Hope Rides Again

February 22, 2009

Oh, wow, but I am filled with light!

I spent today at Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California and it was AWESOME! Such fierce intensity! The dynamism and prowess! The heart reels!

All of my “action shots” are blurry and off-center and generally wipe so I won’t post them! (But they make me feel all fluttery when I look at them so I will keep!) So here are some fans—Mark (the dude) and Ned (the Chihuahua). This is actually Ned’s 2nd maillot jaune as Levi signed the 1st one he had at Stage 6 in Solvang.



BUT! for as much of an adrenaline rush the race itself was, the real joy came after.

We zipped over to the Astana trailer and I wove my way through the crowd (being an ex NYer is handy in situations like these!) and I managed to wheedle my way to the 2nd row behind the gate.

Everyone was screaming for Lance to come out—people pushed and shoved like we were at a rock concert. And when Lance finally did emerge, men hooted and hollered and women swooned and cried his name!

All I wanted was for him to sign the book that sustained me through my Daddy’s battle with cancer. All around me, people were screaming and thrusting posters, photos, Livestrong paraphernalia and equipment at him, over me. So typical Amanda—lone fan in the throng with a book!

I couldn’t find it in me to scream for his attention—I haven’t done that since I was 13 and at a Rick Springfield concert! Oh, but I needed this moment—so as he neared I held my book (HIS book!) out to him—and, wonder of wonders, he got the cutest grin when he saw it, and he looked up and his eyes met mine. “This book saved me when my father was fighting his cancer,” I said, “He lived.”

And then, even with all the people there, screaming and clamoring for his attention, and as swiftly as he had been moving around signing so many things, Lance stopped. He held my gaze, took my book from me, signed it, and with the most sincere tenderness in his eyes and face said, “Thank you so much. I’m so glad.”

I clutched my precious book to me and scooted my way out of the throng so that others could have their chance. I got back to my friend and she flipped over what had happened. She texted the people we were with: “Yes, I found Amanda—she was busy having a moment with Lance.” Such a lovely moment it was, too—with such a wonderful, inspiring man.

Here is my treasure:



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