Eddie Arguelles

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2014 by Myssie Cardenas-Barajas

There is a serious WRONG in our community. It will either become more acceptable from us and get worse OR our community will rise up and do something about it and minimize it. It’s one or the other. By staying silent and oblivious to the issue makes you part of the problem. Ignorance is no excuse. Our community’s driving behaviors MUST change. Eddie was the biggest cycling safety advocate I knew. But all of his skills and experience was no match for an intoxicated driver. In fact… None of us are a match for an intoxicated driver. Especially if that intoxicated driver is willing to hide the life he took.

Yesterday, I awoke at about 2:30a.m. and could not go back to sleep. I figured I would go a little early to my Thursday morning ride with the 5am Wake Up Riders. I live in McAllen and because I usually have to take the boys to school in the mornings, I take my car with my bike on the rack to the Starbucks in Edinburg (one town away) so that I can return from the ride in time for getting the boys dressed, fed and to school. Lots of the other members ride their bikes to the launch site either because they love to ride and any excuse is good enough, we all live so close by, it’s an easy commute or its a great way to add some more mileage to the morning route.

I arrived at Starbucks at about 4:10 and stayed in the parking lot until the rest of the riders came in.  But I had this ugly feeling. I got out of my car and saw a police car zoom by and went South on Jackson… a couple minutes later.. two more come from another area and go South on 10th… that’s when I knew something awful had happened. But I didn’t know what it was… yet.

The group gathered up right at 5:00 a.m. It was a good sized group, enough for three different groups of speeds and distances. Ramon led us in our safety and grateful prayer and the only thing I remember of it was when he said to keep Eddie Arguelles in our prayers as he was in an accident that morning but didn’t have details.

My head popped up. I knew then something awful had happened to my friend.

Ramon, the fearless leader of the 5am’ers is the type that is super calm, poised and held together in any type of stressful situation so even though he was unusually quiet… he led us all on the ride. But still something told me that he was just as worried as I was.

As usual… I took my place at the back of the pack to check out who was the last rider and who would need that extra help along the way… but something was still telling me that something wasn’t right. At the first light along the course, I had to do anything I could to speed us up and find out what happened to Eddie.

click click

I jumped up to the lead of the group and pulled so that I could increase the pace and speed us up. That worked for a little while but Mel sprinted up to me and told me to slow down the pace because a rider in the back couldn’t keep up. I understood and slowed down the pace… but I was aching so badly to just get back quick.

Once we got to 10th street, most of the gang understands that I do my sprint intervals so I took that opportunity and went as fast as I could. I felt Ronnie behind me so I slowed down a bit to make it seem like this was normal practice and I really wasn’t freaking out… but I was.

When everyone saw that I was sprinting, everyone else followed. We got back to Starbucks pretty fast and gathered around the outside tables and that’s when I saw it…

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Eddie P had posted the above picture with this caption: Eddie Arguelles was hit by a car. Not good cant find him. Pd is out looking for eddie a

What??? What did he mean “can’t find him”???? If he was hit, and his bike was there, why wasn’t he there?

Deep down, I knew what had happened… but I couldn’t think that. Nahhhh. That couldn’t happen.

“Maybe he got hit and is disoriented and walking around.”

“Maybe the person who hit him took him to the hospital.”

“Call the hospitals. Lets find out where he’s at.”

“Call the police departments.”

I called my news media friends to see if anything had come over the wire. Everyone was on alert. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E

I left my cyclists friends that morning with a feeling that was eerily dark. Something very very evil had just happened.

I cannot recount here what happened to Eddie. It is much too disgusting for my heart to bear. I will post links to what the media is announcing though.

Here are a few:

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>RT <a href=”https://twitter.com/KRGV_Shelley”>@KRGV_Shelley</a&gt;: Edinburg PD investigating fatal hit-and-run w/bicyclist. 2 in custody, caught dumping body. <a href=”http://t.co/8NWn3qvUut”>pic.twitter.com/8NWn3qvUut</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RGV&amp;src=hash”>#RGV</a></p>&mdash; KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS (@krgv) <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv/statuses/456784399799812099″>April 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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http://www.krgv.com/news/edinburg-police-investigating-hit-and-run

