Friday, 29 June 2012

Making a Difference

Maverick on her very first ride

For the last 8 days, I have had a new addition to my house. 7 days ago, she was christened: 
Maverick T Failla. 

M = Mely, Michelle, Michaela and Mark
A = Aino and Annie
V = Vince
E = Eddie
R = Richard and Ruth
I = I am the one who will take these fighters and angels on my journey
C = Caroline
K = Ken

T = Tom & Tommaso 

Sticking with Failla tradition, she will be shortened to MAV - respecting the 2 fighters who have been there since day one - Michelle and Vince. 
So, who are all these names? 
These are people I refer to as Angels and Fighters. Because that is what they are. They are either angels who sit on my back and help me every kilometre of the way or they are fighters who have put in a battle for their life. 
And there are more names - like Hannah, Belinda, Jodie, Graham, Bev, Bill, Jim ... 
These are the names that I had stuck on my old bike Mince. They were names of people that were being honoured and remembered through donations to Peter Mac. For 8 months, I had been riding Mince my Giant Cross City 3 with these names to look down upon and give me the strength that I needed. When I came to a hill climb (which I am not great at) I would look down and know that no matter what the pain I was going to feel - it was nothing compared to what these people had experienced. I had a choice to suck it up and climb the hill or I could have got off my bike and walk the easy road. I had a choice. But this is something that these names, these people, didn't have. They had their choice taken away and faced one steep painful climb. So I would pick a name and I would think about what they went through. And this would be the power that I needed to climb those hills.
Thanks to some very special people at Liv/giant - especially Jo Hall and Jess Douglas - I now have Maverick in my lounge ready to make my journey that bit easier. She is a Giant Avail Advanced 2. She is there as my morphine - to take some of the pain out of my journey! 
To quote a famous cyclist and cancer survivor - this is not about the bike! (Thanks Lance Armstrong for a great read!) What this is all about is a realisation that I am making a difference. For the last 8 months, I am one of many people out there riding for a reason. For some, their reason is to be the best. For others, it is to chase a dream, to get fit, to get to work or because they just love the wind in their hair! For me, my reason to ride is to Fight Back and to Conquer Cancer. And when I told those lovely ladies in Jo and Jess why I ride .. well, I can only say that they were inspired to make a difference to me. (No amount of thanks could ever be enough!) 
Ride Life - Ride Giant ... it fits yeah? :) Liv/Giant - Absolutely!! 
The definition of Giant - thing of great size, a person or thing of extraordinary power, significance, or importance ... and that is what this journey is all about. So it is only fitting that a Giant Bike is also my mode of conquering! 

It is nice to know that my angels and fighters names are going to be on Mav soon too! More thanks to Jo who has offered to make a customer sticker for Mav featuring all of those precious people. 

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