Monday, July 16, 2012

I have a new addiction...

Every now and then I feel it's important to reflect. Take a look around, have conversations with your friends and assess what's going on. And every time I do that I realize I am luckier and luckier. Whether it's sitting down at a wedding and seeing that instead of wedding favors a donation has been made to the Boomer Esiason Foundation, or calling anyone of my friends to have them talk me through something that is bothering me, or putting up with me and my bad jokes for an entire weekend - 12+ hours in a car and 9+ hours on a bike - I realize I'm extremely fortunate for the people in my life.

Something else you should know about me. When it comes to physical activity I don't really understand moderation. The smart thing would have been to started with a shorter distance, but there's really no fun in that. I like a challenge. I like pushing myself mentally and physically. I like to see what I'm made of. 

So onto the point of today's post. My bicycle. Long story short. In February of this year I committed to the Seacoast Safari, a 2-day 150 mile bicycle ride up and down the coast of Maine to benefit CF, with some of the folks from Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Yes, I'd had a few adult beverages at the time and no I did not own a bicycle nor had I ever ridden one seriously in my life. But it sounded like fun so why not. Naturally the first thing I did was start to convince my friends to join me. I called my dear friend, Jacqueline, who I knew had a bike at the time and who's always up for anything to join me on this adventure. She then convinced one of her friends (who's my friend now too) Martha Ann. I also knew Matt would probably buy a bike and join as well. He loves stuff like this too. Then Ernie bought a bicycle a couple weeks ago and signed up last Monday. With no proper training, quality time spent on the bicycle, or even a real concept of what 150 miles was going to feel like we were on our way. I mean, I literally bought clip less pedals and cleats last Thursday and "clipped in" for the first time Saturday morning before setting off on the first 75 miles. Who needs practice with new cleats anyways.

And we had a blast. Yes, it was challenging and grueling at times. Yes, we spent 9+ hours on a bicycle in two days. Yes, we spent an additional 12-13 hours in a car. Yes, we ate more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in 2 days than the past 3 years combined. Yes, we took a lot of Advil and Tylenol. Yes, we all used Tiger Balm at some point in the day. Yes, it was painful to sit down at my desk this morning. But, in the end it was completely worth it. We had a blast. We told stories and bad jokes (mostly me with the bad jokes). We made new friends, especially the folks from Vertex who are absolutely amazing and genuine and cool people. We became better friends. We stopped and took pictures. And let me tell you, there's really nothing better than a quiet country road early on the weekend morning with nothing but your friends, the smell of the nearby ocean and our bicycles. And that's why I had so much fun. Because I got to spend quality time with quality people. I got to see a part of the country in a way that most people don't get to - on a bicycle. And yes, I absolutely loved it. And yes, I cannot wait to get back out there on the road!

Finish Line Day 2 - Done and Done

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