Yesterday, I rode my bike (inside, on my trainer) for the first time after registering for my first Pan Mass Challenge on Thursday. Coincidentally, the power company shut off power to my road for power line repairs just before I got on the bike. So, no Spinervals video for me; instead I got plenty of time to think during my hour-long ride.
For those who don’t know, the PMC is a cycling event that raises money for cancer research. Colby has ridden for years, and I am thrilled to be joining her this year. As Colby has done in the past, we are opting to do the longest PMC route – a 2-day, 190 mile ride from Sturbridge, MA to Provincetown, MA. 100% of donations raised by PMC riders go directly to fund cancer research and care at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. It is a huge event, with a huge mission and a huge impact.
Cancer research has saved many lives, including my husband’s life. My husband had cancer in high school – long before I met him. So, in our case, cancer research not only saved my husband’s life, it also gave me my life. The life I have now. Had he not been successfully treated for cancer, he would not have been alive in 1993, when we met. I would never have met him. Never have married him; never have enjoyed the past 20 years with him, were it not for advances in cancer research before he was diagnosed in 1987. Almost my entire adult life, as I know it, would not exist. Chills.
Cancer research gave my children their lives. I will never stop being overwhelmed by the fact that my three children would not exist were it not for the brilliance of cancer researchers in developing treatments. I have a lump in my throat just typing it. My heart catches just thinking about it. To say I’m grateful is an understatement of epic proportion.
With no distractions before me yesterday, I thought only of the PMC during my ride. Gratitude that it exists and helps to fund cancer research. Gratitude that I can participate and give back, knowing that someone, somewhere, helped to fund research that saved my husband’s life. Gratitude that although I have zero skills in the area of science, I have a healthy body and a willing heart, and the founders of the PMC found a way for people like me to do their part in the fight against cancer.
Needless to say, it was a teary ride. But that’s ok – it really was more than a ride; it was the beginning of a mission. If yesterday was any indication, I will be one emotional, teary mess all the way from Sturbridge to Provincetown on August 3rd & 4th. And I will be grateful for every mile.