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>RT <a href=”https://twitter.com/KRGV_Shelley”>@KRGV_Shelley</a&gt;: <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Edinburg&amp;src=hash”>#Edinburg</a&gt; PD ID victim of fatal hit &amp; run as 38-year-old <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cyclist&amp;src=hash”>#cyclist</a&gt; Eduardo Aguelles. <a href=”http://t.co/VCSZcsCcvW”>pic.twitter.com/VCSZcsCcvW</a></p>&mdash; KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS (@krgv) <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv/statuses/456791174020624384″>April 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>RT <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv_erica”>@krgv_erica</a&gt;: Nelson Cantu (in black) &amp; Emilio Gomez (in blue) are charged in the death of the cyclist, Eddie… <a href=”http://t.co/kk2fKOwZsb”>http://t.co/kk2fKOwZsb</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RGV&amp;src=hash”>#RGV</a></p>&mdash; KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS (@krgv) <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv/statuses/457246039586910208″>April 18, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Two charged in connection with death of <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Edinburg&amp;src=hash”>#Edinburg</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cyclist&amp;src=hash”>#cyclist</a&gt;, allegedly went to eat after accident <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RGV&amp;src=hash”>#RGV</a&gt; Link: <a href=”http://t.co/EsG7hJvUGr”>http://t.co/EsG7hJvUGr</a></p>&mdash; KRGV CHANNEL 5 NEWS (@krgv) <a href=”https://twitter.com/krgv/statuses/457246423130865664″>April 18, 2014</a></blockquote>
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EDITORIAL: Valley cyclists fatally hit – The Monitor: News.

http://m.themonitor.com/news/local/friends-lament-hit-and-run-that-killed-rd-bicyclist-in/article_72721dd6-c635-11e3-99e6-0017a43b2370.html?mode=jqm

What I WILL do is promise to keep posting the media coverage for my online cycling and triathlon community to witness, swallow and light that fire that DOES SOMETHING ABOUT THIS OUTRAGEOUS SENSELESS COLD ACT.

What I WILL do is tell the story of how Eddie helped me train for the second point of my triple crown without ever riding a road bike before in my life. I will also tell how Eddie helped my hometown create box corners for cyclists and safer designated bike routes all over town and the county. I will also SHOW how Eddie was a great friend and how we always had coffee together after every ride and sometimes even during a ride. I will also tell how Eddie was one of the most experienced cyclists in South Texas, how he was one of the biggest safety advocates in the region regarding cycling, how he loved to bar-b-que, was a hilarious comedian, a brilliant IT nerd, and best of all… a great family man of high morals and ethic.

But that’ll be on my next post. I am way too emotional for that at this moment.

A fellow cyclist, Pete Davila (who gave me permission to repost), posted the following:

Can’t stop thinking about our fellow cyclist who passed away yesterday. Can’t stop thinking of him. your on my constant thoughts. 

I am a cyclist. I get on my bike and go for short rides and long rides out of the Valley and back solo unsupported.. 
” I love distance cycling”.. I do it because it is what I do for exercise, recreation and meditation. like the freedom. I like the rythym. I love everything about it. It’s my Passion… and I’m not the only one who feels the same as I do.. We enjoy everything about it except one thing:
Reckless Motorists.

So ?? what is it about a guy, or gal, on their bike that causes so much aggravation to people who drive cars? Is it because we look different? I wear a helmet. I don’t have a couple of thousand pounds of a metal shell protecting me. I wear tight shorts with padding in the seat. Why? Because it make the activity more comfortable and it’s hard enough to fight through the wind without baggy shorts flapping around. I wear gloves. Ever taken a fall at 20 miles an hour? The first thing that happens is you put your hand out to cushion the impact. Know how long it takes for road rash to heal on the palm of your hand? A long time. And it hurts. I wear sunglasses just like you. You wear them to keep the sun out of your eyes and to look cool. I wear them to keep the sun out of my eyes, to look cool and to keep debris out of my eyes.

The problem is, if I’m not perfect I pay for it with my life. If you aren’t perfect, I pay for it with my life. It doesn’t matter if you are right or I am wrong, or I am right and you are wrong, when it comes to sharing the road, the cyclist always, always, always loses. Always.

And for those drivers who drive by at a reasonable speed and distance, who give a little wave and maybe a little knowing smile: It does not go unappreciated or unnoticed.

“THANK YOU,” Believe me, we see and notice everything!!..

