starting the ride with grandchildren(my right and behind) and friends

starting the ride with grandchildren (my right and behind) and friends

On March 13th, I was spinning for the 6th time in the annual Cycle for Survival fundraiser. Another $30 million was raised for Memorial Sloan Kettering to study rare cancers and hopefully cure them…or at least make the illness less painful for patients. This year’s total was up from $25 million last year…bringing the total to $105 million, since these events started in 2007. This year over 27,000 riders in maybe 15 cities rode to raise funds.

I was again really tired after my 50-minute ride. I barely trained before the big day. And then I played tennis four days in the following week. I was exhausted…only playing tennis so much, because groups needed subs two of those days.

But I realized later that I was also mentally and emotionally drained this year. Too painful to be reminded so intensely that my son-in-law Evan was not there as in previous years to cheer on his friends and family like last year or to actually ride for four hours as he did almost all of the previous years. I really missed him. I again couldn’t help getting into the loud music and following the trainer’s “orders” to climb up the hill out of the saddle. I had practiced that technique 2-3 times an hour when I trained at home. We must have done it 15-20 times at the event for real. It hurt.

But knowing that Evan was gone since last July was just too upsetting. My enthusiasm was false.

I love to tell the story of how last year Evan couldn’t ride, because he had just had back surgery. So he stood and clapped and cheered for four hours to keep the rest of us riding eagerly and ignoring our weariness. I know that I couldn’t have been that strong. After the Event, there was no family snack in a nearby restaurant. I assumed Evan was just too tired and went home to recover. Later I learned he had gone right home…but only to pick up his suitcase and escort his University of Pennsylvania city-planning students from JFK to Brasilia, where they spent a couple of weeks working on an actual design project for the government. What a guy!