Monday, August 23, 2010

LiveSTRONG IV: Prelude

First, I need to say a huge thanks to Team Fish, who reached EVERY GOAL we set this year! LiveSTRONG, and indeed surviving cancer, is all about the incredible people who surround me. I could not do ANY of this without you, and the words to express just how much I cherish you fail me.

I went down to the ride early on Saturday because I had to get my car serviced while I was in the area. I dropped my car off at the shop and took off for a ride, one of the advantages of having my bike with me. My tire had gone flat from the reinflation I did with the air canister (for some reason, when you use a canister to inflate the tube, it deflates drastically in about a day or so). Then I went 21st Century, cranked up my Blackberry and checked for bike shops near me. There was one 3 minutes from where I was, so I rode over there, borrowed a pump and rode on. I tooled around the Main Line, took a wrong turn and ended up in Philadelphia, then eventually found my way back, putting in about 20 miles. It was (mostly) a nice, easy meandering spin and it was cool to see the area from a bike.

One of my favorite things to do is go to the Expo the day before. Patty, a very personable volunteer, took the Team Fish information and promised to pull together our packets, then encouraged me to go enjoy the Expo. I always write down the names of the people who supported me, and the people they have asked me to remember, adding them to the wall. I had a really hard time adding Collin Marsh to a Memory Card instead of an Honor Card, this year. I miss Terri and Bob and Christine, and my friend Will's wife, Beth. But, I still was able to add a lot of Honor cards, and survivor cards for some friends, including my friends Bev, Bill and Doug. There were so many more cards, and it has always been bittersweet to hang them on the wall; this year was no different.

I returned back to see Patty and she had put all of the Team Fish packages together. I also was able to meet Dylan Trakas, who has helped put together the Philadelphia event every year. I always look forward to seeing him, and he seems to bring a positive attitude and a lot of energy to what he does. The volunteers are really what makes this event run, and they are incredible people for doing what they do. I picked up the packages and also went to the Long's Cycle tent, picking up 2 pairs of sunglasses (one normal and one high-tint yellow) and an Irish cycling cap for less than $20: Score!

My family has a tradition of eating dinner with Mrs. Fish's mom and we did it again for the fourth straight year. She has had health concerns, so I was ecstatic when I saw how good she looked and that she was able to join us yet again. We went to a local restaurant, got terrible service, but still managed to have a great time. Wrapping up, Mrs. Fish, Li'l Fish and I checked into a local hotel, had some Ben & Jerry's Imagine World Peace, and retired for the evening.

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