 

Super Hero

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by Myssie Cardenas-Barajas

I was going back over my memory of CapTexTri from last year and then googled it to see what others had recorded from it just to make sure that I hadn’t missed something that others experienced. I found a news site that had a gallery of photos in a slide show that was pretty much in chronological order from start to finish.

http://www.kvue.com/news/slideshows/Photos-Capital-of-Texas-Triathlon-209357521.html?gallery=y&c=y#/news/slideshows/Photos-Capital-of-Texas-Triathlon-209357521.html?gallery=y&c=y&img=121&c=y

Seriously cool how I burst out into laughter as I saw myself on there!!! I had no clue I was in that slideshow. And it was perfect too because I had just talked to the TEAM about how important it was to me to always be caught smiling no matter how bad my body was hurting because my Momma never showed pain or fear to the world during her treatments – although I’m sure she was plenty scared and in more pain than I could ever imagine.

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This hasn’t been an easy road. Certainly not filled with rainbows and butterflies!!! Each day brings me face to face with people who scoff at my actions and even more who get a sick thrill to stab my back… but all of this has made me stronger. I may not be where I want to be but I’m much further away from where I hated to be.

I pray that this journey will lead me to where it is that I SHOULD be and I have faith that it will. What I do know from experience is that no success that has value was ever earned without sacrifice and hardship.

I shared with you this last weekend’s “hero” reference and what it meant to me. I remember naively saying to myself that nothing could top that… oh boy, was I wrong.

On Monday, shortly after I picked up my little boy from school, we went immediately to Barnes and Noble bookstore to get a book so that he could work on his project. While walking the aisles of the store, he pointed to a journal.

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“Look Mom!” he said.

“Wow! That’s cool! Who do you want to get this for?” I asked.

He looked at me with a puzzled face, “You! You’re Wonder Woman.”

God, please, forgive me. I know lately many times I’ve questioned why I am on this crazy journey and have questioned to what extent it is benefitting me and my family or to anyone for that matter… and why some of those who I care most about in this world have tried desperately to dissuade me from this path…

Thank you. Thank you, God.  Because at that moment in that store holding my hand, he looked at me the exact same way I looked at my Momma.

While I hardly feel like I am a Super Hero, I do feel that if anyone does feel this way about me, it is certainly just as I stated in my farewell speech as Miss Edinburg over twenty years ago, “I was chosen Miss Edinburg not because I was me but because of how my Mother taught me to be. I am a reflection of her. This crown belongs to her.”

She is the real Super Hero. If you feel that I am a hero or hear someone call me one, it is because you can see her in my eyes, in my heart and in my soul. And this is how I know she will always live in me.

Lynda is Dezma's mother.

Lynda is Dezma’s mother.

 

 

 

My good days

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2014 by Myssie Cardenas-Barajas

“I don’t want them to pity me.” Sissy

She didn’t want people to pity her because of all she had been going through. She wanted to give them HOPE. And she’s probably going to be really upset that I’m including this in my blog for every Joe Blow in the whole wide world to read… but what very few people knew was that even after agreeing to go through experimental chemo cocktails with no success, shortly before she passed away, Sissy donated her body to science with hope that she would somehow still be able to help the world find a cure for cancer.

Somewhere out here in our world, right this very minute, there is a scientist out here closer to a cure because his or her medical journal has the results of a test that told the world that her body responded either negatively or positively to and gave that staff more insight because of her selfless choice. To me, that’s a real hero. Somewhere out here in this world, there’s a little bit of Sissy that still looks out for us.

Somewhere out here in our world, there are two precious boys (Nico and Sammy)who are likely going through those awkward growing up phases that boys go through – the time that I remember Donny the most (his awkward stage).  Donny loved those two boys so much, more than anything in the world! Life just dealt Donny too much at one time and he had a bad habit of locking up all his worries inside his head and he never coped with those pressures in a healthy way. With Momma and Sissy at MD Anderson with cancer, losing his pharmaceutical sales job, going through a divorce and dealing with debt growing at an exponential rate because of excessive shopping habits and worst of all… the emotional stress that all this did to him, I’m very happy that he prepared to take care of his boys after his death. To me, with all that he had to endure and still come out with his legacies taken care of, that’s a real hero.

And here… right here, I am challenged to push my body and mind to exceed limits I never knew existed. I am constantly questioning myself with “Is this how Momma would have done this?” It is now my responsibility to make sure I live out the rest of my life the way Momma taught me to. I hear her voice echo in my head over and over “el flojo trabaja doble”, “the early bird gets the worm” and “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. You see, when I was young, I was quiet and shy and very insecure with just a handful of close friends. I was a quirky introvert… just like my dad. But I wanted soooo much to be more like my Momma. She was awesome! She was cool! She was beautiful! She was talented! She was smart! She was popular! She could do anything! Anything!!!

