|Journal Entry - May 5, 1999 - (Medicine Hat, Alberta)
Fort Macleod to Medicine Hat
May 5th update
"Just take the Crowsnest Highway from Vancouver to the Travelodge in
Medicine Hat, take a right and you're almost in St. John's!"
Yippee. Almost there now. Just the Trans Canada Highway now...
In Fort Macleod, I began in earnest re-conditioning myself to the
"running stride". As you could tell from the daily run logs, I am
enjoying the full spectrum of results. Most interesting among these is
the realization that "body follows mind". Once the mind has decided
something, truly decided that is, the body simply follows and obeys.
So far I have yet to have a day where the mind knows it has only a
short while to go, but the body gives out. On the other hand, I have
had days where upon reaching our destination, the body shuts down.
This became apparent to me after "enjoying" day 43 from Coaldale to
Barnwell. My plan was to rest in Barnwell and I was exhausted, wet and
cold. Body had shut down. Upon realizing the futility of staying in
Barnwell, "mind" had to kick start "body" for another 10k to Taber, if
you please. Body obeyed & we arrived.
It makes me wonder about how many times I've rationalized saying "no"
just because "body" says "no thank you, I'd rather rest". I have more
fun usually and way better memories when I say "yes" to new adventures,
but I think I 've let "body" say no too many times. Such is my new
And what an adventure Taber was...
Having arrived only hours after their school shooting tragedy, the town
was in shock. A significant reason for living in a small town is to
avoid things like this. The big ugly world had visited small cozy Taber
that day and everyone was understandably shaken.
Then there was Morice Pitre who saw me disembarking from the
RoadRunner. It and I were covered in a layer of wet snow which was
still coming down (or rather, across) relentlessly. His automatic
reaction was to assist, in spite of the hours old foundation-shaking
incident. He invited me into his home. He and his family sheltered me,
fed me and welcomed me into their lives for two days. I will remember
Morice, Josie, Alysa (7) and Brooklyn (1) dearly.
While in Taber, I was fortunate to meet Morice's Dad, Richard Pitre.
Richard is an inventor who created the novelty bicycles of the renowned
Taber Wild Riders. I spent an evening with him and his wife, Patrice,
as they showed me the bikes and some TV coverage of his imagination
made manifest. What a character he is. The ladder bike, the 3 story/3
riders bike, the roadrunner (!), the hockey stick bike and the largest
ridable bike quite possibly in the world. 10 foot wheels! His life's
work has benefitted many people through his creation of "wow" and the
power of "why not?" He made me ask myself why so many people seem to
settle for the ordinary when the extra-ordinary is so much more fun.
Another Taber tale is my first school visits. Yikes. Entertaining
grades 1-9 for 30 minutes. Each school had about 100 kids in
attendance, and when they see something unique, they can go a bit wacky
so it was a bit crazy. But I'd say we all got something out of it. Hope
to do more...
Since Taber town was going through an onslaught of media attention, the
mayor was unavailable for a visit with me, but the staff at Town Hall
was incredible. Rob Cressman and Angela were an immense help. Rob made
a special effort to assist me on the 3rd evening of my stay for which I
will always be grateful. Thanks Rob.
Back in Vancouver, we finally received word from the Millennium Bureau
that the run does not comply with their mandate. Their mandate is to
assist Canadians in celebrating the new Millennium. And Running Into
2000 is a celebration of an optimistic and united Canada entering the
new Millennium together. Hmmmm... Back in March 1998, I investigated
whether the run was eligible for financial assistance. I was told it
was at that point, but now I'm confused... I'll check...
On day 47, I had a wonderful roadside visit with Raymond from Burnaby.
He's on his 12th day cycling from there to St. John's. The previous day
he'd ridden almost 250k, hitting a top speed of 74kph with the
tailwinds. I just looked down at my feet and whimpered...
There have been some incredible sunrises and sunsets that must be
fueled by extreme winds or something. I've had some fantastic
campsites, met some great prairie people and seen some supernatural
panoramas. I love the prairies. I'm even getting used to the winds...
But what the heck are these yellow flies? And why are there so many
This Friday around lunchtime, I'll be in Saskatchewan. Wow. I know I'll
be there since my mind is made up and body will follow.
I hope this update finds your dreams in progress too. Dreaming is a
good start, but apparently, you have to be awake to make them come
Dream. Decide with your mind. Body will follow.