Archive for dezma benitez

Heal Over

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2015 by runmyssierun

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Mission moment: “It’s not about me and it’s not about Dezma losing her fight against cancer. We are all still here, fighting for her and every other person fighting. So long as we continue to fight, we aren’t losing! Dezma hasn’t lost the fight.”

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German, my run guru and cheerleader of my crazy dreams, advises the new team members on shoes, form, gear, practice, nutrition, hydration and consistency.

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Sarah pacing Angel because sometimes he needs that extra little push at the end

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I met Rolando about two years ago and finally got him onto our TEAM!!! I’m so happy and proud of him!!!

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Sarah and Gio soaking up the sun

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The first day of practice, a group practice with both the Marathon team and the Triathlon team, was so incredibly beautiful!!! The skies were blue, the air was crisp, our smiles were big and our hearts were warmed because Sarah was right there with us!!!

I talked about perception earlier and I’ve taken it deep into my heart and hoping to better show you what I see. Learning how to use the new gopro and have a ways to go… and no time to do it in!!! I’ll do the best that I can. I had to change the original song and quickly use one that Youtube chose FOR me and it ended up chopping it at the end instead of the fade out that made Jeanice’s flirty little hop at the end kinda cut off…

Training, watching what I eat, fundraising and learning new camera and video editing tricks is really tough.

Shouldn’t complain though… it really was a stunning day with great people!!!

PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING THIS LINK HERE!!! http://pages.teamintraining.org/sctx/nbhtri15/mcardenasb

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It really felt great to be out here again with this group!

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Come With Me Now

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2015 by runmyssierun

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And so it begins… the decision to do this last big event was one that took much contemplation, ensuring that proper time would be allocated to train and fundraise, my head and spirit were centered and I was around the right support network to keep me focused, grounded and as successful as possible.

I downloaded all three of the courses for Ironman Victoria already and googled photos to see the lake, get a glimpse of the average water temp, a sneak peek at what the running trail looks like and the bike elevation. I was told that because it is a sea side town, it’s a flat sea level area and that there is little chance of snow and that water temperatures are “relatively warm but wetsuit legal” and the running trails are the “greenest of all Ironman courses because they are all trail and not pavement or asphalt”. My concern is the use of the words “relatively warm”. See, my “relative” area is tropical South Texas and when we use the term warm, it’s about 100 degrees. I predict some temperature shock on my part. I also see some elevation, too. Lots of elevations… like multiple heights and colors. Oh boy.

ironman victoria bike elevation 2015

Whoa.. wait. Does that sign say "frozen"?

Whoa.. wait. Does that sign say “frozen”?

My first official week of my iron training didn’t come easy. Every day came with only a maximum of four hours of sleep. I pushed through my first few days of workouts and dragged the rest. Not good. If I continue this way, I’m pretty much begging for injuries to happen. Proper rest is just as important as proper nutrition and hydration. Before I go any further, a huge change must happen.

How did I prepare for my first triathlon this way? Oh yeah… I was living with my dad at his house who went to bed by 10:00p.m. (remember that my mom had recently passed away)

How have I done it since then? Oh yeah… struggled and lots of coffee. Not exactly a great plan for any triathlete. Especially one who has just had the realization AGAIN that life is fragile and a gift that is not guaranteed to be here tomorrow.

The weather hasn’t cooperated completely either… however, that could be just an excuse as I see my fellow run junkees post photos of their daily runs like these…

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So I have no real excuse when it’s drizzling and 45 degrees in tropical South Texas. These guys here would kill for conditions like mine. So bottom line is that I’m quite spoiled here… and used to it. I hit the gym and incorporated some weight training alongside my dreadmill run, RPM cycling and stairclimber workouts. I have yet to hit to pool but hope to do so tomorrow. I’ll suck it up and do only outdoor pool and OWS workouts to get used to colder temps as to acclimate my body to the Canadian waters of Victoria. *lets see how brave I am when it really gets cold!!!

Just as my workouts are planned, so is my fundraising and PR. This will likely anger some people as the community I live in is “humble”. We have been taught NOT to speak up, to turn the other cheek, don’t stir the pot, don’t cause waves, keep your head down, speak only when spoken to, don’t bring attention to yourself… yada yada yada. We have been taught to do what we can with what we have and never to ask for help… certainly never to beg or try to tell/inform others of better ways to do something. What this taught me was that if you are obscure enough… no one will see you, no one will hear you, no one will know about the things you care about and certainly no one will care and nothing will change… period. What good does that do?

