Photo credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images
There are some women who complain about being football or basketball “widows.” I’m not one of them.
However over the past decade, I have come to loathe the month of July, when my husband takes over the remote and insists on watching Every. Single. Minute. of the Tour de France.
This year things were different, because just before his annual viewing marathon began, he talked me into watching a Netflix documentary about last year’s race. As a result, I became hugely invested in a lot of riders and their backstories.
My favorite was Jasper Disaster.
That’s not his real name, of course. It was a moniker he earned from a fellow rider because of his well-known propensity for having accidents, being forgetful and occasionally – like in last year’s race when he mistakenly thought he had won a stage of the Tour de France and the film of his celebration went viral – making kind of a fool of himself.
Rumor is he hates that nickname. And who wouldn’t?
All of which makes what happened during this year’s Tour de France especially amazing.
First he won Stage 3. Then he won Stages 4, 7 and 11. But perhaps more important than that, he changed the narrative.
“It was not so long ago that Jasper Philipsen was nicknamed ‘Jasper Disaster,’” an AP reporter wrote shortly after one of those stage wins. “In the space of a week at the Tour de France, he has morphed into ‘Jasper The Master,’ dominating the sprints with ease.”
Ultimately, Jasper wound up winning this year’s coveted green jersey – and much of the biking world’s respect.
So what does this have to do with ALAN and our mission? Plenty.
Just as Jasper wasn’t too fond of his nickname, we hate disasters, too – even though we rub elbows with them in some form or fashion every day.
And just like him, we don’t believe that any Disaster, no matter how powerful, deserves to have the last word – or to permanently define a community forever after.
Instead, we’re all about helping injured communities get back up on their figurative bikes as soon as they can – and providing them with the love and support they need to start pedaling forward, cleaning up and rebuilding.
Obviously, that kind of turnaround and healing doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does it happen without a lot of hard work, teamwork and determination (much like Jasper’s wins).
But it can and does happen all the time – and one stage at a time – thanks to financial donors and in-kind supporters like you.
Thank you riding along with us on this journey. Together we really are changing disaster survivor’s lives for the better and using a little bit of logistics to do a lot of good.
American Logistics Aid Network