day 45

Day 45: Wawa to Batchawana Bay 150km

I often find after a very social exciting day that I have a challenging time the next day.  I have been very mindful in regards to September 8.  I will have so much excitement and energy built up from the closing ceremonies that I know the next day may be challenging.  Fortuntately I have some family in from Florida who I will get to see and have lots of visits with friends and family who I haven’t seen all summer.  I will probably also start the day with a bike ride so that I still get the endorphins.

Today was a challenging day.  I think that there were a few different reasons.  Last night we watched the movie called, A Long Way Down. It was about individuals who were going to take their lives on New Year’s Eve from the roof of a famous building in London.  They all showed up around the same time and ending up building a relationship with each other.  Don’t worry I am not giving anything away as that is all in the previews.  It was nice to see big name Hollywood stars acting in a movie that helps to bring awareness  and understanding to suicide, and the different reasons why people may feel that, that is their only option.  The movie created moments where one was laughing out loud and then having eyes full of tears.  It kind of sounds like I am trying to promote the movie or something…too bad I can’t get paid for this.  But I loved how they created this bond and supported each other.  It also made me think of when you are feeling so low, you think others won’t understand and that suicide is your only option.  The next day, I was very focused on my Dad.  I wish that he had support, had asked for support.  Maybe he did and I really don’t know.

I am sure as I am getting closer to home too, it is bringing up a lot of memories about him.  For the first 100km of the ride I hardly spoke a word and rode either a kilometer ahead or behind Will so that I could be on my own.  A couple times I found myself with tears running down my face.  He has been gone for over half of my life now and I feel as each year goes by he will be further and further away.  It is awful to think but when I hear of someone loosing a parent around my current age, I get jealous thinking of all those extra years they had.  When I was 13 I was so little and we had such silly conversations like about all the celebrity boys I had a crush on or the different activities I was involved in.  We still had a great relationship but I never had a grown up conversation with him.  I always fantasize about the outdoor adventures we would go on together.

Another thing that upset me while I was riding was thinking about a chart I was sent the other day showing “Where We Donate VS. Diseases That Kill Us”.  I know we are all touched by different diseases and that motivates us for where we spend our money.  And everyone has the right to choose.  But on this chart is shows that 39 518 people die by suicide a year (I’m not sure if that is in one country or in the world as I don’t has access to the document the photo came from) and only $3.2 million is donated.  How is it possible that so many people are affected by this and hardly any funding is going there?  A lot of it has to do with the stigma and people feeling shame after someone they know dies by suicide.  We need to stop hiding behind that stigma and shame and realize what the problem is.  The person who died is not a coward or selfish.  We as society are failing these people.  I am fortunate by how many people have donated and supported Ride Away Stigma but know it is only one small step towards the big picture.  I guess today it is hard to still be motivated focusing on the small steps but that is how big changes start.

After about 100km I found I had processed my thoughts and my pains and was able to start feeling like myself again.  Thankfully during the ride I was still really able to enjoy the breathtaking scenary.  Some of the views were probably some of the best I have ever seen in Canada.  It looked like we were somewhere tropical with evergreens.  It felt really refreshing cycling along the water and being in the trees.  I’m sure it was healing.

After the 150km ride I layed down on the grass outside of our little cabin.  I felt emotionally exhausted but was feeling stronger at the same time.  I am looking forward to some relaxing time now.