Will, skill, and a heaping dose of caring.

Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.  ~Muhammed Ali 

Locals will know the Ride for Roswell. It’s a giant fundraising event, centered around riding bicycles – from a 3-mile family route to an over 100-mile one – on a Saturday in June. It is 8,000 riders strong.

And it’s tomorrow.

R4R 2014 shirt

In the years I’ve ridden – with my children, family, friends, clients, and my firm – I’ve held onto a sense of gratitude and wonder, actually, for what a profound event this is. It supports research and patient care at one of the nation’s few comprehensive cancer centers, which fortunately happens to be in my figurative backyard.

It’s a day of wonder because it’s a celebration above all other things. Celebrating life. Celebrating change. Celebrating progress.

This year’s Ride means something else, something more, because I’ve now had first-hand experience at Roswell and so the researchers and surgeons, the anesthesiologists and residents, the fellows and nurses, the caregivers and schedulers, the door-openers and room service deliverers, the T-E-A-M, are more than theoretical helpers.

They’re now real to me. Real in that I know their names. Know about their families. Know where they vacation. Have shared laughs and Valentine’s Day cookies.

Have been cut up and put back together by them.

They are people who work hard. Who remain cheerful amidst pain and sadness and schedules that are non-stop. Who accommodate. Who try.

They are people who care. I think that’s it, actually. Peel back the layers – and there are many, of course, because humans are complicated – but just peel ’em back and at their core, they are people who care.

I believe they care deeply about their craft, their scientific and intellectual challenges, being precise, being careful, and being thoughtful. They care deeply in a meaningful way about those for whom they care.

And so, we Ride.

And we celebrate.

Peloton street 2014

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