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Transplant Athlete
Sunday, June 17, 2007
  Final Thoughts On A Race Well Run


Lou came roaring into time station 23 in Kansas at 8pm est physically exhausted like I hadn't yet seen him during this entire journey, but there is no question that psychologically there was a glow from within that shone even through the red eyes and glistening sweat that encased Lou's flesh.

And while I'll be the first to admit that the fiery glow of the setting sun behind him may have been a part of the whole effect, it was nonetheless impressive to see a person exceed the limits of what their body demands through sheer will-power and inner strength.

There are those who live to win the race by finishing it and those who win simply by achieving what for them was previously considered impossible -- the actual finish line is a pretty arbitrary place in these matters, if you ask me.

To digress for a moment, I'm a professional videographer and editor who's worked on many projects over the years and if there's anything that I've learned while doing this kind of work is that projects aren't finished in any clean and clear fashion. Time simply runs out and you're left with what you've got and it had better be damn good so the client doesn't notice that although you personally feel like you didn't have enough time to do the best work possible, that you DID DO the best work you could under the circumstances in such a way as that they have no idea that it could have been any better. And by that I mean there are now flaws visible to the client -- but only to the creator who only wishes to do ever more.

The simply stated phrase is usually: Art is not finished, it is abandoned.

(Although, to be clear, Lou did not abandon this race -- to my way of thinking, the insane amount of travel needed to be accomplished in such a short amount of time frankly abandoned him and a lot of other people who's body were pushed to unreasonable limits by my outsider opinion. But I'm just here to shoot what I see, folks, so mine is just one more opinion based on what I've seen around here and should be taken as neither refutation nor endorsement).

Not to diminish the incredible achievement of those who do end up crossing the finish line in whatever physical shape the race will have ended up pounding them into, but I suspect anyone who follows an event like this knows that those who cross the finish line are not the only winners.

The passion of the supporters -- the people in the crew vehicles, those who left comments on the blog (and even read the blog), and those of you who took phone calls at all hours of the day and night to talk to Lou and offer advice and inspiration (your know who you are, Clare) -- was truly moving to behold. Cold, dispassionate camera eye am I supposed to be, but I nonetheless found the level of support both moving and inspiring.

So I'm damn proud to have worked with Team Lamoureux again this year, and especially pleased to see that Lou bested his distance from last year and, more importantly, achieved a personal best when he crossed the border into Kansas. I thought he looked happier crossing the train tracks by the WELCOME TO KANSAS sign than he did reaching the time station -- which I think sums up what had become more important to Lou at that point in the race.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Lou does next year -- maybe with team mates or supporting another rider -- as I suspect Lou will somehow always be involved with the RAAM organization in one capacity or another.

Thanks for keeping up with our adventures this year -- and Happy Father's Day to all.

Scooter McCrae, reporting.
 

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Comments:
Lou, congratulations on making it to Kansas! You kept going through Colorado even when you knew there was little chance you'd make the time cut-off in El Dorado. I don't think anyone can truly know what it takes without having ridden it.
 
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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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