On Sunday, November 7th, 2021, Brad and I were wrapped in the love of a crew of friends as we did a Run/Ride in the Goodlife FITNESS 10K Run, one of the events during the Bluenose Marathon Weekend. “At the ancient Olympics, the only prize was the crown of olive leaves cut from the sacred tree at Olympia.” For all the great friends who joined us to complete the course and take a turn pushing me in the Hippocampe Wheelchair, I present you a crown of Olive Leaves. Congratulations: Brad Crossley, Leslie Crossley, Ray Richard, Amanda Quarmby-Bennett. Terry Worthen, Mike Fougere, Dan Gravelle, Jer Leftbridge, Cory Tetford, Glen Sampson, and Melissa Stone. It was wonderful having you at my side from the start to the end of the route. For all those who cheered us along the way, you lifted our spirits at every turn. For all those who contributed to the fundraising initiative for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Halifax, we surpassed our goal – OohRah! It was a win-win-win day filled with magical moments I will carry in my heart for the rest of my time on this blue dot we call planet Earth.
The support Brad and I experienced throughout this adventure is truly remarkable. And the attention in the media is overwhelming but I think that translated to a lot of contributions for BBBS which stands at around $11,613 as I write. You might notice Brad is holding my arm in the picture above. I’m not all that balanced on my feet these days and the last thing we wanted was me to fall this close to the Finish.
Funny how lost I was for words at the Finish line. The emotions were overwhelming which I don’t think comes as a surprise but I really didn’t expect to be so flabbergasted. I was in that place where you live when inner peace has taken over your existence which I think is the meaning of Nirvana. Here’s hoping you find yourself there from time to time.
Brad and I hosted a party for the folks who did the Run/Ride with us where we treated them to Irish Stew, Rolls, Carrot Cake, Nibblies, and Adult Refreshments (compliments of Wade Keller who planned to join us but had to travel for work). What follows is an edited version of a thank-you speech I made at the event.
So many things have happened. And when you know that your life is limited, it gives you cause to reflect on what really counts in life and what’s meaningful. Now, I don’t know that I ever necessarily had it wrong. But I never really gave it a bunch of thought. But the last couple of years has given me a huge amount of opportunity to reflect on what really is most meaningful and why life is worth living.
And I can tell you hands down, the most important behavior is loving other people and letting them know. And you will find out the more that you do that, the more that it comes back to you. It makes life worth living. It makes life important. And that experience between all of us is what really gets us up in the morning and makes us have a great day in front of us.
And I feel so sad when I see people that I know don’t have that richness in their world. And I have so much of that richness. And it’s because of you guys and people like you. I’d like to offer a huge shoutout to my wonderful wife. She has suffered me for more than 43 years and allowed me to do whatever the hell I wanted that I was allowed.
We have five marvelous children, two spouses, one fiance, and one grandchild, and another one on the way.
Love trumps everything else. Guys tend not to be expressive with their emotions. As I’ve become more expressive with letting people know I care for them and/or love them, the more I find people are comfortable with reciprocating. I encourage you to become more open and loving with your feelings for others. The more you do, the easier it gets.
And so I think your participation is such a show of love for Brad and me. I thank you for taking part. You know, Dan coming up from Boston is such a powerful example of a loving relationship even though they wouldn’t use those words. The overwhelming support that I have from people in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands are my global support pillars that I’ve met through cycling.
The little blue dot we inhabit is tiny and as you do more things you start to realize more about what we have in common than the differences. You may have noticed that I did a live video chat with my friend Wietse in the Netherlands so he could share in the moment. This brilliant young man has taught me much about sustainability and I’m confident he will go on to change the world in a positive way in his future. When he found out Janet and I had to cancel our plans to fly to the Netherlands because I wouldn’t have coverage if I became hospitalized, Wietse and his girlfriend Roxanne flew to Canada to spend Thanksgiving weekend with my family. That was such a special time and represents how many wonderful people I have in my life.
All of you who joined Brad and me for the Run/Ride occupy a place in my heart I will carry for the rest of my days.
Raise your glasses. Cheers to you all. I love you.
The Media Attention
What started to be a personal adventure for Brad and me escalated to become an important fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Halifax. To my surprise and delight, we got a lot of media attention which had a positive impact on donations. My heartfelt thanks to our local media. You surpassed my expectations. I feel like such a celebrity. I think Brad has it right when he suggests that these days we all are dealing with so many COVID-related isolation challenges and subject to one “bad news” story after another, that our story is a “feel good” moment people are thirsting to hear.
Here’s a summary of items you can visit and playback and/or read.
Monday, November 1st, 2021
CTV’s Natasha Pace met Brad and me on Monday morning for pictures, video, and an interview in order to prepare an article that ran at the end of Live at 5 later in the day. Click the logo below to play.
On October 6th, I recorded a session with Sick Boy Podcasts. It was released on Monday and I was surprised at how much fun I had listening to the session. Click the logo below to play.
Friday, November 5th, 2021
The Chronicle Heralds Sports Reporter Glen Sampson interviewed Brad and me earlier in the week and that article went live today (Friday, November 5th). Click the logo below to read.
Monday, November 8th, 2021
CBC’s Colleen Jones chased us around the route on a folding bike to get video and pictures throughout the Run/Ride. She got quite the workout. Click the logo below to play.
My friend Ian Robinson is with Hot Country 103.5 and has been an announcer with the Mooseheads for years. He knew that Janet and I were a billet family and hosted Alexis Gravel for two years. He put together a story for his radio show along with a print article. Thank you Ian. Click the logo below to read.
And finally, the Chronicle Herald did a follow-up article on Monday, November 8th, 2021. It was the lead story on the front page. Click the logo below to read.
And What’s Next
I was asked the question by the media, family, and friends, “What’s next?” At this point I don’t have any plans but Brad and me have started that conversation. We don’t expect we can top our Run/Ride experience but there are more adventures to come.
Let me close by thanking all those who made a contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Halifax. The event is over but the fundraising remains open until November 14th in case you’d like to make a donation. Both Brad and I are thrilled with the response. Thanks to all.
As always, a huge shoutout to all the family and friends who have been at my side as support pillars as my cancer adventure continues. You motivate me every moment to continue to live large and look to put check marks next to items on my bucket lists.
Peace, Love, and Laughter
PS – And I close with a mention to God for his constant presence in my life and providing with the courage I need to face every day with a positive outlook and desire to stay calm and carry on!