On Saturday morning, May 26, there was Mark – ready to ride; looking very tanned, strong and fit with his custom designed red bike shirt that read “Veni, Vidi, Vomiti.” You already know that everything about Mark Stephan (and the Stephan Challenge) is first class, extremely thoughtful and well planned. I should have taken more notice of the shirt and realized the message was more of an omen than humor!
Indeed, my son Ethan and I “came” to Austin to ride with Mark and share just a snippet of Mark’s epic and historic cross country experience.
Indeed, we “saw” the fantastic essence of the man and his support team making this unbelievable journey – so thoughtful, warm, inclusive, determined, resilient – so many really great friends. We experienced the wonderfulness of being out of control of our schedule and our environment – and learned to enjoy dealing with things as they came. Random acts of kindness from friends and strangers occurred with such frequency they could not be counted. One such random event is pictured below. In just 20 miles, I realized you have no idea exactly what you might encounter on the roadside!
I totally got the “I came, I saw…” part of “Veni, Vidi, Vomiti” …. But it was the “Vomiti” part that still had me wondering. After a grueling 7 hour day of navigating the Austin “Hill Country” (named for a reason) in 100 degree heat, the man who was so worried all day about everyone else becoming dehydrated became dehydrated himself and fulfilled the foreshadowing revealed by his own shirt!
I suggest Mark rewrite the slogan on his shirt to remind him of the proper way to cross a desert or equatorial swamp so that he has a better chance of completing the second half of his journey – “Veni, Vidi, Volumini Wateri”
To Mark, Margaret, Barret , the entire Steph Support Team and Mark’s good friends who rode with him this past weekend – THANK YOU for the most Memorable Memorial Day weekend of my life.