In the epic Bike vs Car duel that I am currently playing out on the not so mean streets of southwest London, the score now stands at Car 7 – Bike 5.
I’m trying to cycle to more sessions of radiotherapy than I drive to (Cycling challenges and lowering expectations). It’s an eleven mile round trip. Yesterday, Monday, was the critical day. It was raining (lightly, but it was still raining) and I could so easily have hopped in the car and driven. What a bad start to the week that would have been. It wouldn’t have counted towards the overall score as I’d decided that if the weather was bad, I could drive and it wouldn’t count. I reckoned that was fair. However, it would have meant that, even if I cycled to my final four radiotherapy sessions over the rest of this week, the best I could get would be a 7 – 7 draw. If I wanted a win, I had no choice but to cycle, despite the rain. Now, an 8 – 7 win is still in sight.
I did briefly consider phoning the clinic at 9 o’clock yesterrday morning to ask if they could change my appointment to the afternoon when the forecast was better, but I decided that would have been taking things too far. So I put on my waterproof trousers and jacket and off I went. I got wet, but not soaked. It wasn’t cold and it felt good. By the time I left the clinic to come home, it had stopped raining.
On the way back, I bumped into a good friend and neighbour, the Sky Sports presenter, Dave Clark.
Dave, who’s 49, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago and is living life to the absolute full (Dave Clark interview: Darts presenter lifts lid on five years of battling Parkinson’s – and refusing to throw in the towel). We started chatting about where we might go on holiday this summer. We’re thinking of going where Dave and his family went last year. He said a few things about how beautiful it was then remarked that it rained a lot at that time of year. No sooner had he said that, though, than he followed it with “*But don’t wait for the rain to stop, dance in the rain, eh?” We both knew exactly what he meant. That’s why I cycled to radiotherapy in the rain yesterday and that’s why, in September, Dave will be tackling the 200 mile coast-to-coast walk across the north of England, raising funds along the way for Parkinson’s UK… but hopefully not in the rain! We hope to be with Dave for part of the trip. Way to go, Clarky.
* I’d never heard it before yesterday but I think the original phrase is “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I’m not usually one for cod philosohpy, but this one struck home.