Day 23: Moose Jaw to Regina 75km
I have been thinking to myself lately that I have a pretty awesome office. I get to take my office wherever I go and most of the time I’m outside in nature. Pretty great if you ask me.
This morning before heading to the office I decided to check my email. I received an email from the host of Big Dog 92.7 Mornings. He said that he wanted to interview me that morning if I had time. I’m not even sure if I had turned on the lights yet in the hotel room when I called him. I could hear him talking as if he was on air so I panicked and hung up. I thought to myself what are you doing you haven’t even said a word out loud yet today, your voice may crack? So I emailed him instead, saying with pleasure. Sure enough he asked if that was me calling before. After a couple email exchanges he called and I was on the air doing an interview for Ride Away Stigma. It was a funny experience because I was not told ok we are now on air, I could just tell by his voice changing. At the end of the interview he invited me to come to the studio for another interview tomorrow morning. He also said stay warm and dry outside…hmm.
I had turned on the lights but had not yet looked outside. My office was not as glorious as most days. It was dark and rainy. But hey, after a day of riding in the rain you feel awesome so I powered on with getting ready. At the start of the ride my mom warned me that if there was lightening I needed to get into the car. I think only a minute after that I saw lightening far in the distance. It appeared that where we were heading was clearing so I continued on and kept an eye out. Luckily, the day did clear up… well the rain cleared up.
I had a couple calls while at work today. Yesterday a friend, who I met in Calgary, has been generously sending out tweets for me to cities along the route and she wrote to the Regina Police. Within an hour I was speaking to the Regina Police to plan an event for today. They offered to send out my media release in hopes of getting coverage. It is so amazing how social media works and I am grateful for Kelli’s help.
As it can be hard to plan an exact time of arrival we decided we would speak in the morning. Since Elizabeth, the Public Relations Officer, does work for the police, I made sure to inform her that I had pulled off to the side of the road to take her call and not chatting while riding hehe. We made a plan of where to meet the officers who were escorting me into the city. I always find it exciting when people join on a ride, so this became my motivation on this grey, windy day. My second call was from CTV to find out when I would be cycling in today and to ask if I wanted to come on their morning show tomorrow. So fun! I am really looking forward to this.
When I pulled up to the to my support vehicle, I could see two officers waiting. It’s funny to think about being excited to have officers waiting for you but in this case it is so great to have their support! As we began cycling into the city we were greeted by two more officers on bikes. The four of us rode into the Police Headquarters downtown Regina. A couple times I saw media filming the ride in and would wave to the camera. I never know if they are wanting me to wave, smile or make it an action shot. It all feels a little awkward but exciting.
I had no idea what was going to happen once we were arriving at Police Headquarters. As I pulled up, I saw people all around the main entrance. They cheered as I approached. It was very overwhelming, in a great way, as I did not know so many people would be there. Before meeting everyone, I was asked to do an interview for CTV and Global. They both went very well and I was then eager to find out who everyone was. In addition to members of the Police force there was a group from the Schizophrenia Society of Regina and Dr. Carelton, a professor from University of Regina. Elizabeth invited Dr. Carelton as he had just published an article on PTSD among first responders.
We went upstairs for a small reception and dessert. Of course I had plenty of desserts, but come on they had my favourite…Nanaimo bars! Aside from the dessert I was really honoured by everything they shared with me and how welcoming they were. I was given a medal (unfortunately I was too overwhelmed to remember the correct name of it) that symbolizes that I am a part of them. I was so moved by this that it brought tears to my eyes. I was worried entering into the prairies that I may feel lonely, as I do not know anyone here but that feeling dissipated instantly in Regina.
As I was sitting in the hotel room trying to catch up on emails, that I am forever falling behind on, I thought that it would help me to contact an athletic therapist for my one leg. I have received work a couple times since being on the road and my one leg is acting up again. Before googling for a therapist, I became side tracked and looked at my twitters as it just beeped with a couple notifications. One of the notifications was a new follower. As I checked out Garret’s profile I thought to myself this is too weird. He is a message therapist and works with athletes. I quickly followed back so I could message him to see if he had time to work on my leg. Right away I could tell that this was meant to have happened. That evening I went to his house to meet he and his wife. Instantly I felt comfortable as if I had known them for years. We were sharing stories of different adventures we had been on and other stories. While I was getting work done on my leg, we chatted about my plans for September as I am debating between Vancouver and Canmore to seek employment. As we finished I thought, ‘Vancouver is the right choice.’ As I sat in Garret’s washroom, I looked up and there was a picture of The Three Sisters in Canmore (a mountain range). I laughed and questioned Garret, jokingly, if he was playing games with me. He had completely forgotten that that photo was there. All kidding aside I was grateful for the time he spent working on my legs to get them strong from the rest of my ride and for our conversations regarding the future and fears that can get in the way. If I wasn’t so tired and didn’t have to get up before 6am, I think I could have spent hours talking to he and his wife, Amy.
I have met so many amazing people along this journey. They have all impacted me in such a different way and I just hope that perhaps, I too have made an impact.
I would also like thank Comfort Inn and Westmont Hospitality Group for donating two rooms for our stay in Regina. We are very grateful for the support.