I had a choice: Either feel lousy and stay in bed or feel lousy and do something. Doing something doesn't make me feel worse so... now I am walking about four miles per day. As of yesterday I am off the IV and only on oral medications - lots of them. Still, I am weary of feeling disconnected from the world, and for me that is intolerable.
So I decided to commit to something - a challenge that is inspiring and classic. I am going to attempt the California Eroica vintage bicycle ride in Paso Robles on April 10. http://www.eroicacalifornia.com/#home That is in less than three weeks. I have not ridden a real bike outdoors in months. I have not yet been able to run because of the IV port in my chest. And I have to do the thing on a vintage bicycle in vintage garb. OK, so what if I fail. The doctors won't approve so I won't tell them. But I have been dreaming of this ride for a year, have already restored a fabulous 1979 Puch (residing impossibly now in our basement 2000 miles away), and know what this whole gig requires. I have less than three weeks to pull this together. Think about it like this: On the anniversary of my open heart surgery, and only 46 days following a bone marrow transplant for a worst-case leukemia, let's say I fail at my attempt of a vintage bicycle ride through the hills of coastal California. There are only six of these events in the world. I might not live to see the one next year. As far as I can tell from my research, I can't find anybody so handicapped attempting this kind of thing so soon. It will be a magnificent epic failure. But, but, but... what if I make it? What a story that would be, and the measure of a life lived is in the quality of the stories we can tell about it.
So yesterday I acquired a vintage Austrian -made bike from about 1965. It is primitive but everything works. From now on, I will spend my days throwing my magic at it, making it roadworthy (and beautiful, of course) and increasing my stamina and strength training.
Thank you to all who have supported me so far in this horrible adventure. I just feel like now is the time for me to start giving back, even if it is only maybe as an inspiration to others.