Yesterday, I went on my 3rd long training ride in preparation for the Pan Mass Challenge. Rode 51 miles with Miss Colby! Yay! Our first bike ride together. She took me on a lovely tour of her part of the state, and it was a blast. A disgustingly hot & humid blast, but we had a great time nonetheless. Plus, I got to see The Angry Walker in the flesh! Made every sweaty mile worth it.
As I pulled out of my driveway at 5:29 AM to head up to Colby’s, I couldn’t help but notice that the temperature on my car’s thermometer read 78 degrees. Yes, 78 degrees at 5:29 AM. And here I thought we lived in a northern climate. Not a great start. I was draggy, tired and already hot. Ugh. Chugged a Vitamin Water Energy, cranked the A/C and headed north.
Perked up quite a bit by the time I reached Colby’s at 6:15. Hearing a Rock Block of The Ramones didn’t hurt. The caffeine and guarana in my Vitamin Water didn’t hurt either. I was very happy to see my fearless tour guide, and off we went. Great ride. It was a lot of fun for me to ride with Colby. She is a killer cyclist, and it was a good experience for me to try (emphasis on the word “try”) and keep up with her. Best training ride I have had so far.
She took pictures, and we enjoyed a scenic ride, some laughs and a great workout. I’ll let her post with the color commentary on the ride, so I can take some space to write about the person to whom I dedicated this ride – my cousin Rick.
If you need proof that cancer can hit anyone, you need look no further than my cousin Rick. Rick has always been a “Golden Boy,” in the best sense of the term. Successful? Check. Smart? Check. Athletic? Check. Handsome? Check. And more importantly – Warm, funny, loving and generous? Check, check, check, check. Rick is one of those people you might be jealous of except for the fact that he is so damn likeable. And kind. And he deserves everything he has – instead of resting on his laurels, he has always been a hard worker and the first person to share what he has with anyone in need.
Rick was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2004. I remember being absolutely shocked when I heard that he had cancer. It just didn’t seem like something that would happen to him. Of course, I know that cancer is not so choosy and it can hit anyone. Still, it was a shock. Fortunately, with a tough but successful round of treatment, he beat the lymphoma and continues to do well. Being the wonderful person that he is, he not only survived the cancer but also went on to establish a charitable foundation that provides financial assistance to cancer patients undergoing treatment in his area.
One of Rick’s many special qualities is his ability to connect with people. He has been in sales for most of his life, and it is a perfect fit for him. Young, old, men, women, loud, quiet, serious, silly – Rick can find a way to connect with everyone in a truly genuine way. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t like Rick, and if I did, I’m sure I wouldn’t like them.
One anecdote that tells a lot about Rick happened right after Hurricane Andrew. At the time, Rick was in the insurance business in Florida. After the hurricane hit and devastated much of southern Florida, many insurance agents were undoubtedly very busy reviewing policies and trying to minimize exposure. Not Rick. He was busy loading his car with groceries and emergency supplies and heading south to the devastation to check in on his clients and see how he could help. And that is what makes him a great person in addition to a great salesman. He genuinely cares about people. Doing well by doing good- it has worked well for him. Many could take a page from his book.
I consider myself so fortunate to have him in my family. See how he treats his clients? Imagine how he treats us! He has always been unfailingly generous – with his time, his attention, his wit and his love. He’s most certainly “One of the Good Ones” and I am so glad that he made it through treatment and emerged a survivor.
Rick, this one was for you. I love you and I am so glad you are here! Keep up the good work!