This Is Why - JB Haglund

In his (obviously really famous because you’ve never heard of it) essay titled “Nemesis,” Chuck Klosterman explained that what you really need in life isn’t a good friend, it’s a good enemy. Because enemies are what keep us up at night, they are what drive us to accomplish great things because we hate them so much.

Which is where hating cancer comes in.

Because hating cancer makes more sense to me than fighting it. As people know all too well, cancer doesn’t quit, it doesn’t ever leave you alone even when it goes into remission. It is relentless, terrifyingly powerful, and even the treatment for it often kills. So that’s a fight I know I’m not going to win. If I ever have to fight it, I just hope I survive.

But I am all about hating cancer. Because hating it, for me, means being a part of trying to help support people and organizations that do things for the people who are fighting with cancer or watching their loved ones do it.

If by hating cancer I can help raise some money that means someone will get help dealing with their insurance company at the same time as they are fighting for their life, then the least I can do is throw on a jersey and ride around in it.

Haglund TIW 5.jpeg

If by hating cancer I can help raise some money that will put a caring professional in the room with a cancer patient or their mother or their husband who is dealing with the emotional toll of caring for them, then riding all over the Philadelphia area in my TIHC kit seems like at least a tiny positive thing in the face of all the horror that cancer brings with it.


If by hating cancer I can help be a part of a really big effort that will mean that a whole bunch of people get better treatment when they face a cancer diagnosis or get the chance to talk to someone or gets to go to the YMCA for free after cancer treatments to get help rebuilding their bodies, I can get pretty excited about the idea of riding from Philadelphia to Maine over a week.

Because enemies like hills and sun and wind and fatigue are really pretty small time but we’re focused on big ugly ones, people not getting help they really need, the fear and pain and heartache that cancer brings with it, all of them, enemies we can hate really hard all the way to Maine.



Michael Walsh