This past Saturday, Sam raced in the Alpine Odyssey 100k in Crested Butte, Colorado. He was competing in this ride to hopefully qualify for the Leadville 100 in the summer of 2013. His decision to ride was made just about 6 weeks prior to the ride, and I worried (probably more than I should have) about how he would fare during an intense ride that he had little preparation to complete. I was even more concerned because I knew that I would be unable to be there to offer moral support. Due to obligations made last summer, one of us needed to be here this weekend, and despite my best efforts to find a replacement so that I could be with Sam, it just wasn't in the cards.
As luck would have it, Chris of From the Pavement's Edge contacted me a few days prior to the race and asked if we'd like to meet up. Our families live fairly close to each other (not close by Bostonian standards, but close by non-city-people standards), but have never met in person, and I thought it was wonderful that he wanted to try to connect. I shared that I would be unable to make it to Crested Butte, but I knew Sam would love to have the opportunity to have someone to share "war stories" with before or after the race.
|City of Crested Butte - looks like a lovely place!|
*Photo by Sam
Approximately 10-15 minutes later, I received another message from Chris stating that Sam had made it to the finish and he was in one piece. I was so relieved and happy to know that Sam had made it, and I was entirely grateful that Chris was kind enough to keep me up to date on the happenings. Certainly, it wasn't necessary for him to do so, but it provided a great deal of peace for me knowing that he was okay and had survived the ride.
|Sam riding with with others at the Alpine Odyssey (Sam's on the lower left side of the photo)|
*Photo credit to Mandy
Sam continued on to say that Mandy (Chris' wife) who was assisting during the ride, spoke to a coordinator and was able to put in a good word for him. I was truly touched (and I know Sam was as well). These people... people we don't really know other than getting glimpses into each others' lives via blogs, Twitter, etc... they're so willing to provide information to me so many miles away, and try to help Sam with the process of obtaining a spot in Leadville. The whole day was filled with selfless acts in many forms. While there is no way really to repay Chris and Mandy, or the others who offered encouragement throughout the day, I think this was such a great opportunity to practice paying it forward. I think it also just goes to show that there are good people in the world who do indeed perform selfless acts.
Although it is still quite possible that Sam won't make it into Leadville, I think we were both in awe of these individuals who were so giving, kind, and generous, and while it may appear on the surface that this has little to do with the typical posts here, I think it's an excellent lesson that there are always ways we can help others (big or small, seemingly insignificant or major life-changing necessities), and it was a perfect reminder to live with the spirit of giving - especially in regard to those we don't necessarily know as well. Both Sam and I do our best to be kind to others, and offer help when it appears to be needed, but I know there are also times when it feels as though there are so many more people who are unwilling to offer assistance. The reality is, however, that there is always an opportunity for kindness... even, and perhaps especially, in those unreciprocated moments.