Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 39: Lead

Day 39 miles to/from work: 26.8
Total miles for S4S: 1038.9

You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be lead.
                                                                                                 -Stan Laurel

Dense, dull gray. Leaden.

And that was just inside my head. Once again, sleep was in short supply following Last-Chance Tuesday (networking with rescues to save shelter animals scheduled for Wednesday morning euthanasia, as detailed in Saving the Gator and Another Close One), turning in at 1:30 am and arising—or grudgingly stumbling out of bed—at 6:15 this morning.

Exterior conditions were in perfect sync with my interior landscape, plus the added bonus of a chill wind. Oh boy! Let's get on a bike! From the beginning it, surprisingly, wasn't too bad. Employing leaden legs and mind to grapple with a cantankerous wind did not make it a pleasure cruise; but the routine of rhythmic motion melted away the miles and got me to work.

When a bus passed me with the sign "100 Lives Lost to Breast Cancer Every Day", it made me consider that tragedy—then wonder about other types of loss. How many lives or fractions thereof are lost to inertia every day? How often do all of us get caught up in busy-ness and demands that have no real meaning or simply procrastinate taking the first step for something that would matter to us? I believe we each have a parade to create and lead—or maybe many of them—and so often they never take form. "How stupid would I look? How many people would I annoy? How many people would change their opinion of me (or confirm the worst)?"

The Nike logo "Just Do It" is simple and brilliant. Great marketing, but also a mantra for livin' the dream. Most of the things that, with our last breaths, we will be grateful to have done will probably not happen out of the blue, when we're well rested and excited to do them. They will be those things that even when it's uncomfortable, inconvenient, and the last thing we want to be doing, we nevertheless "just do it".

After almost six decades, I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but S4S gives me a glimpse of how I want to live
—being on the edge, pushing the envelope, seeking the support of a community of loving and like-minded others. Let's keep this community going as we support each other in seeking our personal and collective parades and dreams and "just doing it" whatever that takes. There is a parade waiting for each of us to lead with flair, energy, and our unique brand of whackiness. Without us
without you—that wild, colorful, inspirational event that might have been, which could have drawn countless others into its fabulous and creative vortex,  will only exist as an empty street with some elephant droppings. If you're sitting on the sidelines, get the lead out of your butt, pick up your baton—and lead.

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