Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A final goodbye...0km

Hello,

I chose to write once more several months after I completed this ride. From the point of finishing I have almost completed my first year at Queen's. To say my year was amazing and wonderful would be an overstretched lie. Unfortunately on Oct 1st I had a terrible bike accident against a tree in a race for the Queen's team. Weeks later I found myself unable to read and constantly exhausted. I had to almost drop out of the semester and really struggled as a student and a person to maintain the marks and just being happy. I lay in my bed for 20 hours a day in a dark room for weeks trying to recover from my brain bleed on the frontal left lobe. As the weeks and months wore on I slowly, slowly started to see improvements and as I write this now I'm still not at 100 percent. When I tell people my story (mainly my hair cutter) they wonder why such a terrible thing would happen after such a great accomplishment. I sit there blankly and wonder why it did too. But I believe that I have been given a great gift. I hit my shoulder against the tree racing at 30km/h and came to a dead stop. I think I fractured my collarbone and my shoulder does not feel the same. I did not hit my head, I feel as though that if I would have hit my head I would not be alive or at the very least a quadriplegic. Everyday I am thankful for my health and those special individuals in my life that support me. To me, greatness and self worth does not come from success, it comes from failing and than coming back from the depths. It is there where you will truly find out who you are, what is important to you, and why you should live for tomorrow.

To say I am thankful for the support I received during my ride would not justify it in the slightest. The only reason why I made it through the very first day was because of you, the reader, my family, Peter, my friends. I truly feel like we completed this ride together and I just want everyone to know that. In my last interview I said that I was only half the kid, my family were the other half. I feel like I owe them something especially my mom and dad for giving so much, maybe it will be being just as supportive to my future kids when they have large ambitions but will most likely be taking care of them when they're unable to do it themselves.

As summer nears I have no plans but to lead a somewhat normal life. I still struggle with concussion symptoms from time to time and I am really hopeful that things will return to one hundred percent. If anyone is wondering I raced in Penn State and Yale the last two weekends with the school team ( I couldn't pass up the opportunity) the main goal of the weekends was not to crash and have fun. I trained hard and attended far to many feminine body sculpt classes in order to get in pristine condition. In my last race I came 3rd out of 70 riders and 1st in my category. I have never won a cycling event so that was really great. I am absolutely in love with the sport and am contemplating taking it much more seriously than I have in the past.

As I enter exams I am looking forward to the rest that summer brings and new beginnings. Like all experiences I've had in my life I believe there is great lessons to be learned. Thank you so much for all of the support, I really can't say that enough..If you would like to still hear my virtual voice I will probably start another blog just for my daily life and such. I actually missed writing on this thing every night!

As always, I'm excited for the future, thankful for the past and alive in the moment.

