Note: While Fatty is cycling away in France with ANDY FREAKING HAMPSTEN, Paul Guyot has been guest blogging for him.
For my final post here I wanted to get a bit more serious. Not a lot, but some.
First, I want to thank Elden for letting me come into his house and roam around, play with everything, raid the fridge and just be goofy. He is a first-class human. More on that later.
Second, I want to thank all of you. Seriously. You made these two weeks fun, and to be honest, when I accepted the gig, I was slightly terrified. I write stuff that millions of people see each week, but writing for Fatty and Team Fatty is true pressure. Anyone can write a good post here or there – but to do it day in and day out, year after year as Fatty does – well, I could never do that.
And an extra BIG thank you for all the kind words about Bucky. He loved his 15 minutes and hopefully we’ll see a lot of you in Utah next year.
So… this cycling thing is new to me. As mentioned, I only started riding in January of 2010. Since then I’m on my second bike, spent way too much $$ on gear, have had a serious mtn bike crash, done a couple of centuries, lost a bunch of weight, and became completely addicted.
I’m addicted to the pleasures of riding. Seeing, hearing, smelling things you cannot experience in a car.
I’m addicted to the health aspect of it. Addicted to the weight loss. If they’d only lock up the people who make fried food I’d lose even more weight. But it was tough in the beginning. I had to be convinced. I had to be inspired.
One of the first blogs I came across was the Amazing 39 Stone Cyclist. Who is now the Former 39 Stone cyclist. For those that don’t know – 39 stone is equal to 546 pounds. That’s what he weighed. 546 pounds. His doctor said he needed surgery or he would die. So what did he do?
He did not have surgery. He started riding a bike. A lot. And he lost weight. A lot. Now he is a local hero and motivational speaker in Great Britain. He’s won awards. And he continues to push himself. Check out the photos on his blog – if you want your mind blown. His name is Gary Brennan. I call him Gaz. And he’s one of the major inspirations on my early rides where I was learning to push myself.
I also ride because of Fatty. I found this blog in February of 2010 by googling “cycling” and “fat” together. I had no idea who Fatty was, but I was entertained by his writing, and then I became moved and inspired by his story of Susan. Everyone one of us knows what it means to Fight Like Susan.
Though Fatty and I have never met face-to-face I call him a friend. I believe he is one of the most generous, kind-hearted and dedicated people I know. I’m not sure all of you truly grasp the amount of time and effort he puts into this blog and his fundraising. And he does it all for nothing. Sure he gets some SWAG now and then, but when you do the math, he is basically doing all this for free. And a lot of people take it for granted.
I also ride for my job. As a writer, a lot of my “work” time is spent thinking. Imagining. Observing. Making up crap. Riding a bike has been the best muse I’ve ever had. Being outside just flat feels better than being inside. Being healthy feels better than not being healthy. And when one is feeling better, one is thinking better, and thus – I’m a better writer now because of cycling than I ever was before.
But what I ride most for is the suffering. I’m addicted to the suffering. I love the pain. I love the agony. I love it because I know what’s on the other side. I love it because I know – when I don’t quit, when I don’t give up, when I push through the pain – the feeling afterward is unlike anything.
I joked yesterday about what I’ve learned on the bike. Well, the single greatest thing I have truly learned on the bike is what Ken Chlouber from Leadville preaches every year.
You are better than you think you are. You can do more than you think you can.
I have not ridden Leadville. I could not. Yet. I have done nothing like it. A lot of you have not, and could not. But…
We can all DIG DEEP. We are all better than we think we are, we can all do more than we think we can.
This is an absolute truth. I have not ridden Leadville, but I have experienced exactly what Ken preaches – I have learned from the past year and a half on the bike that I can do WAY more than I thought I could. I am WAY better than I thought I was.
And so are you.
That is why I ride. To push myself. To be better. To do more. To dig deep. To hurt. To suffer. And then come through the other side. When I ride there is no red carpet at the end, no buckle, no photographers. It is just me and my bike. But the feeling is the same.
Whether it’s the 100 miles of Leadville, or whether it’s the 6% hill at the end of your neighborhood – You Can Do It. You are better than you think you are. You can do more than you think you can.
My son knows it now. A lot of you know it. And the rest of you will know it. I promise you.
Lastly, Fatty’s blog led me to Livestrong which I’ve already talked about here. And I now ride for Livestrong and the 28 million. This is the part where I post a link to my Livestrong fundraising page and ask you to donate. And tell you that you could win a new Trek Livestrong bike courtesy of Trek.
But, wait. There’s more!!!
In the spirit of all of Fatty’s great fundraising contests, the prize pool has just increased. In addition to the Trek Livestrong bike being given away, and in addition to the second Trek Livestrong bike that will be given away if I hit $10,000, there is a NEW INCENTIVE:
If I hit my fundraising goal of $10,000 one lucky donator will win a VIP VISIT TO THE SET OF TNT’S LEVERAGE – Currently being shot on location in Portland, OR.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness first-hand the magic of television. Mingle with writers, stars and dolly grips! Eat your own weight in snacks from the craft service table.
TERMS: Based on availability and to be scheduled at a mutually convenient date, you and a guest will have a 3-hour visit to the set of LEVERAGE. Please note that due to production scheduling restraints, most likely you will have approximately a two-week notice to book the trip. You will liaise with a production representative to work out all the logistical details. Airfare, transportation, and accommodations not included. Must be redeemed within calendar year of 2012. Cannot be transferred, re-auctioned or resold. Must be at least 18-years of age to redeem.
For every $5 you donate you will get one chance at the raffle for this amazing prize. Prize to only be awarded if I hit hit the $10,000.00 goal. So dig deep. Give hope. Be courageous.
Once again, thanks for putting up with me. I know we are all looking forward to the return of Fatty and his stories of France, and getting this blog back on track.
PS – thanks to everyone who donated to my Livestrong page!