Sunday, February 27, 2011

Getting away from things by cycling

I've been sadly neglecting this blog. There have been rides and runs. There has been a lot of thinking about life and uncertainty, and getting to grips with that. I've been feeling a lot more grounded. So it was a shock on Tuesday to get back from a meeting to hear that there had been a huge aftershock in Christchurch. It was quickly clear that this time there would be a death toll.

H and I are lucky. We have no immediate family in Christchurch, but we do have extended family, all of whom are, as far as we know, ok. For a few days I thought a friend may have been in Christchurch when the quake hit, but she was located on Thursday in Abel Tasman. Hamish's parent company's office is a write-off, and they have a container-load of stock on the port which they'd been waiting for since the last quake. They have no idea whether it has survived. I've spent the week dealing with business continuity stuff as our own Christchurch office is out of action. Still, it's been hard to know what to do to help.

So when a friend asked me to help organise a virtual charity run I was eager to help out. Since then things have gone viral. We're getting blogger coverage around the world, we've been on National Radio, and events are being organised everywhere. On day two we're already past our fundraising target.

By this morning it was all getting a bit overwhelming and I needed to think about something else for a while. I drove out to Upper Hutt and went for a ride.

We rode from Upper Hutt over the Blue Mountains (which were steep and sweaty), down through Whiteman's Valley and Mangaroa, over the hill, up over Wallaceville, back through Mangaroa again, and then headed back to the town centre again.

It was a perfect day for cycling - not too cool, not too hot, very little wind. I didn't feel fabulous on the hills but the others thought I looked strong. We were flying on the flat without too much effort.

Sometimes the best way to deal with a traumatic event, and to build yourself up before diving back in again to continue helping, is to spend some time cycling with friends in the beautiful outdoors.


Kate said...

Exactly how I felt on my ride this morning- although I was lonely, so it was a bit of a struggle to get run4chch out of my head.

Mike said...

Glad you were both able to get out and clear your heads of run4chch

It is amazing how quickly it snowballed. I think it has slowed down now although I'm not sure I'll be able to concentrate at work tomorrow without being able to check the email/fundraising site every 10 minutes :)haha

Jo said that she recognises my behaviour of keeping very busy in the face of tragedy from when my gran was very ill and died 12 years ago.

I got out for a run this morning but all I was thinking about were new strategies for publisising run4chch :)

Sara said...

Hi Pip, thanks for dropping by my blog, I don't imagine it particularly joyous reading right now! I'll just copy what I wrote in Mikes comments if that's ok, because it's also relevant to you:

Thanks for being one of the very cool people that started the Run for Christchurch. I know that the money you raise may seem a drop in the bucket of the endless money-hole that is the relief effort right now, but it all counts. Just as importantly, it has given me and my friends something POSITIVE to think about and talk about, to everyone we meet. That has helped us to get out of the slump - it's too easy to just feel down and helpless.


Pip said...

Sara: It's our pleasure to be doing this for you all. I had major surgery a year or so ago and created a blog where I could write everything I was going through down, so I know how important it is to put what you're feeling out there. If there's any other way we can help please do let us know.