Monday, June 02, 2008

day 2 part 1

left quad a mess; so tight after only 20 miles of relatively easy. Sweep to rest stop 1 where medical says to stop for the day, that my IT bandis screwed up. I guess they figures I didnt know the difference between my quad and IT band. They SAG (support and gear) (the folks that take u back to camp not the sweep people who take u to the next rest area) me first to lunch. My second encounter representing the antithesis of the event where I get judges harshly by some (what can best be decribed as) "queeny" guy ad his friends who were bitching shot how big the ride was before they turned their judgement to me.

Annoyed and befuddled, I return to the SAG bus where I proceed to have a series of amazing experiences - laughter, shared stories, meeting cheryl (a police seargent from Florida whose spirit moved me), and countless interactions with people that reminded me of the greater good of the experence. Beutiful people all touched by the spread of the completely preventable disease. People committed to prevention and education. People willing to rode so thousands, 10's of thousands, if not millions after all the press, hear about the disease so they can talk about it before it spreads. This is a preventable situation and silence is the enemy.

Getting into camp it is really clear to me the reap heroes are the roadies who work their asses off to serve the riders so the riders can make a visual statement in their profound numbers riding these 545 miles. Sports medicine treats me where Jo, the captain of the team, clearly a leader, holds space, works on me, multitasks, and leads with clear competence I can actually relax. I don't often feel like I can relax when I am paying for regular services so what a treat that is. I walk out with a leg which is finally less contracted and a bit bruised and sore. But better.

opening ceremonies, night 1, morning day 2

11 hours of sleep in the cold, wet outdoors really helped! Condensation inside and out of our tent. Wet wet wet. Water dripping on me in the middle of the night. And waking feeling so much better, stronger in mind and body. Getting ready in camp, reminded at the pain I felt when the crowd boo'd at opening ceremonies for when the talked about even repulicans riding: how is that judgement any different than the stigma toward hiv+ people? Painful. Sooo grateful to have Ayreyu there to love me up and see me off. A powerful partner through whom I find more power. I think back to his words before I left. I told him this was a vision quest. He wished me a safe journey, hoping it illuminated things for me. Remembering the moment I saw the light, I was renewed leaving camp.