Jara Chingas

 

While running marathons and doing triathlons, I met some pretty phenomenal women. Each of us touched by cancer in different ways and all are just as passionate to do something about it. Almost a year ago, I sat with one over coffee and discussed the beginnings of a nonprofit specifically for the people of the Rio Grande Valley who needed help getting colonoscopies because they either did not have insurance or their copayment was out of financial reach for them.

Since then, we’ve already done a 5k race and 1 mile kids run and to our surprise… Was really successful!!!

Some of the RGV CAP board being a little silly after our first 5k success!!!

Some of the RGV CAP board being a little silly after our first 5k success!!!

Our Board consists of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and survivors. And we have three big events coming up soon.

A 10k next week, a “mixer” at a local country club and a gala all within about a month!!!

P.S. I have tickets!! Message me via facebook and I'll deliver them to you (If you live in the RGV area).

P.S. I have tickets!! Message me via facebook and I’ll deliver them to you (If you live in the RGV area).

A lot of events right?

Unfortunately, I’ve been receiving news all week long of people who have touched my heart and lost their battle.

All my work, all my efforts … It’s taking too long to reach these people in need. Or maybe it’s just not enough. Maybe I need to do more. If only I could convince OTHERS to do more. Join me? Please?

————–

I’m officially back on the wagon!! My workouts this week have been great! Intense and ok, I’ll say it. I’m noticeably sore today.

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I rode with Team McAllen for the first time today…on Jarachinas road!!! Now, I’ve spoken about this hilly road several times in my blog. Living in flat lands, this stretch of road is our only “hill country” so it’s used quite often for training. HOWEVER, with all the border violence, illegal crossings and general bicycle crashes that have been happening, cyclists rarely go out in that area by themselves. So, when it was mentioned to me that a group would be out there, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to put in some “real” miles on my Mimi and taste the wind!!!

It was a great ride with an unfamiliar but awesome group. As usual, I popped off the group as we hit the second hill and put in my right ear bud. Riding against the wind (albeit there was VERY little wind) and put Mimi into her toughest gear for a harder workout and did as many intervals as I could. I kept the group within a half to one mile distance at all times for safety reasons.  On the return southward, I kept it easy to recover. I probably took advantage of the recovery mentality too much because the playlist was just too fun not to dance on my bike the whole way.

I think I began to feel like I wasn’t supposed to enjoy my training rides the way I did so I just didn’t ride anymore. I had spent almost all summer long not riding just so I could avoid a handful of people who made me feel bad about feeling good on a bike. And there I was… sweating profusely… sun rising… birds chirping… all by myself on my bike… wind in my face. I could see the red blinking lights of the pack about a half mile away and then I looked over my left shoulder. Yep. The coast was clear.

I reached into my jersey pocket. Took out my iPhone. Turned up the volume (*to my ONE ear bud) and SANG MY LUNGS OUT WHILE RIDING!!!

I BELONG TO YOU

YOU BELONG TO ME

MY SWEET….. HHHHHEEEEEEAAAAAARRRTTTTTTT

And I was ok. Sore. But ok.

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Had this been a year ago, I would have been bothered that I wasn’t with the pack or leading the pack, being pushed by someone or worried about what the others were thinking about my performance. I’ve grown so much. I’ve learned so much. I think in the middle of no where, I found myself.

I’m not quite sure how to word it because re-reading this… it sounds really contradictory to me. But I’ve become pretty content with who I am and will expect nothing less than continuing to improve myself.

My Tia Estella and I celebrating her 92nd birthday.

My Tia Estella and I celebrating her 92nd birthday.

Later that Saturday night, I spent the evening celebrating my great Aunt’s 92nd birthday. There was a 20-minute video that featured all of Tia Estella’s amazing life and she made sure that both Momma and Sissy were included in the video. Yes, I cried. She was a beautician, a nurse, a Justice of the Peace, a widow to cancer, an advocate for the poor and elderly, the director of the Housing Authority and best of all.. a daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend. And then I took a good look around the room filled mostly with family… it hit me. ALL THE WOMEN IN MY FAMILY ARE SERIOUSLY AMAZING!

They don’t just do one thing and do it well. They do it all and go balls out! They are all well rounded, highly intelligent, good natured, friendly, fun loving, gun toten’, family first, devoted Catholic women… that dance and sing a whole lot!!!

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These women raised me this way. Just like Momma. I hope that with my new healthy lifestyle, I can live to be 92 as well and touch the world as well as my Momma did.  And if I don’t live to be 92, I hope to live each day of my life in happiness doing the best that I can for as long as I can with what I’ve got.

P.S. My Daddy asked me to dance that night. I hadn’t two-stepped since 1994. It’s monumental moments like this that I know will never make it to my “This is your life” video so I jot them down on facebook or this blog so when someone researches me, they’ll know that it was the little things in my life with my family that meant the most to me.

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