Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It won't be easy, but nothing ever is.

I have a 4500 cubic inch back pack. When loaded up I can haul around 30 extra pounds with me. It’s not easy to ride with and really affects my strength to weight ratio.

It seems I have my work cut out for me. My brother always preached the message of striving for your goals and pressing onward regardless.

“We all need to press on! It won’t be easy, but nothing ever is.”

These were his words written a mere 11 months ago upon the death of his neighbor and great friend.

It’s pretty amazing how one’s priorities can shift within the blink of an eye in the instant that your whole world is turned upside down on itself. I was measuring each and every last calorie, staying attentive of my training like a meticulously obsessive clock maker, and keeping nothing but my cycling goals in my crosshairs.

I haven’t ridden in four days. It has literally been several years since I last went four days without riding. It’s easy to want to throw in the towel and simply focus on attending to my family’s needs and my brother’s three beautiful boys.

Balance was something I was never good at. All of my eggs seem to always land in one basket.

In recent years, I’ve found myself marveling at the things my brother was able to delicately and successfully juggle although it was a struggle.

What would he want me to do right now? What advice would he give me if I could sit down and talk with him?

I’m pretty sure he would tell me that whatever moment I am in, be all there. Evan, his oldest son, told me his dad once told him to savor every second and relish the moment because you can never go back.

Ultimately, I think my brother would tell me, “get your ass back on that bike, and make it count, chase that dream and make it a reality!”

On Monday I stood before a packed congregation of 1200 people and delivered my brothers eulogy. In it, I described how I wish I had the ability to go back in time and warn my brother that his days with us were numbered. However, I went on to convey that even if I had this ability, Don would have not lived his life any differently. I truly believe this to be true. Whatever moment he was in, he was all there.

So back to the 4500 cubic inch back pack. Why did I start this all of with mentioning that? Well, I’ve conceded that it’s going to be one of my closest training partners in the days to come. I’m going to need to savor and not waste any moments of my life and continue to press on towards my goal. This means I’ll have to find possibility in places I’ve never found it before. If it means loading my back pack full of the necessary items to make it through my day just so I can find time to stop and be with my nephews in the midst of my training than so be it.

I can’t give my nephews a daddy. I can only reflect what their father has taught them, the person he was, and the life lessons he would of wanted them to learn. A pleasant thought is that through doing this, I can still feel my brother around me and keep him close to my heart.

At Don’s funeral, the funeral director commented that by the looks of it we are celebrating the loss of a legend. Legends can be carried on. We can all help to carry this legend on by the way we treat each other, the lives we live, and the people we are.

Don also wrote the following 11 months ago:

“I was never really good at this whole leaving thing! Every time we hung out, I always just got up and announced, “I’m out of here”, but usually after saying numerous times that I had to leave in “5 minutes…10 minutes tops!” So how ‘bout I just say this?
See you later, buddy! and thanks for everything! It was awesome!”