Once a year the fair came to town. It was named the Powell River Sea Fair because we lived by the sea and there were no hot ad houses in the area at the time. Late night meetings discussing names like Crispy Hair Fair, Delayed Ferry Fair and Geographic Isolation Fair never happened. In a town where you had to travel far to get to anything lavish, this annual town fair was the one big city thing that came to us. Delivered right smack dab into the parking lot of the abandoned arena.
To this day when I catch a waft of carny breeze, I can feel fear like I’m standing right there looking up at the rusty Zipper with my friends taunting me to buy the ticket and strap in. Which I always did. I am weak to peer taunts. Being whipped about to the sound of blood curdling screams and the occasional ping of a flyaway bolt bouncing off a safety bar, you feel some feels. Nausea, dizziness, fear. But then inevitably excitement, adrenaline, power. Power is one of my favorite feels.
When I overcome fear I feel power. That’s me. Cycling works well for this. Bigger hills. Faster groups. Longer distances. There’s always more power to find. Stand-up comedy is another way to tap into the fear/power matrix. Or fear/beer if it’s a bad gig. If something is presented to me that scares me a little bit, I know now that it’s an invitation to move forward instead of letting it stop me in my tracks. Except bears. And diner gravy.
Each year riding Tour For Kids I go in scared and come out She-Ra. Then I take the Monday completely off from everything to feel all the feels. I’m feeling a little pain from some bruises from a fall. I have zero feels in that general area where your Barbie legs snap off from her torso. I feel incredibly humbled that a couple of newer cyclists call me Coach. I feel pretty proud of myself for squeezing my first Grand Fondo into day one.
The Feels can be described as a wave of emotions that sometimes cannot be adequately explained. I may or may not have had them the first time I saw Tom Jones up close. Yes I did. I got them hard on day three of riding this year. Flanked by parents and friends of children lost. While hearing words from a girl just starting medical school read by a Dad who lost his own dear girl. While making “come here” cowboy noises each time we rode by a horse farm with thoughts of the wise and spunky horse lady we lost just this week. Seeing donations and messages come in from my incredibly generous and supportive people.
It’s a lot of feels.
And these kinds of feels can be scary. Many would rather just turn away and not deal with the feels because of that fear. But. And this is a big but. I got it from all the cycling. If for any reason you are on the fence about whether or not you might do one of these big rides, I encourage you to buy a ticket and strap in. Feel the feels. Do the things. Change your life.
The next event is happening Oct 1 and there’s booze! And not just stashed in your dorm room or in water bottles. Classy like in glasses etc. Tour D’Epicure. See you there, power winos!