Merci,

Adam Beaudoin

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Thanks

Hello,

This may be the final post I write in this particular blog. My goal was never to continue this blog after the ride finished. I have been thinking about my ride more often now and have realized a couple things. I am so lucky I finished. So many things could have gone wrong that were out of my control. The list is pretty much endless but thankfully I avoided failure. When I am having a bad day now I just stop and think how  thankful I am to be alive, that generally cheers me up pretty quick. There were so many close calls with cars because of the terrible shoulder in Ontario or a couple careless drivers in Alberta.My biggest fear was not failing to finish. It was my parents having to update the blog because I had passed away in an accident that day. I didn't fear my death but the aftermath of my passing for my family.  Another thing I have not realized but would rather voice is that, even though I was the person who rode into Queens and my name is in the media, my family are the ones to thank for raising over 44 thousand dollars for cancer research. This ride would not have been a possibility let alone a success without them. People tell me that this was a selfless act but in truth it was one of the most selfish things I have ever done in some regards. My family would drive in the car all day feeding and watering their powerful machine (me) as I rode through the day. My mom drove for 8 hours a day for 20 days at least just to reach queens and than drove all the way home. She is truly an amazing women and I am so lucky to have a super mom. My brother sacrificed a large part of his summer to support me and my dad spent many precious vacation days. If you ever see them in the community give them a high five for me, they deserve it. My life has been pretty intense thus far and now school is my new journey. Queens Kin is pretty challenging but I am putting in the effort. I love my program but more importantly the people in it. Every year is really awesome and the proffs are really great too. I am meeting with Dr Ross this Friday which I am looking forward too. Media still attempts to contact me. I got a phone call today to be in a magazine, the caller told me over 100 000 thousand people read it. I thought that was cool because the article might generate some donations. Tonight I have meetings for about 3 hours and than homework. My life is so busy but I am used to organized chaos. This weekend I am hopefully racing Hard wood hills with the Mountain bike team. I haven't ridden a mtb since the start of summer but I am really stoked.  I have a Chemistry tutorial now and must go. The ride is over but my life is still ever changing. Each day is filled with new challenges and mixes of emotions. I am teaching myself piano in my residence and will probably write a couple songs by the end of the year. You learn something new everyday here. Thank you to all that supported me, all the comments and the emails. I will remember what you did for me for the rest of my life. I have no idea what the future will hold but I am excited and as always, ready for the challenge. I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes. I live my life by this sentence and so far its been pretty great.

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

-Gandhi

Thanks and see some of you at Christmas.

Adam Beaudoin

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Speech for Terry

Hello,

I will make this as short as possible due to the fact that I a large amount of work to do in the next 3 hours...I spoke in front of over 100 people today before the annual Terry Fox run here at Queens this morning. Life is very busy and I can only see it getting more hectic. I start triathlon training tomorrow and have a trial run with "Make A Wish" Queens on Tuesday. If all goes well and I feel like its the right fit for me and my schedule I will be on the marketing team and move to marketing exec over the winter. Its a wonderful opportunity to say the least and I would have a direct impact in improving children's lives. I am worried however that I will be over loaded. I have been over loaded before and it really ruins the quality of my life. Anyways here is the speech that I wrote this Saturday for the Sunday run.


        "Hello fellow runners, my name is Adam Beaudoin and I am just like you.  We all stand here today united as cancer fighters. We are all here for different reasons but the same goal: To beat this disease and change the lives of the thousands that are diagnosed each year. Some of you may know who I am, most of you probably don’t. I am a 1st year kin  student from Victoria BC. I enjoy long walks on the beach, cooking salmon, and playing my guitar…. No this is not my lava life write up. Over the course of August I rode my bike from Victoria to Kingston to raise money for cancer research. I rode 30 days to complete a distance of over 4400 km. I had to cycle at least 160km everyday to reach Kingston on time. I raised over 42 thousand dollars for cancer research and inspired hundreds of people through out our wonderful country. Now that I have arrived at Queen’s my life has been turned up side down yet again, but by now I am used to that. I started the ride as a young 17-year-old boy who loves to live. I arrived on the 4th of September an 18-year-old man who is so appreciative for the people and experiences that he has had. I learned many things on my ride - lessons that no one should ever learn first hand. But I am thankful for all my triumphs and tribulations nonetheless. Here is an excerpt from my blog that I updated every day during the ride….

“I finished today's ride at Terry Fox's memorial, I wish I had more time to talk about my thoughts on him and his journey but its already 11pm, I am completely exhausted and have to bike 185km tomorrow. What Terry achieved is so special and important in Canadian history as a testament to the strength of the human spirit. I cannot even fathom running 42km a day on one leg and I bike for 7 hours a day through hell. On the day when I had to climb 3 mountains in 200km I thought of Terry on the final push. He is probably one of the only people that could have ever understood what was going through my mind and why I was continuing in on such agony. Terry is one of my hero’s and I really look up to him. He raised 24 million dollars for cancer research and united a country. His life was cut very short but what he achieved in 23 years is absolutely incredible. I wish I could talk to Terry and thank him for changing so many peoples lives.”

