Sunday, November 16, 2008
My Friend Peter....
I met Peter through cycling. I had seen him a few times on BRAG, but one year on our Spring Tune-Up ride, he carried my luggage to my tent for me. Normally that wouldn't be noteworthy, even in these days of chivalry's terminal condition. Peter, however, has cerebral palsy, and physical tasks aren't easy for him. But he cheerfully carried my bag to my tent, chattering the whole way. Peter chatters a LOT. He doesn't let his condition keep him from cycling as much as he can. He sets a mileage goal every year (or at least he has for the past two years), and he keeps me updated on how much progress he has made. I haven't made much progress on my own goal this year, and I don't even have a debilitating condition that I can blame. Unless they have documented laziness as a condition and I'm not aware of it. If so, I know a LOT of people who will be signing up for disability pretty soon.
Peter is cheerful, and he has a wicked sense of humor. He rides with a wide variety of silly adornments on his bike helmet. When he isn't physically capable of riding the long distances associated with BRAG, he rides as much as he can and spends the rest of the time just "hanging out." He loves the camaraderie of the ride even when he can't finish the day's mileage.
Last summer on BRAG Peter entered the talent show, and his "talent" was a testimonial of his recent health challenges. He went on for quite some time, but no one in the audience even stirred. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. His doctor had told him after a surgical procedure that it would be a long time before he was able to ride his bike again. Peter was determined to prove him wrong, and he got on his bike much sooner than the doctor had said would be possible. That's just Peter. He lives mostly on his own, and his condition hasn't kept him from cycling, going to school, and making friends all over the state. Last summer he told me he was writing a book about his experiences with CP.
Peter doesn't let a BIG thing keep him down. I have to remind myself of that when I'm tempted to let LITTLE things bother me.