We woke up really early again this morning to get Jeff to the airport. Cousin Jeff, it’s been awesome having you along with us for this stretch of the trip and I hated to see you leave. Since we were kids Jeff has been a huge source of motivation and adventure in my life from skiing, backpacking, and running x-country to newly invented sports like barn jumping (videos to come). Jeff is always pushing every sport to the limit excelling at everything he takes on and this energy has pushed me to always test my limits. A few years ago, Jeff left his job at Xerox to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. I was in school at NC State at the time and was able to catch up with him a few times in North Carolina and Virginia. I was so envious of the freedom and adventure he was experiencing and this was a huge inspiration for this trip.
Exhausted from the fast pace of the last couple weeks, I requested that today be a zero day in Austin, which Jeff introduced us to from from his days on the AT as a relaxation day with zero mileage. When we got back from the airport I spent most of the rest of the day reading emails, updating the blog, and sleeping.
Later in the evening, we decided to watch a movie in the hotel room. We all finally agreed on 127 Hours, a true story about a climber hiking by himself out in Utah that gets his arm wedged between two rocks and can’t get free. After struggling to survive for several days, he finally cuts his arm off in order to escape and survive. In the movie he states that the rock that broke free by some freak of nature and caught his arm was destined for him. That rock was put there with the purpose of this obstacle and everything that happened in his life was pointing him toward this.
As I watched this movie I couldn’t help but reflect on my own situation and some of the similar emotions. Sometimes I think I’m still in shock and haven’t fully grasped what is happening to me. Is this really what my life comes down to for me? Is this my fate? I worked so hard with goals aimed years down the road, and now I’m dieing at the age of 32. Did I eat a piece of fruit with too much pesticide, catch the sunlight on the wrong day, work with the wrong chemical, or is this my fate? Was I programmed from the time I was born to get this disease? Sometimes in the shower or right before bed the gravity of this starts to hit me then goes away. I’m watching myself die and sometimes its hard to grasp that its me I’m watching. How can I free myself from this rock?