       Some days on my ride I thought I could not go on, I thought it was too challenging. On those terrible days I thought of Terry. He went through so much on his journey across the country. Every time I biked up a colossal hill in northern Ontario, I knew Terry had run it. This was one of the few things could give me comfort and strength to over come my seemingly impossible challenges. One day however even Terry couldn’t help me…. I was on my own. On the 5 day of my ride I was biking through British Colombia and was faced with the biggest challenge of my life. It came at a time when, for three days, I had no support from my parents. I had to climb 3 mountain passes. The elevation total was over 13 000 feet. I was on the bike for over 9 hours and rode for 200km. I learnt a lesson that day that I will never forget and I would like to share it with you.

          I awoke early at 6 30 totally committed to the challenge ahead. I was excited and ready to face this monster. The first pass was 5109ft and I flew up it in an hour and a half. My legs were pistons and my lungs were strong. As I reached the summit I shouted in joy and descended down the other side at 70km/h. I reached the town of Castlegar a little tired but ready for the next stage. As I climbed in the sweltering heat bugs swarmed around my head, biting my skin. I had to push my self to ride at a rate they could not follow. I reached the top after 2 hours and was happy to have conquered a couple colossal climbs. I rode into Salamo and ate a subway sandwich. I asked the sandwich artist how the upcoming climb was. She said she did it when she was 12 and it wasn’t that bad. I wondered how a 12 year old could climb 54kms straight up to a elevation of 6000ft….I think she was trying to impress me. I set off with confidence and an exhausted pair of legs. As I entered the gates as at the start of the climb I suddenly felt an excruciating amount of pain in my sitting bones. I felt like I was sitting on hot knives and screamed out in agony. I contemplated standing the whole time but quickly thought better of it. Three hours is a long time to stand on a bike. I fought to ignore the terrible pain and tried to transfer it to power. To be honest the pain was so immense I could barely handle it let alone use it. What a way to start a climb. I starred at my feet and grunted and grimaced and shouted and dug in. It was a war of attrition and I was losing. After an hour and a half I thought I must have been nearing the summit. I looked up and saw a small line in a far away mountain. I wondered why a logging road would exist at such a ridiculous elevation. What were those engineers thinking? A semi went by on the far away road like a little tooth pick. I realized it was the same semi that passed me a while before. This seemingly unreachable road miles away was the highway, my stopping point, my goal and my salvation. I broke down. I unclipped off my bike and starred at the ground. I thought how this was impossible and I felt like I was killing myself. I looked to my left and saw a beautiful waterfall cascading down from the rock cliff. I didn’t question what I had to do. I walked over, stripped down and stood in the glacier water. It was as if I was re born. Everything was clear to me, I had to get up this mountain or I was going to die trying – that’s how focused I was. I stood in the frigged water thinking about my past life and how amazing it has been; how thankful I am for the people and experiences I’ve had; how it has all led up to this moment, a moment of self against Nature, Self against Self. This was my moment. I prayed to God asking to help me up this mountain of hell and suffering and deliver me to my friends at the bottom of the mountain. This was it. The only thing that was going to stop me was a fall over the edge. I left the waterfall and walked over to my bike. My mind was clear and calm. I tried to push off but the grade was so steep that I started to fall to the other side. My torso was hanging over a cliff with thousands of feet below to fall. I was certain to die. Instinctively my left hand slammed into the cement barrier and I fell onto the road. I was having a euphoric experience to say the least. I straddled my bike once again and headed up the remainder of the climb. I climbed with strength I never new I had. The pain was still there and it was worse than ever. None of that mattered however because in my mind I knew I was climbing to the top. My quads pulsated and screamed. Every fiber of my being was charging me up the mountain. I knew I was reaching the top and at long last, I saw the sign for the summit. I shouted and threw my hands in the air. Having already been on the bike for six hours, I had just scaled the highest pass in Canada. I powered down the other side with a smile and a mindset forever changed.

