Charlie Carabello. Cancer Survivor and Cycling Culturalist. Pelotonia Stalwart and Advocate.
At Pelotonia each year, my friend Noble Jones (also our chief Evangelist for our peloton — The Midnight Train from Georgia) asks me to give a little pep talk to our team before setting out on the two-day, 200 mile journey. Pelotonia has a stated single goal: End Cancer. As a survivor it means a lot to me and to my family because this event always reminds me how lucky I am and that only through research (and $$ to fund this research) will we find these cures.
At any rate, this year, I thought I would be proactive and try to write something in advance and really inspire my team. Instead, I just about had a major ‘come apart’ right before we took off — so much for being a bold, fearless leader!
This event brings those emotions of being a survivor, a husband, and a dad all to front of my brain and moves my heart to my throat whenever I try to talk about it. BUT, I still think they are important words for anybody struggling with most any life obstacle and want to share them in full with both my team and anyone else who might choose to read them.
“People talk about leaving it all on the road. That your effort should wring you out.
Don’t do it. There are some things you should carry with you always.
Carry Hope, Love, Friendship, and maybe a little bit of Anger for those we’ve lost to this awful disease. Carry them close to your heart and let them fuel your legs and lungs.
But leave your Fear behind on the road — Push it out through the pedals, through your sweat and your tears.
Fear of failure, fear of recurrence, fear of judgement. Of not being ‘good’ enough or fit enough or strong enough.
That trepidation is nothing compared to being part of this amazing team that uplifts and pushes back against those fears.
So remember, when doubt and dread creep into your mind or your legs, that you are part of the MIDNIGHT TRAIN from GEORGIA.”
Some team members will contribute periodically throughout the season as we ramp up to Pelotonia weekend in August.