Flowers in California

Flowers in California

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bridge to Euphoria

The Terry Fox Run is an excellent fundraising event.  It continues the legacy of a Canadian hero.  It is an honour to participate in it.

My friend Kim and I chose to walk.  That's ok - nobody has to run.  We raised a little bit of money and started off yesterday morning on our trek, among a crowd of runners and walkers, young and old, human and canine.  It was a nice morning and we enjoyed walking and chatting.

At some point, I noticed that people ahead of us were crossing a pedestrian bridge.  Most people would barely notice.  It was not a high bridge or a precarious-looking bridge.  But it was a bridge and it crossed the river at a location where it is fairly wide.  To me, this presented a crisis.  If I was going to continue on the walk, I would have to cross the bridge.

It was very difficult for me to get across but I did it.  My friend Kim helped greatly by letting me hold onto her and by speaking gentle, supportive words.  I will never forget her kindness.  I hope that her hand was not seriously damaged by my grip.

After the crossing, and once we'd gotten what I considered a comfortable distance away from the bridge, I was proud.  It was embarrassing to have been upset so I wasn't overly proud but I was really pleased with my accomplishment.  It hadn't seemed possible.

(Here we'll gloss over the fact that we soon realized there was another bigger, higher, more open bridge to cross to go back over the river.  I chose not to try that one and, long story short, we took public transit back to the other side.  It wasn't a timed race, we did make it back in our own way, and you don't get memories like we have from sticking to the official route.)

By the time we went out to lunch after the walk, I felt euphoric.  There was a new richness to life, friendship, conversation and food.  Although I wouldn't have asked for the event to go the way it did, I felt great and it was a very satisfying experience.

I don't often challenge myself to try new things, and things that terrify me.  I did this by accident.  Maybe I should challenge myself more.  Maybe we should all reach out and conquer new things, face our fears.  It may seem easier to sit back and try to stay safe.  But safety doesn't lead to a feeling of accomplishment and a sense of euphoria.  They're nice feelings and I think I'd like to have them more often.  And even if I have to feel like I felt on that bridge, it's worth it to get to those feelings on the other side.

Thank you to Kim.

Thank you to Terry Fox for the journey he began.  He did so much more than cross a bridge.  He started running and the world joined in.  Thank you, Terry.


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