What a tale my thoughts could tell..

It seems like we all cycle, or run, or swim, or exercise, for the simple act of escaping, or fulfilling a dream, passion, a need for expression, a release of energy, a way to feel the burn, and get that endorphin high.

I have been touched by so many people, and I have allot of great friends. As I sit and read a book at night about pushing to the next level, and achieving dreams, I think of the one person who has impacted me the most. And then for a reason still not clear to me, I wanted to share with my cycling friends.

The person who pushes me the most, the person who I think about when severe dehydration, muscle failure, tiredness, and pain sets in is my brother Jeremy.

Jeremy was struck and killed by a car in 1992. He was 16 years old. We used to run together, bike together, start fights, fight with each other, all sorts of madness that a brother and sister could get into, hopefully without being caught.

Early after the accident, I would feel him running with me, or by the side of the balance beam as I attempted a front flip. He would eventually see me thru my first marathon, wake me up on the side of the trail in my first 24 hour bike race, and see me back to my support crew as I bleed from every part of my face.

He has been with me thru my aspirations to be an incredible mountain biker, he has cried with me on the side of a deserted road, as I missed him. He has given me the strength to keep running thru the pain at my first Ironman, to leave home at 18. He has led me to elope, to complete an ultra run, to spend ridiculous amounts of cash on one night in a hotel, to buy that 40 dollar bottle of wine, and register for a race, even if I am not sure I will be able to compete.

To love; without question, to spend without worry, and do irrational things, like write this all to you.

He has helped me, become me.

To organize overnight centuries, the 4am ride, the night run. the adventure race and scavenger hunt, the pub crawl.

I might forget to call my best friend, I might forget to call my worst friend. I do not always remember to email, or send a letter. I am over the top, and then not at all. I am crazy, insane, bewildering , downright sexy, and shameless.

Never with a bad intention, just simply moved by the moment, and not all there.

I hope you too tonight, or tomorrow, or after you read this, simply start with one thing.

reach for the one you love, your other, your family, and love them. Simply love them, and let them know.

and then, oh the list I could write to you, ...

go out for ice cream, buy the big beer, take a vacation, skydive, ask your mom about high school, trek across the USA, look thru old pictures, go to your high school reunion, call an old friend, see a sunrise, go back to school, wear high heals, cross dress, take your kids to Disney world, apologize (even if it is not your fault), get a coloring book and crayons, remember why you fell in love, take a walk, don't open your mail for three days, stop TV for a month, make your wife breakfast in bed, teach your kids something you liked to do as a kid, return bottles, recycle, sign the back of your license, buy a good book, share.

I think it is time to get riding again.

Heather Mason