Before I'm off to go cheer friends at the New Years Eve run to end and begin a year of being athletic, healthy and happy I wanted to thank you for your help this year. Have a wonderful beginning to the new year!!
"Difficulties are opportunities to better things; they are stepping stones to greater experience. Perhaps someday you will be thankful for some temporary failure in a particular direction. When one door closes, another always opens".- Author Unknown
Thank you for your continued support this year!! I hope since we last spoke you thought about a fun activity you did as a child and if that didn’t make you want to go right out there to re-enact those earlier years then hopefully it made you smile with the memory. As promised, I went to Tucson Arizona with my team to take part in JDRF’s Ride to Cure Diabetes. However, with great regret I was unable to ride my bike due to injury. Two days before I flew out of town my doctor told me I had a stress fracture in my leg and I was required to take a “forced rest with no activity for 6 weeks”. I was devastated by the news. Athletically, this has been a very successful year for me. I have competed in many first time endurance events such as 2 half marathons, Olympic distance triathlon, 24hr running relay and a half Ironman distance triathlon. All of this I don’t think would have been possible without me having taken part in my first weekend 5 years ago at JDRF’s Ride to Cure program. As I’ve told you each year, the ride program made me fall back in love with riding, has helped me to take action and strive for better control of my diabetes management, has given me friends that will last a lifetime, made me an athlete, it has made me come alive. So you can see why I was so upset about not being able to take part in the ride that essentially planted the seed of the athlete you now know.
Despite not being able to ride I had a spectacular weekend! There was never a doubt that I wouldn’t go. If my team was going, I was going. I’d be the support crew and help anyway I could. The night before the ride there is a big dinner where two awards are given out with the help of a podium girl. Guess who that girl was?! The ride staff asked me if I would like to assist our National coach in handing out the awards. It was so cool to stand up on the stage in front of the 100+ riders and volunteers to congratulate the award recipients. The next day was ride day, I woke up bright and early with my team and had breakfast with them before we had to part ways. This years ride was partnered with the El Tour de Tucson so that meant the start was going to have 8,000+ riders. I have never seen a mass start like that. It was amazing! I’ll admit that I was jealous of my friends because they were riding and I wasn’t. However, I had work to do. I had to make sure I was there cheering them so I spent ride day enjoying the weather at the finish line, watching the first and last of my teammates come in. I’ve never been on that side of the line before and it was wonderful to see the weary smiles of satisfaction and utter accomplishment on their faces as they crossed the finish line. My team…they made my day.
That evening there is a celebration dinner and more awards are given out to riders and coaches. One particular award is the coveted polka dot jersey, which is given out to the person that exemplifies the spirit of the JDRF Ride Program throughout the weekend. It’s been awarded to riders, coaches and volunteers in the past. This year my team and other JDRF crew nominated me for the award. I accepted the award with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. As everyone stood to clap and congratulate me, I felt so much love and appreciation from my team and all of the JDRF staff. It’s a moment I’ll never forget and a jersey I’ll wear riding with pride. My team…they made my night.
I wanted to be there to support them and the other riders but as it turned out they supported me the entire weekend, by letting me know it mattered to them that I was there. Riding or not. Your donations to the cause, your donations to support ME each year in the cause, it makes YOU part of the team. Riding or not. My team…thank you for making my year.