She loved her family. She worked hard. She played harder. And she was involved in EVERYTHING that was cool in this little community! Ok, let me correct that… she MADE everything that she was involved in super cool!!! Because of this, everyone wanted to be around her because she was just so much fun to be around so all the events and organizations she volunteered for were always successful.

So this week as Daddy and I remembered Momma and Donny and Sissy, I was predictably given more signs… and of course… I had to follow. From the flower arrangements I placed at their gravesites, to the Beatles songs that played randomly on the radio, to the movies that popped up on TV, to my two little lovebirds that made it “official” this week, to the contracts that fell through (likely Sissy’s doings since she hated gossip and drama and knew that it would probably blow up in my face later on with them), to the return of peace and love and happiness back into what remains of our little family, to being asked by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to lobby for cancer research funding and easier access to affordable treatment for cancer patients in Washington DC in a few weeks, to the odd number of elephant sightings in just one week (Momma collected elephants)… I knew Momma was here… right here by my side still pushing me and triggering that voice in my head guiding every move I made.

It was right after our TEAM’s open water swim practice, after I successfully did the group’s Mission Moment without crying (even talking about the anniversary of Momma’s and Donny’s death), when Sarah’s mom, Anita, posted countless photos and videos of the ABSOLUTELY STUNNING LAKE and our group doing a phenomenal job at swimming from dock to dock and then called us all “Super heroes”. To her, I am a hero.

Do you have any idea how special that is? To have a little girl who is fighting cancer call you a hero?!?!?!

I don’t have words for this feeling.

If you knew Sarah and Anita… If you were lucky enough to get one of Sarah’s hugs… and she called you a hero… You’d be speechless, too.

I had refrained from posting a lot this week because I didn’t want my blog to have an air of sadness or instigate pity as a result of Momma and Donny’s anniversaries. But the joke’s on me…

These were all pretty good days.

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Two years without Mimi

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2014 by Myssie Cardenas-Barajas

It was two years ago today, right this very moment, that I crawled into bed with my Momma, held her hand, smoothed her hair back and whispered into her ear that it was ok to let go of us and stop the pain she was in. I remember hearing what the hospice nurses called the “death rattle”. I was the only one in the room with her in the end.

A few nights before, she had become quite antsy and restless. It was difficult for her to walk but she was adamant about going from her bed to the living room to watch TV on the couch. I lifted her up and walked her over, carefully holding her under her shoulders just incase she fell along the way. It was about 3:00 a.m. This would be the last time that she would have a conversation with me.

“I’m so sorry you have to see me go through this,” she said.

After I gathered my will and a bit of silence passed, I responded “I’m so glad it’s me you allowed to see you go through this.” I laid my head down on her frail bony shoulder as we sat on the couch together and she held me in her arms for the last time that night.

April 8, 2012, Easter Sunday, two years ago today… If you believe in the biblical story of Jesus Christ and know about the time when he began his journey of suffering, of crucifixion and death…it matches exactly the same time frame that Momma followed that day. I truly believe in the deepest part of my heart that she chose that day and that time to join her Lord and Mother Mary for that reason. I wish with all my might I could have faith and strength like hers.

I held her hand as she took her last breath.

No other honor in my life time can ever surpass that honor. I now live my life trying to smile like her no matter how hard it gets. I now live my life reflecting all that she taught me no matter what anyone else tells me. I now live my life like hers so that my children can feel the love that I felt for her.

I love you Momma.

The miles I run for you will always be Mimi’s Miles. Cancer picked the wrong woman.

 

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Play by play of BISD’s Everyone Can TRI

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2014 by Myssie Cardenas-Barajas

You don’t just wake up one morning and tell yourself… “ehhhh I think I’m going to do a triathlon today.” You are either inspired to do one by watching the phenomenal results of someone you admire, are injured from another sport and through cross-training have decided to do one, are coerced, double dog dared or bullied into doing one, used to be an athlete at one time and have challenged yourself into becoming that person again, never have been an athlete and are now working on your bucket list, thought that this would be an interesting way to lose weight and get in shape or realized that this is connected to a cause that you are personally passionate about.

Clearly I have chosen the latter and least used… well, up until now.

