I'm training relatively conscientiously for a charity bike ride in a couple weeks. I'm riding 25 miles in the Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride, for the benefit of the cancer center at the University of Connecticut Health Center (Calhoun, the retired coach of the UConn men's basketball team, is one of the biggest “names” in the state, along with women's coach Geno Auriemma). It's not cheap, as 25-mile rides go — $20 registration and $200 “fundraising” minimum. But my wife's employer, which kicks in $100 on top of my ante, is a sponsor of the ride. I did it a couple years before I was diagnosed, and now, three years since my surgery, I'm going to do it again.
I have never felt comfortable asking friends or family for money to support whatever cause I happened to be involved in at any given time, and I also have rather puritanical ideas about how much money raised by such events should go straight to the cause, but usually doesn't because of “overhead.” But I'm doing the ride anyway, if for no other reason than to signify that I am completely back to “normal.” Twenty-five miles, given the way my professional and personal calendars interlock, has always represented a good “long” ride for me, about two hours long — I just don't have the time to spend an entire day on a bike, and have no wish or need to prove to myself through some gargantuan effort that I am once again a vital and healthy person; I barely skipped a beat after my treatment.
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