Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The El Tour de Tucson update

Phew! Are my legs tired.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I have been training for months to ride El Tour de Tucson, a 109.3-mile-long endurance cycling event. I trained with Team in Training and raised funds on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (over $4,000 so far from this event). I also served as a mentor and social captain for my team, helping new riders learn road skills and also helping them to reach out to their friends and contacts to raise funds. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience, both physically and emotionally. Not to mention that it helped cement my relationship with my future wife. Yes, that’s right, after riding 109.3 miles (the .3 is very important, I’m told), I asked my girlfriend, Nadene, to marry me. And she actually said yes. It must have been the dehydration and exhaustion, though the ring is still on her finger, even though she’s rested up and rehydrated, so I guess she’s sticking with her original decision. ;)

To everyone who made a contribution to the fundraising effort, either directly or through my sample-chapter offer, I want to say thank you and express my sincere appreciation for your support. This training season and ride merely reinforced my belief in what a great cause finding a cure for blood-related cancers is, and I met so many people that are battling these diseases or have battled them, that I feel very humble complaining about my sore legs. As my favorite TNT t-shirt says, “If you think riding a hundred miles on your bike his hard…try chemotherapy.”

At one point, faced with the hardest, steepest hill of the ride, Nadene was chatting with a cyclist from the Long Island team, who mentioned he’d never had such bad cramps as he was feeling that day. Nadene, who had been inspired by thoughts of the folks in whose honor she was riding, asked this Long Island teammate in whose honor he was riding. He said, “Myself. I have leukemia.” He then yelled “Chemo sucks!” and attacked this steep hill. And Nadene said, “Well, now I’m doing this hill in honor of you,” and started to attack the hill also.

Waiting at the top of the hill, I knew nothing of this conversation, but I asked a couple of women who were there cheering folks on to start cheering for Nadene. They immediately started yelling, “Go Nadene! C’mon, Nadene.” I could not have been more proud watching my future wife climb that hill.

I spent the whole ride talking about how a bike ride is a metaphor for a relationship, with up-hills and down-hills, potholes and flats. Little did she know I was laying the groundwork for a marriage proposal.

As we approach Thanksgiving this week, I know that I have a great deal for which to be thankful, and that the next year will bring us great joy as we build our life together. I truly wish that everyone reading this has a great Thanksgiving and has as much happiness in their future.

Z

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Andy,

Congratulations. What a marvelous way to guarantee a Happy,Happy Thanksgiving this year and beyond. L'Chaim!

Bob Levinson
www.robertslevinson.com

Nancy said...

First, congratulations on the acceptance of your proposal. There is no greater feeling than loving someone enough to want to spend your life with them and knowing it is returned.

Second, I don't know why I zoned out you were actually coming to Tucson for this ride. I could have recommended a restaurant or two for you to take your fiancee. Tucson is one of the more beautiful cities I have lived near and there is a great deal to see.

Also, Tombstone is about an hour drive from Tucson and near my home. A must see for any visitor to Southern Arizona.

Don't eat too much dinner tomorrow and make sure to watch the Bronco game!

MissWrite said...

Congrats to you and the future Mrs. Andy!

AzGhostWriter said...

Andrew,

What a great proposal! I am so thrilled for you and hope the future with Mrs. Andy is full of wonderful surprises.

Again, I also want to thank you for the great work you've done on behalf of people (me) with blood diseases.

P.S. Hey, radiation therapy ain't fun...(losing my hair twice in a life time.)

Jon

merlinsmuse said...

Congratulations to both you and Nadene, what a great story to tell your kids. I know, I know, don't rush things, right.

Being Canadian,I've already celebrated but I wish you a Happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Cathy

Ric said...

COngrats!

Also, a thank you for your charity work.

I can already see your teenager's eyes glassing over when you repeat, for the millionth time, how you proposed to their mother.

James Goodman said...

Congrats! What a glorious way to propose, doing something noble. I wish the two of you a lifetime of happiness.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Andy.

Here's to many years of happiness, and may all your rides go as well as this one.

Shawn

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