This week, my emails will go out. My letters requesting help and donations – any kind of donations – money, sponsorships, materials, time and effort (including just sharing and reposting my crazy facebook and twitter and instagram posts to your friends) .. go out, too. It all happens this week. You’ve seen me on billboards

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You’ve seen me on the front page

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You’ve seen me on TV

You’ve seen me on street corners

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You’ve seen me speak at events, schools and any place where I can tell my story

I just spoke to the most amazing group of young women and my heart melted when a swarm of them caught me as I was leaving. They each asked me to take individual photos with them and spoke to me about their own experiences with cancer and their own "impossible goals" that they want to achieve. Honored and humbled and a smile from ear to ear!!!

I just spoke to the most amazing group of young women and my heart melted when a swarm of them caught me as I was leaving. They each asked me to take individual photos with them and spoke to me about their own experiences with cancer and their own “impossible goals” that they want to achieve. Honored and humbled and a smile from ear to ear!!!

You’ve seen me with celebrities who also share similar struggles with cancer and other “impossible” struggles

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Austin Mahone

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Suzy Favor Hamilton

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John “The Penguin” Bingham, author of the Penguin Chronicles

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Ethan Zohn – Winner of TV Reality show Survivor and two time cancer survivor

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“La Myssie es muy loca” if you know this song, you know who this is ūüėČ

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And you’ve seen me go to to the top to try to make a difference when it comes to treating and curing cancer and similar diseases

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You’ve seen me coordinate other walk/run races to bring awareness and fund colonoscopies for people in my community who cannot afford them so that they have a fighting chance to beat cancer at an early stage

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Some of you have shown your own support by wearing a little bit of the love around your neck or wrist or even continuing to show your own love at race events… spreading joy, love and showing everyone that we can all do what we can to be healthier and fitter

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You’ve probably had a little “magic in a cup” a time or two (and yes this local favorite shake really is the best you’ll ever have)

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You’ve seen me as an advocate for health and fitness by exposing my own personal health factors and how I involved my team of medical doctors to follow me along in my journey through marathons, triathlons, century rides and now my half-ironman to ensure that everything I’m doing is good for me and within my body’s limits.

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ME Before and After

ME
Before and After

My point being is that this shy girl has used all the PR and marketing skills she has to promote the cause closest to her heart and is exhausted. I don’t want to hide in obscurity (where I actually feel most comfortable) because I’m afraid that the quest for affordable and accessible cancer treatments and the ability to find the causes and cures for cancer will become pushed aside when hot topics of news, entertainment, etc. come around.

Facing the biggest physical challenge, knowing I’m WAY out of my league, at a time when a handful of the haters are most vocal and most people have spent beyond their means on holiday gifts and knowing that the majority of the people who have given already have no more to give and those who have listened/read/followed/joined along have made health and fitness a permanent part of their lives… why in the world would I still be doing this? Why would I continue to put myself through all this pain, ridicule, sacrifice?

Because my Momma cannot run. Because Sissy cannot ride her bike. Because Donny cannot swim. Because Rodney cannot laugh. Because Jana cannot smile. Because Dezma is no longer here.  None of them are. And I am. And I made a promise.

This is not about me. This is not about them. This is about us. All of us. TOGETHER.

So you’re going to see me again…. asking for your help and for you to join with me. Come with me now.

Super Hero

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by runmyssierun

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 favorite mistake

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by runmyssierun

Last night Jean Gearhart, the woman who pushed me further than I ever expected someone other than my own mother could, broke down into tears and she surprised me in front of my fellow Team in Training alumni marathoners, survivors and current triathletes. However, she mentioned something in error.

She said between sobs “She did it all by herself…. and it shows her dedication to the cause.”

But truth be told.. I was never by myself. I had more people push me, support me, run with me, swim with me, bike with me, donate to me, advocate for me, spread the word, encourage me, give of themselves so that I could move forward to that very first crown. Oh! And add a few stubborn and over protective angels to the mix, too!!!

If you are reading this on a computer screen, look at the links at the top right side of the screen. Those people never once left my side. NEVER.

