Looking north down MacDonald @ King Edward in 1940. The bike route on King Edward was not there neither was any development along MacDonald well into Kitsilano. Although the center median along King Edward already existed.
Early in my career, we arrived at an intensely involved house fire. I was assigned to search the upper floor. On my way up the pitch black stairs I fell through them, as the fire raging underneath had burned them out. I was wedged in the stairs between my chest and air bottle, the fire burning me underneath. My arms were trapped and unable to reach my radio. I was well trained for situations like this and how not to panic. I would either run out of air, burn alive, or be rescued. I focused on the last choice and waited as calmly as I could. Two years later I was diagnosed with cancer. After the Doctors told me it could be terminal, I was devastated. I could not relax, think properly, I felt a sense of hopelessness and panic, like I was trapped. I was not trained for this at all. So I trained myself using yoga, meditation, and exercise. I replaced negative thoughts with positive thoughts all the time using cognitive behaviour therapy. I became calm and ready to deal with whatever would happen. Its highly unlikely you will ever be trapped in burning stairs, but its possible you will be diagnosed with cancer, face an illness or a loss, even a broken heart. Now you know how you can deal with and train for it, because you can control your mind and likely your destiny.
Four years ago crossing the Blue Mountains in Australia I was hungry, cold, tired and scraped up with abrasions from a crash. I passed a farmhouse at dusk, and asked for some water for my camp. Margaret invited me right in, to stay at her BnB. I know a few girls that have Air BnB's and they all have a wonderful big heart. Well so did Margaret, she treated me like her long lost son, and reminded me of my long lost Mom.. Her husband had died a few years earlier and she seemed lonely, but so happy to have company. I had a nice warm shower with nice smelling soaps, and meals and a bed I will never forget. She made me stay a few days. As I rode away with tears, I thought how I likely will never her see her again yet loved her so much......just like my mom.
Well I ran the Vancouver marathon today on Mothers Day by myself today, no cheering crowds, no aid stations, no finish line. I feel pretty good! I posted a few days ago the reason was not so much for myself, but to hopefully inspire others suffering from cancer, PTSD, depression etc to never give up. My career as a firefighter caused my cancers and after losing a piece of my lung four months ago made me want a real challenge to show the thoracic surgeon and myself, it never effected me one bit. Well next after finishing my cycle around the world in 2017, rough water swim Alcatraz to San Francisco last year will likely finish my global Ironman by running the Death Valley Marathon Dec 5 this year. If its cancelled, well I will just do it alone. Happy Mothers Day. I finished at my Mother and Fathers memorial bench with her today. I hope they would be happy. I found out at the finish I have been nominated for the Order of BC by my charities and several Doctors. Very excited in my typical Western Living finishers pose
May 10 I will run the Marathon through Vancouver by myself.
Because, May 10 2000, 20 years ago the Doctors told me, because of all my time as a firefighter, I had cancer, it had likely spread and I would likely die. Well Doc.... I didn't! I never gave up hope, and I feel, the Universe knew already that if I lived I would do good with this. I did. Cancer fought me twice again once after cycling around the world then when I finished a few Ironman races. I was going to run the Vancouver Marathon with the Thoracic surgeon that agreed to, after he cut a piece of my lung out. Maybe I inspired him I would fight to be back to 110% capacity. The actual race because of Covid was cancelled. But May 10, I will run. After three fights with cancer I just hope to inspire others to be positive and never give up hope. Covid, cancer, PTSD, depression, heartbreak even an Ironman, the biggest battle is in your mind and you can control that part of it !!!
I will finish my marathon at my mum and dads bench in Stanley Park by the Sylvia Hotel, as its mothers day and I love that spot. I will plant a cedar seedling like someone had previously promised me.
Thank you for reading my story.
I am a fire captain and cancer survivor.
In memory of the
FIRE FIGHTER CYCLE