Each year, our company, and a select 80+ trip leaders lead (or support, or facilitate or survive, depending on your disposition) a very special event called Tour DaVita. It is the annual celebration of the nations’ largest dialysis companies, and the purpose is to motivate, unify, and commend their “moving village” on bicycles for three days while raising money for The Kidney Trust. Last week, I was one of these leaders to survive DaVita – in some strange way, I helped this $2 million dollar event raise $679K for kidneys. But perhaps moreover, I helped this “moving village” actually move, and eat and party. For those of you our there convinced that my ” rock star lifestyle” provided by this cool new job is completely cosmopolitan and cool I’d like to introduce you to the basement of work. And , to be honest, I don’t really have many poetic words to describe this experience so I’ll share in bullet form…because this is really how the work was done. frequently in bullets flying at your head, body, or legs, and frequently depriving you of sleep, food and occasionally shedding blood. ( My friend Darren can attest to this – he caught a metal hook in his forehead during free time.)
As a smiling, exhausted team we:
Set up over 250 tents
Changed 280 flat tires
Rode 250 miles
Called three new campsites home and then abandoned them as if we had never arrived
Cooked meals for 500 hungry mouths
Poured beer and wine for those same mouths
Unfurled and, um, re-furled 485 sleeping pads
The list goes on. You get the gist. This is not luxury camping, or leading in premier inns. This is DaVita.
When it rained, we slogged through. When we were tired, sometimes there were leftovers which we shoved into our mouths, likely with hands covered with bike grease. When we were tired, we maybe found a tnt to sleep in but frequently it was in a trailer, under a table, or on a sleeping pad beneath a truck.
When it was all over with, my co-leaders, my compadres and I attended a party thrown in our honor. A true, fabulous shindig made even more fabulous, hilarious, and memorable by our lack of sleep and the small amount of alcohol required to get us to do funny tricks.
Our odd showed up wearing a 3ft Mohawk and shit kickers, then told us all that we were “fucking awesome.” There are parts about this job, this company, that ear me out, bring me down, and ponder what it would be like to get off the road and stay off the road for a while. But, frankly, he’s right, we are fucking awesome. 🙂
It’s a good thing DaVita loca comes but once a year. And that it falls at the end of our summer season. I think now, after a few days of sleeping over 14 hours, having a few legendary meals, and scrubbing myself with Brillo sm i am almost fully recovered and mostly clean again…..ah, the life of a rockstar, eh?
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