Day 44




A small price to pay.

I talked about feeling anxious yesterday. This may have been for a couple of reasons. One, the fact that I’m getting so close I’m afraid of something going wrong, or two, the fact that my breakfast was turning into food poisoning. I woke up at approx 3 am feeling nauseous. Thinking I might be dehydrated, I walked down stairs to get a glass of water, and a Tums. I drank the water and began to feel a little better so I started chewing the Tums. About half way into my Tums, it hit me, and I sprinted toward the toilet. I projectile vomited with the majority hitting dead center; however I was too far away so the over spray coated the toilet and back wall. Nothing like cleaning toilets at 4 am.
The boys at Altoona were really fun, I enjoyed my stay with them. I learned what a whacker is. You’ll have to figure that one out yourself.
I stopped to pee in a field along the way. I walked out by a corn field. There was some kind of sticker bush brushing along the back of my jersey. I was wearing my bib style shorts. That means that if I need to go number 2, I need to take my jersey off. As I pulled my jersey off the stickers lodged themselves all over the upper portion of the bib. I did not notice until I was down the road, scratching like a dog. I also had huge sticker balls on my rear, and little stickers in my shins.
It rained most of the day. It was not too bad, until the water soaked through my jacket. Then it got cold. There is nothing like riding a coat hanger through a lighting storm. I took my iPod off to keep it dry until I got cold, then I figured as long as it lasts the rest of today. Cold and hungry, I stopped to eat in a little dinner named Chilly Willy’s, the owners put my meal on the house. I never really warmed up. Along the way I came across a bike shop going out of business. I bought a real waterproof jacket for $12.95, score. Finally I started to warm up.
For the first time I am starting to see the finish line. I am still remaining very focused on the finish. It looks like rain for the rest of the trip. I plan on riding 100 miles a day until I finish. I am planning my day with 100 mile goal and a 50 mile backup plan. My finish date will be dictated be the weather. The weather out here is no joke, it says when you ride, not you. It’s not always just rain, sometimes its a downpour with heavy wind and hail.
Now the chess game begins. When and where to move will be the question.
Today I thought about the men that responded to Ground Zero. As I was riding in the wet and cold, I thought about them. These men could not quit, could not just jump in a car and go home. They did what most are unwilling to do anymore, they did not quit when it got tough. This is what our fire service is and must remain. We don’t get into cars when we get tired, we don’t stop when it gets to hot, we Do Not Quit. 343 men did not quit and they died. They died because they did not quit. How far are you willing to go for your job? Are you willing to die for it. If you are a fireman, you better be. Those men set the bar for us. Are we that dedicated?
While I’m on my soap box, 9-11 was a terrible tragedy and it is my opinion that NO ONE should benefit from that tragedy. It is one thing for the victims families to be reimbursed for their loses, it is another for other groups to use this event to raise money for their cause. Honor the men that gave their lives, don’t exploit them.
Never Forget.

7 thoughts on “Day 44

  1. what, No Forrest Gump style Pancho? I will have to inquire further about this “whacker” when you return. Reading your blog this morning was a great start to my day. I have not been getting much sleep lately and I am training hard… for what I am not sure.. but when it comes, I will be ready :). That Beard is freakin awesome by the way.

  2. Sticker bushes and rain…YUCK! I am so glad that you still seem to have a good attitude! I bet you are running the gambit of emotions each time you think of those selfless men. I know I do. I pulled out my scrapbook I made after 9-11 and cried the other day. I remember EVERYTHING about that day. I cried a lot, mostly for the families of those that were lost. I was only an EMT back then, I didn’t know what it meant to be a part of a brotherhood. I understand now why they didn’t quit. I wouldn’t and I certainly know my husband wouldn’t. We are so proud of you Jason and are so grateful for your sacrifice and your willingness to share your thoughts and insight with us! You are getting so very close. Keep going, we all admire you!

    God speed brother!

  3. Never forget! We honor those who died on 9-11 but especially those who, as Jason said, voluntarily went into that inferno to help others.
    Jason- sorry about your stickers, and puking, and the rain, and all the physical and mental challenges you are facing and BEATING!
    Stay focused! You are so close! Hang i n there buddy. We are all rooting for you. You even got a write up in the Register.
    Buon Viaggio! Be well, good luck.

  4. I was a little behind on my reading. I was crackin up at the dogs chasing you, the priceless hole, the mustache filter and oh those stickers. See all your hardship is paying off for my benefit too! Oh and the hammock- yes Nicole told me about the hammock, seems like a must have item. I hope its light weight! On a more serious note- you are so close, keep your chin up and only keep it down if it’s raining, hailing or if you’re using your stache filter. Just one more day till you see some familiar faces, see you soon! Love you!

  5. Jason, You are the toughest person I know! You are overcoming so many obstacles and keeping an amazing attitute. Your wisdom shows through in all your writing. I love the way your friends encourage you and I especially love you and Nicole in all the ways she has helped you to stay on your Tribute Ride! Love MOM

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