I'm on Ragbrai this week. I’m writing this from the road – literally; I’m in someone's front lawn in Algona, Iowa with my best friends this week. We're eating steak and drinking beer and celebrating each other's accomplishments. Mine? I did one hundred and five miles. This was the century loop day - you could choose to do 100+ miles or not, and a lot didn't but some of us did - and it was hard, seriously and amazingly hard but after ... it was so cool to say I did it.
Ragbrai isn't a vacation for everyone - someone said tonight after riding 70 miles "Where is the fun in this? We're looking really hard, but we still haven't found it." The fun is in the accomplishment. It's sitting today with a bunch of people who went through the "ring of fire" together and came out on the other side, triumphant. There is a pride that is hard to explain. I did a marathon a long time ago and my time was not worth publishing, and I was pretty much a mess the last 10 miles, but I tell everyone that I ran a marathon ... everyone, all the time. (If you want pictures, I’ll provide.)
Dr. Palit quoted Robert Frost today on the marathon loop. He talked about the road less traveled. I completed his thought with "it makes all the difference". This is who we are. Our success is because we camp in others yards ... we ride 100 mile rides ... we run marathons ... we step out and do what others are afraid of because that's who we are. And thank God we are; healthcare is a scary place to be right now, and only those who will buck the trend and do the hard things will survive. Yay us.