People’s paths come together all too briefly when sharing friendship, but that makes those times no less valuable. We must take advantage of support and sharing in a mutually beneficial way. Whenever we take from another, we should try to give back something. This is fundamental. No one should lean on another person, or expect another to carry them a long distance down the road. Friends should walk side by side for as long as their journey carries them, without becoming dependent on one another.
There should be no obligation. If I can help someone do something, then I should do so without any hesitation or expectation of reward or debt. If there is something that I need to learn and my companion can show it to me, then I should accept it in humility. No one “owns” knowledge. It should be freely shared.
Parting is inherent in all meeting. Nothing lasts forever. Transience is what gives life poignancy. Every person is responsible for himself or herself. There is no road to walk but your own.
Someday I’ll be able to look back on this moment of my life with what I hope will be tranquility and perspective, but right now, all of the drama and stress and fear and instability has kicked my ass. Kids – don’t dope! Stay in school and have a plan for post-biking. Expect the unexpected, and be ready to be betrayed by your closest allies – only to have those you considered enemies display unexpected compassion. And if you betray (and I recognize that I betrayed the notion of clean sport)…make amends – which start with delivering an honest accounting of who you are and what you’ve done.