      The lesson that I am trying to share with you is this. No matter how large the challenge, no matter how impossible the situation may seem, believe you can over come it. Our minds have incredible powers and our spirits are undying. Terry was pushed beyond his limits just as I was on the mountain. Believe that you can be that change in the world; believe that we can beat this terrible disease, believe that you can be the best individual you can be. Once you believe, all else will fall into place. Terry’s run was called A run for hope. He believed. I do too. It’s time we all believe. "


Thanks for reading

Adam Beaudoin

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Interesting article

Hello once again,

I don't normally do this but I thought this article was informative and could be of some use to a cancer patient. I will post the article at the end of this post.

I have finished my second day of classes and am still loving my new life. The days are filled of new experiences and the nights are pretty hilarious. My faculty is like a big family which is really cool. Most of my friends are from my class and the guys are all already really tight. I signed up for the Terry fox run this Sunday, I think its 10km? I won't run sub 40 because I am still not too into constant suffering. Its the day after the infamous "home coming" at Queens so it will be interesting...I went for a ride the other day and it was the weirdest experience. My legs felt so awkward and large haha I think they have almost fully recovered. I blow past cars at 50km/h pretty easily. I want to go for a swim tonight and enjoy the facilities offered at the ARC. The campus here is a beautiful array of buildings. There is a lot of history and tradition and it makes a unique experience for a new student such as myself. My experience is very different from most though because many people already know who I am and I am getting contacted to do several things on campus. The ride was the real "dangerous women". She had so much to give and take, She almost took it all but I never tend to let women get too close haha I am now reaping the benefits of the ride in ways I never considered. I will always be so happy that I contributed to improving peoples life's. Few people know this but I saved 3 peoples lives. Each had a unique issue and extremely serious problem in there life. Saving someones life was my goal ever since I was 8. I was a weird kid haha I imagined jumping in front of a bus to grab a baby and carry it to safety. Turns out that wasn't the case ! haha I look at counselling like a problem that always has a solution(thats how I look at most problems) I found out very early that if you get emotionally involved situation it can really put a damper on your life. I  feel like I have learned so many life lessons and I am only 18. I guess I just got lucky on that part. Some life lessons you never want to experience first hand and some you do. People ask me if I would do the ride again. At this point I would say no, that doesn't mean I regret it though. I think if I knew how much pain I had to go through to reach Queens I would have never been able to face it. Since I had no idea what each day would bring I was able to roll with the punches. One of the most components to my success was my ability to adapt to the situation. I went through hell and back daily and I would have failed in the first 45min if I didn't have that skill. Peter from Vancouver, I don't know if you still follow this thing. I just wanted to thank you for helping me out. What you did was more than just buying me sunscreen and draw on a map. You changed my thoughts on the ride and made me believe I could do it. Once that occurred the ride, I knew the ride would be a success. Thanks again...here is that article.


The Importance of Maintaining Health When Dealing with Cancer

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is an overwhelming experience. The treatments necessary to battle the condition can be debilitating to the person who is undergoing the therapy. Cancer is a condition that is both emotionally and physically draining.

Several studies have shown strong evidence that a person who is healthy has a higher chance for a positive outcome than those that do not. The health of an individual includes nutrition, exercise, and mental or emotional support.

Many of the therapies involved in destroying the cancer can also attack the body as well. This creates a situation in which the body has a health strain that is multiplied several times over. Not only does the body have to fight the cancer, but it must also fight the negative effects of the medications being utilized. An individual’s immune system has amazing abilities, but it needs the correct help.

By providing good nutrition to the body it is able to maintain a strong immune system, and rebuild weak or damaged tissue that is a result of the cancer. It is a well-recognized fact that certain nutrients such as lean proteins and antioxidants are especially important to the proper function of the body. It can be very hard to maintain good eating habits when dealing with this disease due to the symptoms of the cancer or the therapeutic approach. An oncologist will often refer their patients to a nutritionist to help them gain insight into what will aid their treatment and recovery.