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Yesterday, 15 members and even our coach of the Team in Training RGV TriTeam competed in the BISD’s Everyone Can Tri as a practice event to better ready us for the Capital of Texas Triathlon the last weekend in May. This would be my 5th triathlon in 13 months but for my teammates, it would for many of them be their first or second.

We all showed up early and set up our transition areas as close to each other as possible. A few of the girls had asked me to french braid their long hair like mine so that we can go from event to event without having to worry about ponytails whipping around or buns falling. Lucky for me and my cupid nature, I had fixed up my bike guru with my fellow Nike Women’s marathoner and CAP5k founder and convinced one to enter so the other followed. While I was inside the aquatic center french braiding her hair, he examined my bike and found that it had a flat back tire!!! Honestly, I don’t know how that could have happened. It was fine in the morning in the garage when I loaded it onto my car. It was fine when I arrived in Brownsville when I unloaded it from the car and into transition area. Again, lucky for me he was there because I would have never known and DNF’d at the first transition! Superstar triathlete Casey donated his tire tube to “Mimi’s” rescue. Together, those two boys were like my own personal NASCAR pit crew!!!

Lesson learned: ALWAYS CHECK YOUR GEAR and bring extra of everything and keep it in your car nearby. And make sure you pick your transition area near the nice experienced triathletes incase something like this happens again.

* Transition area – hang bike on rack, lay transition mat or towel under wheel of tire, place bike helmet with sunglasses nearest you with clips nearby (or already attached to bike), place running shoes behind them and on top of race belt with bib attached to it so that it doesn’t blow away in the wind. All other necessities should be in your transition bag placed furthest away from you on the mat just in case.

Knowing that each event for me is done to keep a promise to my mom, I become quite emotional at the start. So, I went for my private time and sat along the resaca’s edge to pray, remember and talk to Momma, Sissy and Donny. This week is afterall Momma’s and Donny’s death anniversary so it meant a lot to me. After I wiped away the tears, I rejoined the TNT group and found Jeanice. We gathered around in a circle as she led us in prayer and finished with an “Amen” and a loud “Go Team!”

After a few silly “before” team pictures, we all ventured into the aquatic center. We were sorted by sex, age group and swim pace and sat in the bleachers until it was our turn to enter the water. When my number was called out, I got really nervous. I was the ONLY female in that group.

“There must be something wrong. I’m the only girl here,” I said aloud unintentionally. The man by me looked me over in agreement and asked me “Do you swim every day?” I could tell what he meant by that and my inner voice (ya, you remember her) came out “No, not every day” and began to do my stretching exercises by the pools edge. But then Karen walked up and filled the space right before me… and that’s when it hit me… oh ya… something is definitely wrong if they’ve place my swim just under Karen “Ironman” Watt!!!! She nonchalantly giggled over her shoulder to me, “Sorry, I had to go to the ladies room.”

I am officially freaking out now. I am NOT this fast!!! I am placed in the wrong line up. I just know it! Please God! Please don’t let me look like a fool and hinder others from doing their best!!!

I tell the next person behind me “I think I’ve been placed in the wrong pace bracket so if you need to pass me, just tap my feet and I’ll move over so you don’t have to waste energy. I’ll let you pass.”

They must have thought I was the biggest goober ever!!!!

So there I was, heart racing a million miles a minute and jumping into the first lane with Karen right next to me. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?!?

“Don’t you dare chicken out Myssie!” sarcastic inner voice is back and after me big time! “You’ve done this before a gazillion times in practice!”

“Ready and go!” the timer exclaims with her stop watch.

Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!… and I swim and swim and swim…breathe… swim swim swim breathe… touch the edge… dunk under the lane line… WOW! That’s deep!… come up.. deep breath… sight myself… swim swim swim breathe… pass one guy… oh he’s struggling bad… poor fella… swim swim swim breathe… swim swim.. pass another.. sight. WHOA! this is shallow! Can I touch the bottom of the pool??? Focus you dingbat!!! Touch the edge of the pool and go under the lane line again, deep breath and swim… I end up passing about five swimmers total and passed only once. Yes!!!!! That’s what I’m talking about!!!!

