      I'm confident I will have riches in wonderful new memories 🙂

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  10. Sammy D. says:

    Darn I wasn’t done. Even though your tent won’t have walls, you can still lie on back with legs up in air for a few minutes. And there are a couple of Easy Tai Chi energizer moves you can find online. Plus a flask of scotch if nothing else does the trick 👏👏✨🍹

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  11. Lynn says:

    What an incredible experience this will be for you & your “sons” Joanne. I have no doubt it will be challenging for a variety of reasons, but the satisfaction that comes from contributing to such a worthy cause, will far outweigh the challenges. it will be a journey, that’s for sure!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I’m confident that I will have a blast … challenges and all 🙂
      I’m thrilled my son(s) are excited about me joining the crew and sharing the experience with them.
      I’m a little anxious now about the commitment I’ve made, but when it’s over, I know I’ll be so happy I did it 🙂

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  12. Sammy D. says:

    Good for you, Joanne!! Of course you’re going to say yes when your son asks, especially after watching them last year and knowing what it takes to accomplish these rides.

    When we used to do these rides, my girlfriend and I allocated the bitching duties between us so when the guys told one of us to ‘knock it off’ we could always say, “but that’s my designated duty this hour.” I’m sure you’ll find a willing co-bitcher among other drivers and medics.

    A couple of serious recommends – when we do our annual Colorado to Michigan drive (21 hours over 2-3 days) I take my 3 lb hand weights and stretchy band. I can figure out ways to use them in the car to keep upper body active, plus there’s usually legroom to do some type of leg lifts and feet/toe wriggles.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks for the tips … long distance driving is tough on the body and needs to be stretched regularly.
      We also have a ‘stick’ for rolling muscles … a type of self-massage. It is a critical item we always pack no matter where we are going 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. You have definitely crossed the line now……giving up showers and a proper bed? I was going to say you’ve lost your mind, but I think perhaps you have found your heart! What a wonderful mission to “suffer” for, Joanne! I can’t wait to read all about it on here. Am sure your sons (natural and adopted) are quite aware that they lucked out in the awesome mother department!

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    • joannesisco says:

      Seriously kind words, Torrie. Thank you so much ❤

      I'm sure this will be a magnificent experience and as much as I'm agonizing over it now, I know it will be wonderful when it happens

      … and yes, the boys are really happy I'm going to be on the crew this year. It appears that no matter how old they get, having mom witness an achievement still means a great deal 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Is this one of your 52 New Things? 🙂
    My first experience of Oxfam Trailwalker was as a volunteer. I loved it and found it incredibly inspiring supporting the walkers. I couldn’t wait to do the event myself the next year (and did). Just thought I should warn you… 😉

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    • joannesisco says:

      I think it definitely needs to go on my 52 New Things List … in many different ways 🙂
      It’s funny you should mention the volunteer year followed by the ‘do’ year. Jordan has already made squeaky noises to that effect. I’m now starting to think I got played and this was a planned strategy.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I slept in a tent once. In Canada, somewhere near Banff. My Canadian friend said we had to do it. It was horrible.

    Good Luck 🙂

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  16. Sue Slaght says:

    Joanne good for you! I can’t think of a better way to step out of your comfort zone. I very much look forward to hearing about your week of fulfilling adventure. Oh yes and I would be crying right there with you.

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  17. Thank goodness there are people like you, and your sons, out there in this world. 🙂

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  18. mickscogs says:

    Make sure you get a nice thick self inflatable mattress, if space allows. This will insulate you from the cold a bit and gives your bones a better rest than thin foam will give. Be wary of inflatable mattresses – they let the cold through. Yes I know it will be July in Canada, but I assume the ground could still be cold at night.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks for the advice. I’m not exactly ‘outdoorsy’, so I need to start gathering gear over the next several weeks – including a tent and sleeping bag!
      Last year’s Bike Rally was very wet and cold. I’m not sure which is worse – hot and humid (I hate ‘humid’), or cold.

      Like

  19. treerabold says:

    This sounds like a wonderful challenge! And it is truly a worth while cause.
    I’m also sure to cry sometime during the 3 day challenge for breast cancer. Knowing there are people that will benefit from your efforts and there are people suffering despite your efforts can be heartbreaking.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Tree – I knew this would appeal to you since you are no stranger to these endurance fund-raisers …. not to mention your love of cycling 😉
      I think the emotional part is a given. We’re reminded of why it’s so important and how truly lucky we are.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Your priorities are so well placed, and felt. 🙂 🙂

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  21. NancyTex says:

    I think you will be perfect for this new challenge! You’ve got this, Joanne!

    I cried about 80% of the time that i participated in 5 back to back Weekend to End Breast Cancer events. 🙂 No shame in that.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I understand the crying part. It’s hard not to get emotional about something that is both heart-breaking and inspiring at the same time.
      … plus I’m a crier. As I get older, I’m less embarrassed by it.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. bikerchick57 says:

    Good for you Joanne! If I lived anywhere close, I would volunteer to sit in the passenger seat and sing songs to you…throw cold water in your face…encourage you with chocolate and pompoms.

    Or maybe you’re better off if I stay home and just yell “Rah! Rah!”

    Like

  23. Oh my goodness. It’s a bit hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that you did all of this for a volunteer position, but of course it’s a very worthy cause and says so much about you as a person. Well, if nothing else, it should make for one hell of a blog!!

    Like

  24. Good for you and it will be an experience you and your son(s) can share for years to come. So many thing you post inspire me and here is yet another. Good luck!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you – those are kind words!
      My son(s) brought me to tears with their stories from last year’s ride, now I’m going to be experiencing it with them … although not from a bicycle seat. I think it might be part of their master plan though 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  25. You did that thing, didn’t you, where you look at something and feel like running in the opposite direction but then you looked at it more closely, as a reporter would. Yes?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Heyjude says:

    It will be easy-peasy for a girl like you. OK the camping may be a ‘pain’, but get a decent mat to lie on and you’ll be fine and think of the excitement as every day will be somewhere different! Plus one more new thing to tick off the list… enjoy, have fun, raise lots of money!!

    Like

  27. lovetotrav says:

    You will be perfect for the job! This kind of crazy is a good thing and all the great reasons for doing it will drive you forward… or at least help you to drive! Best of luck as you train 🙂

    Like

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