Exercise is also a very important factor since the lymph system uses body motion to circulate the cells, which aid the body’s defenses. Circulation itself is important since the blood carries the nutrients that are necessary to care for the ailments of the anatomy. Being active can be extremely difficult especially when suffering with the symptoms of rare and extremely deadly cancers such as mesothelioma, but is essential in achieving a better life expectancy.

Stress and other forms of emotional distress are a normal part of dealing with cancer unfortunately it has a negative effect on the body. People who find outlets for these feelings aid their general well-being. It can be a great assistance to go through counseling, yoga, meditation, and other approaches.

By: David Haas



Enjoy your life! I am starting to feel as though mine is flying by.

Your friend

Adam

Sunday, 11 September 2011

In closing

Hello friends and family,

It has been a week since I have arrived. My life is so incredibly busy and school has yet to start! I am finding it hard to recount my ride for some unforeseen reason. I think it is because it was such an experience filled with so many emotional highs and lows my mind can't organize it all. There is one lesson however that I will always have. No matter how much work I have or how big the challenge, I know I can work through it and be successful. That lesson is so critical to have for the coming months because I hear university is kinda hard haha. As I go out and meet countless people at partys( I call them 2 minute friends) most know my story and who I am. It has been a bit of a challenge not to come across as being full of myself even though I am quite modest. I am just  a confident guy I guess. I have made so many great friends in my faculty and floor. My floor is hilarious and we are all really great people for the most part. If you come home at 1 you know your not going to bed for at least an hour because you will start a conversation with a floor mate or my Don. I am so fortunate to have a great rez, it could have been soooooo much worse haha. My faculty is probably the best thing at Queens. My year has 128 students (30 guys and 98 girls) each of those individuals are so diverse and I find myself at home. Our coaches (2nd years) are pretty much the coolest kids on campus. Frosh will be over on Monday and than the real fun will begin. I was awarded ultimate frosh for my faculty. Apparently its an award that is given out the the female and male students that best amplify Phe/kin spirit.  I  slept through the closing ceremonies and missed the speech! haha I woke up and sprinted like a gazelle the building and ran in just as we were all doing our year dance. I am really excited for class to begin because the material I will be learning is very interesting. How lucky is that! Part of me wants to maintain this blog so everyone can hear how my first year at Queens is going. The other part knows that I will be tremendously busy with athletics, academics and volunteer that it will be impossible. Only time will tell but I think I will be too busy   : (

The ride feels like a chapter in my life that never really existed. Almost like a prolonged dream I had over the course of August. I know I will be reading through each day and recounting each experience. I will miss the adventure and having monster quads. I will never forget the pain I went through however. It is almost like a scaring incident in my life. To be honest I went to a place during north Ontario that I thought I would never be able to come back from. It was horrible and it was more than just a ride. I felt like I was killing myself and ruining my life. I don't like to talk about that part and I still think about it often but so far I am back to my normal happy self. No one will understand exactly how much I gave to be successful for this ride which I totally can understand why. I just wish I could talk to someone who has done it the way I did so we could share our experiences. I think my mom has some idea because she was driving through North Bay and called me while crying because of what I went through. I made it to Queens and was successful. I almost died so many times because of cars not seeing me or almost crashing on mountain descents. I have a new appreciation for life and I am so thankful to have to life that I do. I think a key for living life to the fullest is try your best everyday to be the best person you can be. Whether that's putting in the extra effort in school or going that extra km on the run." Just do it" is Nike's slogan and it makes so much sense. The difference between me and the kid that wishes he could do all the things that I have done is just doing it and believing in yourself. Don't hold back on those huge life changes and fully buy into the experience. You will gain so much more "mana points" if you do. I am so stoked for this year and the coming years and the years after that. I refuse to accept that this is the pinnacle of my existence and I hope to still do amazing things year after year. (don't worry mom and dad I am on my own now.)

