Three years ago, when I was given the terminal diagnosis, I set about making sure I gathered my people. In the West we built the League, in the East we created Going Nowhere.
If you are the guy that has always put the events on, or been the one to make sure all your pals stayed connected, then you do what you’ve always done and you make epic happen. Especially if it’s your last hurrah.
Three years ago we had our first Going Nowhere excursion off of the BC coast and spent three days kayaking in the Pacific.
And if that was going to be the final adventure with these lads (some 40+ years of friendship) then I was thrilled. This checked off so many great items like reminding ourselves of how tight our friendships were, the power of laughter, camping on a beach island and kayaking on the ocean. So much good, and I was happy.
But as fate would have it I stuck around long enough to do the Going Nowhere Downhill Edition - skiing in Silverstar BC this past winter.
This trip was equally awesome but it took a bit more effort to get there, and to be able to exert the energy I needed to keep up, although I am proud to say I held my own. But at the time I had just come out of a messy time so there was effort required.
The trip was so much fun, the camaraderie was exceptional and the deep sarcastic tone was well loved by all. Another spectacular trip and if it was to be the last gathering with these lads then I was again beyond thrilled.
In a moment of coincidence, karma or good timing, I was in the hospital the next week to clean out a blocked bile duct. The trip came at the right time, either that or the volume of chips I ate caused the hospital stay…
Organizing and actually taking these trips are always fraught with risk. The question is always - am I going to be healthy enough to attend?
And every time the answer is ‘who knows, but you gotta plan it anyways.’
These trips serve a very important part of my cancer treatment. Not only does the event organization keep my mind sharp but it gives me the chance to nag my friends for three or four months about payment, attendance, food allergies, who has to sit next to Skinny, etc.
But the real reason is that it gives me something to get healthy for. This most recent Going Nowhere event had me in hospital for eight days and I was only released three days before getting on the plane. The original date had to move in order to accommodate me and I am forever grateful for so many lads making the trek to my brother Pat’s place in Beaver Valley this past weekend.
As I was in a bit more of a convalescent state I made sure to have naps and fairly early bedtimes but that didn’t diminish the ridiculous amount of chuckles I had all weekend. These idiots truly are funny when they get together. We played golf, I did nine holes, we hiked, played in a river and, well, just made fun of each other in a way only really, really good friends can.
It makes me so proud to be able to say we’ve hosted three of these events and I look forward to many many more. Talk is that we are either going to do Wilderness Tours Rafting or, if I can really get my shit together, a rafting trip down the Nahanni River, a life long bucket list item.
We’ll see how she goes, but either way I am making sure I continue to gather friends, it makes me happy. And these guys are the ones that have known me the longest so they know more than anyone how hard I am going to work to go nowhere because of them.
Grateful in so many ways.