Almost exactly one year ago I made my way from North Vancouver to Port Alberni on Vancouver Island via my road bike. The distance was just over 100km each way, and in late April the weather could not have been better for the journey. I made the jaunt to join my extended family in congratulating a first cousin on his University Graduation, which was to be followed shortly thereafter by an overseas excursion of four full months.
I had a wonderful weekend, as I always do when we all find an excuse to get together like that. As I was enjoying the ninety minute ferry crossing I noticed a few things. First and foremost, as I was clad in a black head to toe spandex cycling suit, I can be perceived as strange from just outside of my 'lifestyle circle'.
In North Vancouver I would not garner a second glance. Upon a ferry full of 'normal people' I felt like I would encounter fewer stares had I gone completely naked! I disappeared into the newsstand and perused all the outdoor magazines. Within a few minutes I had come across articles in three different publications either written by or about people I knew fairly well within the scene.
Tracy Garneau brandished the cover of the Canadian Running Magazine 'Trail Special'. Jen Segger was featured in another, and The Mallory Family had a huge write up in a third magazine. I do not know the family intimately, but I did get to meet them while competing against them at the Raid The North Extreme expedition adventure race in The Queen Charlotte Islands in 2007. They became the first FAMILY to scale Mt. Everest together last year! There were also a few other pictures of or by people I recognized/knew throughout these magazines.
My first reaction was. Wow, I've managed to dig myself pretty deep into this scene within five short years. In 2004 I didn't know a single soul within this world because I myself was not a part of it in any way, shape, or form. Yet there I was in 09 picking up magazine after magazine and going, "Hey I know her!" "Hey I know him!", "Hey I recognize them!" It was a pretty cool sensation, and realization for me.
The very next thought I had, as selfish as it is, was 'Hey, I'm doing some decent things within the scene right now, I want in on this stuff!'
By the time I hopped back in the saddle to pedal my way off of the boat I had but one thought going through my head. "Just keep doing what you're doing. Your time will come. Just keep believing in where you're going and doing exactly what you're already doing."
I just returned from an Easter family get together in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island this past Saturday night. Almost a year to the day since I had these thougts. I kept doing what I was doing. I kept training my ass off and continually improving, never settling for less, and recently Derrick Spafford out of Ontario contacted me and asked if he could do an interview for Canadian Running Magazine...and there it was! Almost a year to the day, after I vividly remember standing in the EXACT same spot and simply saying to myself,
"Just keep doing what you're doing. Just keep believing in where you're going."
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