I may go back to this blog once I can properly recount the ride and go over the key moments and the amazing things that happen. Until than stay tuned every week or so and enjoy your life. We all have so much to be happy and thankful for and I am sooooo incredibly happy I realize that. My life has changed and although before it was pretty great, its just unreal now. Queens was the right school to go to and school  starts in less than 24 hours. Back to the grind is what I would usually say but this time its different.

Goodbye and Thank you

Adam Beaudoin

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

It's Over! Welcome to Queens

video

video

Also check out Adam on CKWS television here! (Click 'CAMPAIGNS, LOCAL FARE, BACK TO SCHOOL AND A LONG RIDE FOR CANCER' and wait for the last segment.)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Victory at last....the pain is over!!!!!!

                                                              Hello,
The past 24 hours have been a pretty big whirlwind. I will start with yesterday morning. I awoke starving at 4am and made a bunch of food. I finally got up at 8am and was excited to hit the road. I said goodbye to family and jumped in the car to get onto the highway. I got on this old country road and it was just me and my music. I will try to recap this crazy adventure but I don't think I have gotten my mind around this whole thing. I thought the wild adventures were over but oh boy was I wrong. I have realize now the environment was throwing everything at me to fail to reach Queens. As I was riding along I saw 2 dogs running. I thought they were playing but then I noticed the huge black lab wanted to kill me. I yelled and sprinted as fast as I could to escape Thunderpunch from being destroyed. I went from 25k to 55k in 3 seconds haha. The dog came within a foot of me snapping at the air as I narrowly shot past. I just started laughing after...what a rush! The day went on and I had to develop patience not to shoot down the road as fast as I could. I made a couple phone calls of thanks and then noticed I was running out of time.....awesome. I was supposed to be there just after 3:00 and by my calculations I had to maintain 30km/h plus for 50km to make it on time. My legs had already ridden 4400 km pretty much straight and the headwind started to get really, really bad. It was the worst of all the trip....fitting. I suffered so so so so so much in the last 30km. There were so many ups and downs and the wind was pushing me back. I didn't know if I would finish let alone on time. My legs were screaming and my mind was exhausted but I powered through. I thought it went on forever but then I saw the sign for Kingston and fist pumped haha but I was still 21km away from Queens. I rode really fast and was in a huge amount of pain and finally reached Queens. As I neared the campus I saw a group of 200 students. I thought, wow I wonder what's going on today...then I saw my mom inside the group. I started to fist pump and raw emotion bled through my jersey. I rode up to the cheering students and hoisted my bike over my head like it was the Stanley Cup. The next 20 min were a blur. I danced in the circle while they chanted the legendary "Oil Thigh" I even gave a small speech of thanks right on the spot. That was hilarious. I saw old friends, met the Principal of Queens, the Director of PHE/KIN and a lot of other great people. I am so stoked to be here now, every ounce of my being/energy/life that I have was put into this ride for the last 30 days. I suffered more than I thought was humanly possible without dying. I met amazing people all across this wonderful country and I finally came home. Queens is my school, Queens is my home, Queens is me. Somewhere between everyone chanting my name or during the pep rally I realized that I had chosen the right school. This ride is huge, so much bigger than me, I can't believe it. It's over now, the constant suffering is over. I did what many people thought was impossible. WE did what was thought impossible. I can't thank you enough....seriously. I will post another final post to recap some of the highlights and talk about what this trip means to me and taught me (you should read that one). My life is incredibly busy and I have to go run across campus to meet up with my res then go to a football game then celebrate tonight..It's OVVERERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! I will carry this achievement on my shoulders for the rest of my life. It's time for me to go now, I need to start my new life.

The happiest kid on campus.

Queens, Kingston, ON