For example, it is extremely rare for me to start off a thought, sentence, or blog post with the sentiment, "One of the reasons that I'm happy I have CF is . . ." That's not to say that there aren't certain elements of having this disease -- and sharing this experience -- that I feel grateful for, but I am gonna go ahead and admit that I am not, in any real sense of the word, all that grateful to have been born with a fatal genetic disease. But, like any rule, there are exceptions, and this is one of them.
One of the reasons that I am happy I have CF is, I get to meet some awesome, incredible, inspiring, amazing, and downright fabulous people. People, for example, like all of you.
Or people like Mike Freemantle, whom I had the total honor of meeting a couple of weeks ago. And though Mike doesn't have cystic fibrosis himself, I still have to give credit where credit is due to CF for this meeting, because Mike is the kind of guy who . . . well, let's just say that Mike is a man of extreme energy. It's the kind of energy that leads people to push themselves, to challenge limitations, and to go beyond their own experience. In short, it's the kind of energy that connects everyone who has ever pressed against the outer realm of the extraordinary -- whether by illness or by choice or by anything in between.
Oh, yeah, and it's also the kind of energy that might lead someone to look at an ordinary road bike and think, "Hey, I think I'll hop on that sucker and take a leisurely 21 day coast-to-coast tour through 13 different states. And what the heck, maybe I'll raise about $50,000 for the Greater NY Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation while I'm at it in honor of my friend (and fellow amazing rockstar) John. You know, just for kicks."
All of which leads us to yet another one of those amazing events that just flat-out doesn't come along often enough. Because this morning at the ridiculous hour of 6 AM, Mike and many of his supporters stood in the even more ridiculous sudden rain shower that swept across Times Square getting ready to launch what must have initially seemed to many people like the most ridiculous thing of all. One man, one bike, one big RV with the Great Strides/CFF logo proudly displayed, and more than a thousand miles between Mike and his final destination. But anyone who knows CF knows that the seemingly impossible is sometimes the most important, non-ridiculous goal of all. And anyone who knows Mike knows that the same is true about him. Because believe it or not he's done it before, and now he's decided to do it again.
Only this time, it's for all of us.
Below are a few pictures of the magic behind the madness (and the man behind the magic). Please, please, please check them out, then go to www.freematour.com to join and support Mike on his cross-country bike ride for a cure. He'll be keeping track of his experiences, his route, his pictures (the man has a camera strapped to his handlebars, people!) and, of course, his fundraising.
Because things like this just don't come along often -- and when they do we should all be so lucky as to have the chance to go along for the ride.
"What, it's so wet that even Times Square is completely empty? Whatever. I've seen worse."
Start Your Engines
Start Your Engines