Monday, June 25, 2007

A note from Bill Nicholson - Crew Chief

I hope you all have had some down-time to rest and recover from our trip. I don't think this email will be a summary for my experience, as that may be months simmering in my mind. I do want to convey my sincere gratitude to each of you for providing me with a wake-up call for my life.
After our return on Thursday, I have been back to work on all of my various projects, including bicycle races, my daily job, and other things. At every turn I am reminded of what I learned about myself during our adventure.
This was especially clarified for me on Sunday evening, when I attended a reunion of friends from a job I did for 8 summers during my teenage and college years. It was a summer camp for urban kids. Most of the staff that I worked with were not outdoorsmen, but were often like myself: had some experience in the outdoor arts, but were committed to a single purpose of giving city kids a chance to do things that are foreign to the 20th century experience. We were, for the most part, successful.
Our Team Strong Heart adventure and the crew I worked with reminds me of that crew: we took a group of comparative strangers and worked towards something larger and grander than any of us could have attained as a solo effort. And, as time unfolds before us, I will come to think of the grand time we had and the tales we will tell of the outlandish story of fourteen strangers helping one another across the continent twice in 2 weeks.
Each of you accomplished more than you can imagine, and I applaud the efforts you made for the Team and Camp Odayin. I hope that as time gives you perspective, you can apply the experience and spirit of our quest to your daily lives, and search for new pinnacles to summit. All of us were there at Wolf Creek Pass, and on Greg's shoulders as he made his amazing descent. And the weeks of work came together in the 'rollers (hah)' of West Virginia and Maryland; we truly became parts of a cycling machine that brought all of us home.
Thanks to you all,
Bill Nicholson
Crew member, Team Strong Heart 2007

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