May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine always on your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again
may God hold you in the palm of his hand
I’m sitting here in Barbados trying to think of a name for my blog. I first tried blogging last Fall on our trip to Tuscany and much to my surprise a few people even read that epistle. But the blog name was kind of boring and I have been racking my brain for something a little less generic but that would somehow represent some of the passions in my life, particularly with my intent to keep a blog of my bicycle tour this summer. But more on that shortly.
The Irish blessing reprinted above has always been, to me, a beautiful sentiment. Perhaps the first “Irish” blessing I recall hearing was the one the Irish Rovers used to end their TV shows: “May you be half an hour in heaven before the devil knows you’re dead”. While this was always a catchy little saying, I always found the longer blessing above to somehow strike a chord with me. Perhaps it is because the second and third lines seem to be so pertinent to 3 of the activities I most enjoy. Whether I’m running, sailing, or cycling it is always preferable to have the wind at your back. Yes, you can sail into the wind and it can sometimes be quite an exciting sail. But to sail “off the wind” is just more relaxing and easier. Running or cycling into the wind just sucks. Pure and simple. And any outdoor activity just seems that much more enjoyable if the sun is warming your face.
So as I sit here contemplating my 15th marathon that I ran in Huntington Beach, California a little over a month ago, my sailing charter about to begin in a few days, and my cycling adventure of a lifetime which will start in a few months, the second line of the above blessing just kept running through my mind. The more I thought, the more “Wind at your back” just seemed to be appropriate. So there you have it.
So now that I’m through that long winded introduction to this new blog, I will get into an equally long winded explanation of why I’m in Barbados. On second thought, I’ll deal with that over the next few days. That, therefore, leaves the other major upcoming event, my aforementioned cycling adventure.
A few years ago on a Saturday morning bike ride with friends I first met John. Over the course of several rides together he told me about a cross-Canada cycling tour he had done. The trip, known as the Tour du Canada, started in Vancouver and ended in St. John’s. Participants camped pretty much every night over the course of 10 weeks. Way back in my late teen-years (OK eons ago) I had dreamt of riding across Canada but the logistics of doing the trip had escaped me. And once I started working after university somehow the thought of doing this trip got pushed to the back of my mind. But talking to John reawakened that dream and started me down the path to registering to ride it this year. I officially registered last November as soon as the registration for the 2013 ride opened up. The marathon I ran in February was deliberately picked so that I could run one marathon in 2013 and still leave time for the training I need to do for the Tour du Canada. Early in the year I started taking a spin class. After returning from California I started in on two spin classes a week along with riding my trainer in the basement. Hopefully, shortly after we get home from this trip I will be able start logging the 2000 kilometres they recommend that you ride in the Spring before the Tour.
But for now the snow and cold of home is a long ways away as I listen to the waves breaking on the shore and think of boarding a catamaran in a few days for a 2-week charter.