Here is a copy of the speech I gave at the Obliteride starting line on Sunday, August 14th, in Tacoma.
Thank you, Steve. My name is David Lazar. I’m captain of Team RNFC, which stands for Random Nerds F*ck Cancer. This summer I’ve had the privilege to do some pretty amazing events: RAMROD, Obliteride, and if I survive today, I’ll be swimming 2.5 miles across Lake Washington on Wednesday morning.
The most important event of the summer, however, took place two Mondays ago, when, after having been diagnosed with glioblastoma 11 months prior, my Father, Brett Lazar, passed away.
The condolences came pouring in, and among them was a note from Amy, Obliteride’s Executive Director, asking if I was still planning to ride, whether it would be too soon. I told Amy I was ALL IN. I felt, and still feel, that Obliteride would be a chance to honor my Father, and that while it would be emotional, there would be nothing like being immersed in the caring community that Obliteride represents.
Amy agreed, and asked me to speak here today.
As I rode our beautiful Kitsap Peninsula yesterday, I spent some time thinking about why I love to ride my bike, and why I’m here riding in my fourth Obliteride this weekend.
Maybe it’s these stylish outfits? Or not! Maybe it’s the fact that when we finish, we get to eat whatever the hell we damn well please!?!
More likely, it’s that feeling of invincibility we got when we crossed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, or rode through the finisher’s chute, that there’s nothing that can hurt us.
Or the amazing feeling of riding with a guy like Ben, a Fred Hutch scientist, and having him explain over beers last night how Immunotherapy works. How cool is that?
But the strongest reasons I can think of are really these two. First, it’s the transformative power that we now have to go out and inspire people with the stories that we’ve heard, and the memories that we’ve made together, this weekend.
And finally, I think we ride because with each turn of the crank — and I calculated we will ALL turn the cranks on our bikes 40,000 times this weekend alone — with each turn, we get one step closer to PUTTING CANCER BEHIND US.
Now I’d like to finish with a short prayer, and while I read it, please think about the names of the people you are riding for today.
“In my left hand, I hold my grief; in my right, gratitude. How much sorrow can I hold? That’s how much gratitude I can give.”
Thank you, and have a great Obliteride!