I exit the pool up the ladder and know there is no way I’m looking like Pheobe Cates!!! I whip off my swim cap and favorite orange goggles, feeling confident and run to transition. I hear Vero yell out “GO MYSSIE GO!!!” and I know I’ve got a huge smile on my face. Just behind me is Wally, my bike guru. How did he do that??? He was like three swim groups after me!!! Phenomenal! I slam my helmet on my head with my sunglasses and slip my clips onto my still wet feet. I try my best to get out of transition as fast as possible and I’m right behind Wally. He mounts his bike at the line with ease and grace… I on the other hand have to stop, get my balance, carefully lift my leg… whoa.. whoooaaaa… ok, got it… and place it on the pedal, clip in and now go… ya, Wallito is long gone now. I yell out to my bike “Come on Momma, lets go!!!” and mash it hard. I barely see Wally on the horizon. BUT I can see him and so long as I can keep him in view that means I’m making really good time! So I give it all I got!!!

It feels great to be able to pass up cyclists now! My confidence in myself and my training is growing and is certainly reflected on my time. I don’t even want to lift up my hand to check what Garmin is recording. I mash it harder and harder. The course is a simple circle with all right hand turns so there’s little interaction with traffic however there still ARE a few idiot drivers that take the bike lane and use it as a right hand turning lane. I catch my breath as I see a car almost clip the cyclist before me. Thank goodness nothing happened!!! Wait… where’s Wally???? I don’t see him anymo….

Slumped over on the side of the road with his head bowing in defeat, I see him and his bike laying next to him. “What happened?” I yell out.

“I got a flat,” he responds.

Poor guy… he fixed my flat and then got one himself. I have the feeling someone gave me “ojo” and then went to him for fixing it. My pace goes down. But don’t worry… sarcastic inner voice takes good care of that and my pace comes right back up again. I pass a few more cyclists but one stood out. “Careful! I’m on your right!” I scream out to her. As I pass, she says “That’s a really cool bike you have! I love the orange! My husband’s bomb truck is that same color of orange.”

“Thank you!” I reply as best I can without sounding out of breath. “I race in orange in memory of my mother. It was her favorite color.” The look on her face was identical in respect as mine was when she told me of her husband’s truck.

click click

This. Is. Awesome.

The bike is my favorite part of the triathlon. There is something so exhilarating about it. The wind, the speed, the control, the freeness of it all… becoming one with a machine that cannot run without you being the engine that runs it… and I am finally comfortably speedy in it. I’m not as fast as I hope to be but I’m getting there and pushing myself more and more each chance I get.

And it’s over way too soon! Off I go and dismount at the line. I’m off to T2 now and I hear the cheers galore!!! The crowd calls my name out and without looking at anyone I hear Wally’s voice scream out “Go Myssie!!!” Seriously??? Again??? How does he do that? He shows up ahead of me at every single part of this race as if he’s been there for hours already and I never once see him pass me!!! He had a freakin flat!!! He must have a space/time continuum transfunctioner in his pocket!!

My feet are still wet and my tri suit is still dripping from the swim but because of time, I choose to slosh my wet feet once again into my Sauconys without socks knowing full well that I will get blisters by the time I enter mile three of the run. I carefully and slowly exit T2 to begin my run with brick legs. I remembered Stanley’s Tri just a month ago and how my legs just wouldn’t move so I was careful to get my bearing straight and do this one right.

Ok, ok… my legs are doing ok. My thighs are hurting a bit but not to the point where they’d stop me because of too much pain. I convince myself that I can push through this. And I do… but something happens in the first tunnel… it’s dark… I can’t see. Where am I going? Am I going to step in a hole and twist my ankle? Am I going to fall? Am I going to run into someone? Is someone going to run into me? Oh look! LIGHT!!! Whew! I’m through the tunnel now! And just as I exit the tunnel I see Ben as he yells out to me “Go Myssie!” and then tries desperately to yell out to Penny who is right behind me “Go Pe…. ” but that’s all the comes out of his mouth. Laura is just behind Ben and I hear her yell out a cheer to me as well. Unfortunately, I’m not as composed as they are and cannot return the cheer…

I. am. out. of. breath…. gotta stop. stop now.

seriously myss… just stop. walk. please. walk..

Now, in hindsight… as I type this out.. I can honestly tell myself that I was not in pain. My body could have continued to run. It was not hurt. I was simply out of energy. I lost my WILL. I lost my ganas in that tunnel. I stopped. I gave up.

Penny passed me. Cat passed me. I gave up on myself and I had no good reason to do so.

I could feel the blisters forming on both my feet but even then, the pain of the blisters weren’t enough to stop me. It was me… my core self that stopped me. I allowed my negative self to defeat all my hard work.

