There were intimate gatherings of those involved in the LOTOJA race, who met to mourn in a smaller setting. There were Rob Verhaaren memorial rides. And there were quiet reminders of Rob's 43th birthday on September 13th with celebratory candles placed in front of his home.
Perspective hit home for me this week, with the recognition of another tragic event: 9/11. Each year the City of Tempe, AZ displays almost 3,000 flags in their beach park to honor each of the victims who died in the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. The HEALING FIELDS is quite a breathtaking site.
The 8-foot high flags are tied with name placards which tell where the victims were working at the time of the deadly attacks. And as the flags flapped in the breeze as I walked through the ailes and rows of these visible displays of life, I had an epiphany: you can die in a building, at work, at a desk, or you can die riding a bike through the spectacular scenery of southern Wyoming.
There will always be reason to fear. There can always be excuses to NOT do something. But I'm choosing to live. And to ride. And to make the most of my short visit here on earth. There is something in the blood of every cyclist, runner, swimmer, mountain climber -- that CRAVING for the wind at your back and fresh air in your face. We WANT to tackle something bigger than us. We NEED to crest the mountain peak. We DESIRE to cross the finish line. We want to LIVE.
And so, with new perspective we carry on. And take with us the traits that Rob has so vividly reminded us: keep things in balance, spend time with those you love, serve others, prioritize the important stuff, and most of all -- follow your heart.