Cleaning up my old word documents I found the speech I gave to Griffin Centre at their Annual General Meeting in November 2010. This speech was about my cross Canada bike trip that I had completed that summer.
The speech has been modified for this blog post.
First things first, I want to thank each and every one of you here. The journey would not haven been as successful without your involvement. Together we raised $4000 … Even though it was a solo ride across the country I was never alone. I knew that many of you were thinking of me and wishing me a safe trip. You were on the website reading my blog entries, posting comments, sending me text messages and emails and tracking me via GPS. There were days where I looked up at the sky and was wondering who’s following me now.
Every now and then I have a need to push my limits …. I took a leap of faith in myself. It’s not confidence, it’s trust. Trust your own skills and experience in order to take that first step, then the second one and so on into the unknown.
The funny thing about this trip is that any problem I had was countered with great fortune. First, it was my loose bike spokes that caused me to take trips back and forth between Salmon Arm and Revelstoke BC. As a result I met Julian and rode with him for three days through the Rockies. He had cell phone reception, I didn’t. My first flat tire was 4800 km into my trip in Ontario. I was lucky enough never having to change a tire tube in the middle of nowhere or in adverse weather conditions. Then when both my tire and tread blew in Quebec City I was able to meet and ride with Gerry and hear about his stories from his Ironman competitions. Any delays in the trip from weather and fighting off my cold allowed me to be at the right place at the right time every time for a great experience.
People often ask me what the best part of the trip was. …. The best part about the trip is now. I get to look back at see the whole trip as one moment that lasted 76 days. Along the way I was able to meet great people which made the trip enjoyable and provided for additional inspiration. They were Julian, who I rode through The Rockies with. He had a great sense of humour and lives life at his own pace. Gerry in Quebec who showed me what it means to be competitive and maintain true sportsmanship and Steve who finished the trip with me, crossing the finish line at St John’s then at Cape Spear. Steve is a lifelong adventurer who travels around the world at least three to four months out of the year.
If I did this trip again I can take an almost entirely different route or the same route all over again. Either way, it would be a completely new experience. … Other than that, I would probably try my hand at a trip that involves a kayak, canoe, horse or camel.
This trip was a learning experience. It taught me valuable lessons and reinforced others that I already knew. For starters, choose your own path at your own pace, not someone else’s. It’s your life, you decide what to do, where to do it, when and how. Trust yourself. It’s stronger than confidence. Even if you have some doubts you can still believe in yourself.
You are never alone. Family, friends and even strangers play an important role in your life. Appreciate them and return their kindness.