I knew Karen was ahead of me because she’s super fast and was ahead of me in line up. I knew Laura had passed me in the swim and was the only one that had passed me. No one in my age group passed me on the bike. I was in third place up to this point and I gave up. How could I do this to myself?

This is what I need to conquer quickly before CapTex. I need to find out why I let myself down and never allow that to happen again.

It was at the water stop that I gathered my senses again but by then it was too late. I grabbed two paper cups. I drank one and poured the other over me. BOOM! There! That’s what I needed. A wake up call!!!

In the anger of my self defeat, my feet challenged my head and heart and took matters into their own toes.  They led the way and never stopped after that moment. Once I passed under the bridge and heard the crowd, my feet would NOT allow me to stop no matter what. In fact, they went faster and faster and faster. I turned the last corner and hear Vero yell out one last time “Go Myssie Go!!!” and soon after that the crowd ensued with deafening cheers. You have nooooo idea how much I needed this and it pumped me up just the way I needed it. I finished but knew I had let myself and my training down.

Coach W came over and put her arms around me and asked “How’d you do?”

“I did well. I felt strong in my swim and in my bike but I’m disappointed in my run.” Without any elaboration, the look on her face showed me she understood. My face has a way of showing all my emotion behind it in every wrinkle. She must have known I was beating myself up about it already and she wasn’t going to add fuel to the fire. She gave me a hug.

It was right about then that Alex, my triathlon buddy all this last year had come over to me with the most enormous glow of pride on her face. She reflected on how just a year ago she and I had finished OUR first triathlon (Stanley’s Tri) and this entire group around us that had been cheering us on then had today successfully finished their first triathlon. The both of us stood there with huge smiles on our faces and so proud of the newbie triathletes we inspired.

Some didn’t know how to swim. Some hadn’t ever ridden a bike. But NOTHING stopped them. Not even their fear. 10 weeks later… they are now TRIATHLETES!!!

And then I stood there as the awards were handed out and I knew I missed out on the closest opportunity I had to finally podium… and looked at my teammates of new triathletes and it hit me… courage. They all had courage.

Somewhere along the way… I lost my courage. I must find it.

Tuesday is Momma’s death anniversary. Friday is Donny’s. If any time was the right time to find courage to continue… it’s now and for them.

I was asked a good question yesterday.

“Do you want to do this for cancer and just finish or do you want to do better?”

My response is: Why should it be one or the other? Why can’t I aspire to do both? Do this for cancer AND do better!!!

 

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Everyone Can Tri

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2014 by Myssie Cardenas-Barajas

I don’t really have a lot of time to summarize the event from today (I’ll do that tomorrow) but I do feel compelled to share the most memorable moment of today with you…

Shortly after I crossed the finish line, Alex – my roommate from the Herothon in San Antonio that I coerced into joining the Just Tri It program with me in just one weekend last year, leaned over and quietly whispered into my ear:

“When we did our first Tri last year, all these people were cheering for us and now they did their first Tri!!!”

Two crazy girls on a whim inspired 18 more to do a triathlon with them. Whodathought?!?!?! Anything can happen. And anyone can do it. Well, that is if you have these awesomely crazy positive people around you to push your limits!!!!

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Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2014 by Myssie Cardenas-Barajas
I'm trying to contact as many people as I can that plan on competing at CAPTEXTRI and let you know that LifeTimeTri has given me a discount code that gives registrants 10% off the cost of registration and in turn gives that discount to the charity of my choice (that would be the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of my mother and Sissy). Please help me spread the word to your training group that you work out with. I know most of us have already registered by this time but if you know of some people who have been on the fence or are procrastinators, please let them know about my discount code CAPTEXTRI1402 Thanks so much! I know... odd that you don't know who I am but I'm basically a girl who made a promise to her mother before she died to do all that she could to never let any other family go through what we did. See you at CapTex!!!

I’m trying to contact as many people as I can that plan on competing at CAPTEXTRI and let you know that LifeTimeTri has given me a discount code that gives registrants 10% off the cost of registration and in turn gives that discount to the charity of my choice (that would be the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of my mother and Sissy). Please help me spread the word to your training group that you work out with. I know most of us have already registered by this time but if you know of some people who have been on the fence or are procrastinators, please let them know about my discount code CAPTEXTRI1402
Thanks so much! I know… odd that you don’t know who I am but I’m basically a girl who made a promise to her mother before she died to do all that she could to never let any other family go through what we did.
See you at CapTex!!!

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