Triathlon is a very individual sport.. true. But I was an exception. I was never ever alone. This triple crown is not mine.

This triple crown is OURS.

Dezma, today is yours baby. One year. My heart breaks for her friends and family. I know that pain all too well. You’d think by now I would know what to say. Still at a loss.

http://www.lls.org/content/sitemanagercontent/pdf/LLS_BCAM_infographic.pdf

Dia de los Muertos – All Souls Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2013 by runmyssierun

Today was a beautiful day to run. The cool front came in and it was 66-71 degrees with 17 mile per hour winds. ¬†I joined up with the gang from Team in Training. They were getting ready for next week’s Rock & Roll Marathon in San Antonio and were scaling back their milage which made it perfect for me to scale UP for mine in a safe group that I felt comfortable with.

I was a little startled when my Garmin voice announced that my average time was in the ¬†9 minute mark after all the time I had spent this summer on the bike and training for the triathlon. While it was all good training and great workouts… marathon training requires consistent and incremental long distance endurance training. Three miles here and six miles there wasn’t going to cut it for me if I want to do the full marathon soon.

What surprised me even more was that prior to mile two, I had already found my stride and was keeping it. I wasn’t breathing heavy and the cool weather made it all so much better. Was it my conditioning that made the difference today? Maybe… but I think I’m gonna chalk it up to some phenomenal inspiration and the meaning of a day.

This last week, I took a real good look around at the people who have trained with me for the last one or two years and all that they have accomplished.

Me and Lindslee running in for the finish at Resolution Run

Lindslee and I at the Resolution Run

On December 30, I ran the Resolution 5k Run with Lindslee. She was so worried about running. I could tell she was really intimidated by it but I also knew she was a natural athlete. She has a gift. ¬†Lindslee kept that resolution. This morning, she ran 11 miles. Next week, she’ll be racing at the San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon. She never gave up.

About a year ago, the Cyclepaths came up with the crazy idea of completing a half Ironman. The only problem was that a few of them didn’t know how to swim. On January 14th of this year, Esmeralda Chavez, (I call her Coach Chavez or Chavita) and I jumped into the Nikki Rowe High School pool and taught ourselves how to swim. Now, I have a son who has been a competitive swimmer since the age of six who helped me a lot. I had an advantage. Chavez… Chavez was so scared of the water that she would NOT go to the deep end of the pool (which was at about the half way mark of the length of the pool). So when we did “laps”, she’d stop in the middle and turn around.

Dedication and the desire of making a dream come true was what drove this woman. She just completed the half Ironman last weekend. Can you imagine?? Going from swimming half the length of a pool to a half Ironman in this short amount of time?!?!? She never gave up.

Chavez at the Ironman finish line

Read about her amazing story here: http://progresstimes.net/sports/5153-la-joya-teacher-completes-half-ironman.html

Also about a year ago, I met the most incredible vivacious beautiful little girl. For being just 11 years old, she had the most amazing maturity and zest for life.

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Dezma surprised my Team (Team in Training) the morning of the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco and cheered us on. She taught me a lot for the very short time I knew her. In a way, I feel like a member of her family now. It’s an odd bond of understanding and love and support. Dezma lost her life to cancer but her family never gave up. Five months ago, they created TEAM DEZMA. They pledged to fundraise $100,000 in her memory. Five months.. One Hundred Thousand Dollars!!! They never gave up. ¬†They are TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS SHORT!!!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/txg/rnrsa13/TeamDezma7ke

Click on the link above to be a part of the TEAM DEZMA’S CURE.

So when the morning sun rose today along the horizon of the 2nd Street Hike & Bike Trail, I remembered Dezma. It is a special day afterall. It is the Dia de los Muertos (translated literally it means “Day of the Dead) also known as All Souls Day. I felt like I could run forever in that sunshine on that trail. I had angels with me. It was their day. It was a day to remember them, pray for them, honor them. And as always… the sky went from the starry black to blue and then yes, orange.

Momma. I’ll never ever give up.

Anything is possible so long as you don’t give up.

Heaven’s newest angel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 5, 2013 by runmyssierun

Heaven's newest angel

The loss of Dezma today hit me harder than expected. I know I’m not supposed to ask “Why her?”

But seriously God, why her?

My heart is shattered. I really wanted her to be one of the ones who could help the world beat this. It’s not fair. It’s just not fair.

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