Tomorrow, three long time friends and I will set off on a journey to ride our bicycles 210 (or so) kilometres over two days. The journey will meander through well marked country roads, have regular rest stops (with food and beverage) and will involve 5000 riders; other than a little soreness from the "saddle", our journey will be a safe one. Not a great testimony to challenging the limits of physical strength and endurance, but still a feat worth celebrating with a beer or two.
The riders, each having committed to raise money for the fight against cancer, will collectively (if history is any indicator) realize $20 million in donations for the efforts of a weekend... all to support those who've fought cancer, are fighting cancer, and will fight cancer in the future; most of whom we will never know - Now this is a great testimony to the strength and spirit of the human condition to be sure.
There is a moment before you start, surrounded by 5000 like minded people in a sea of same coloured jerseys when you realize you're part of something much bigger than yourself. A glimpse into the positive and negative aspects of existence as a human being and an understanding of the broader community of human courage, strength, commitment, compassion, sacrifice, and determination in which nothing is insurmountable.
So I will ride with three of my good friends and 4,996 new friends and as a community, will strive to see cancer defeated in our lifetime.
"There but for the grace of god, go I"