Hawaii Trip Wrap-up and PHA Chapter Meeting
A bit of time has passed since I’ve returned home from Hawaii, but I wanted to put up one last post since the last few days of the trip were pretty special. Better late than never, right? 🙂
The day after the big Haleakala climb, I went for an easy recovery ride with fellow cyclists, Jon and Don. Meeting Don was a highlight of this trip for me. Not only is he a super cool person, but he raced as part of a 4-man team in Race Across America (RAAM) in June 2012 — AND his team averaged 19 miles per hour crossing the country to break the 70+ men’s age group record by over a full day! (For that matter, they beat the men’s 60+ age group record too!). Don gave me lots of great insight, suggestions, and ideas to consider for our upcoming RAAM experience in 2014.
We rode by Makena Beach, famous for its surfing. Apparently, we weren’t there when the big waves were, so we didn’t get to see any surfers… but the aqua blue water, palm trees, and volcanic rocks provided some amazing scenery!
We also rode through some lava fields… apparently I didn’t get my fill of volcanic rocks the previous day at Haleakala! It was crazy hot in the lava fields.
I was really sad when the trip was winding down and I had to pack to go home. However, I had one more stop before flying back to the mainland: I flew to Honolulu and met with some pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients who are part of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s Hawaii chapter. Dawn and Marla have both been living with PH for several years. Over dinner, I shared our team’s mission and background with these two inspiring ladies and their husbands, and I learned about what life with PH has been like for them. I really enjoyed the conversation and was humbled by the gratitude they expressed towards our team for undertaking RAAM to increase PH awareness and raise research funds to find a cure. Meeting with PH patients has been an incredible part of the RAAM journey for me and helps me to stay motivated during training. I’m not just doing the RAAM for me, I’m doing it for so many others!
My last Hawaii souvenirs: Marla and Dawn brought me a lei made of REAL flowers, which was so beautiful and smelled divine (the flight attendants on my next flight later commented on how it made the section of the plane smell nice!) and a clip-in Hawaiian flower for behind my ear. (I learned that married/attached women wear the flower behind their left ear and single/available women wear it on the right.)
With that, my Hawaii adventure was officially over. This really was the trip and training experience of a lifetime, and I am so grateful to have had this amazing opportunity.