Ten years ago my mother had a stroke. I will never forget the blank look in her eyes as she looked at me and told me she didn't know who I was.
It was in the ICU after open heart surgery that I noticed the first signs of stroke in my mum, and over the next week I watched as she went downhill, unable to communicate or bathe herself, observing me as if I were a stranger. When I looked at her I no longer saw my mum, but the shadow of a person, lost in the darkness.
Over the next 12 months my sister and I tried to help her find her way into the light, one small victory after another. Today, a decade later my mum lives an independant and happy life, but I will never forget how quickly our lives can change.
So here I sit, on the verge of turning 40, desperately trying to hold onto my youth. A birthday bash is out of the question thanks to Covid (although I find parties focused on me to be particulary painful), so I have decided to see out my 30's by testing just what a 39 year and 364 day old body can do.
On June 10 I will jump on my mountain bike (a 36lb 170mm enduro bike with DH casing tires because I am a sadist) and ride Squamish's gnarlier trails for 24 hours straight. Early estimates are 8000m climbing (although I am going to go for the Everest), 250km, 12,000 calories, and 12 conversations with myself wondering why I didn't just buy a convertible and date a 23 year old.
All funds raised will go to the Canadian Heart and Stroke foundation. It's a wonderful cause and any help is greatly appreciated.