Archive for eddie arguelles

Our Ride of Silence is becoming louder :)

Posted in training for my first half ironman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2016 by runmyssierun

 

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A couple of years ago, this tiny community was faced with great loss and a huge challenge. I am very proud of the small yet vehemently determined group of cyclists, runners, community leaders, local media and friends/family/concerned citizens that continue to educate our region on the importance of safety on the road. A nation wide Ride of Silence is held every year. However, every day… every single day, every second of the day…

there is a cyclist who wonders if this will the their last ride

there is a widow who remembers

there is a driver who exists with the guilt of regret

there is a white bicycle posted at the spot where it all happened

and there are oblivious riders, drivers, friends and family who will soon encounter the above experiences if we don’t all do our part. Yes, every single one of us – including myself – need to be more careful on the road. We need to put the phone down. We need to make every effort to be seen and to see. We need to delve deeply into the conversation about being responsible drivers and put the drink down, ask for help and realize that there is NO difference between being buzzed and being drunk, that rushing to the grocery store/school/mall/work/yada yada yada is NOT more important than someone else’s. That texting someone back, snap chatting your #POV behind the wheel or liking your BFF’s instagram is NOT more important than someone’s life.

We forget that driving is a privilege. We forget that life is a privilege, as well. Let’s all start to value that privilege again.

I’ll see you all on the ride. #ride4eddie

http://valleycentral.com/news/local/run-ride-and-share-encourages-drivers-to-share-the-road

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https://runmyssierun.com/2014/05/22/ride-of-silence/

https://runmyssierun.com/2015/05/21/the-ride-of-silence-that-spoke-volumes/

https://runmyssierun.com/2014/04/19/eddie-arguelles/

 

 

 

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Event honors injured, killed cyclists – Valley Morning Star : Local News

Posted in cycling with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2015 by runmyssierun

Event honors injured, killed cyclists – Valley Morning Star : Local News.

The CRAZY cycle

Posted in Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2015 by runmyssierun

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I signed up for this book club but it’s also sort of a bible study thingy. The group was assigned to review a Christian oriented book based on the foundation of love and respect as per scripture in the bible.  On page 5, I knew I was already sold on the teachings because it had an illustration of the “crazy cycle” and I immediately correlated it with my crazy cycling!!!

And although I’ve already missed the first two meetings and can tell I’ll be missing the third as well, it’s plain as day what the book is trying to tell us about the differences between boys and girls but I can also use it to tell me a bit more about how I view the world and how the world views me and how differently we all see each other.

PERCEPTION

This was my key vocabulary word for the year.

For Christmas this last year, Santa got me a GoPro. I knew immediately that I was now not only going to be able to share my words with you but also my POV and clarify perception. I was going to attach that camera to my bike, my head, my hands my belly and/or any where I could attach it to so that you – the audience – could witness with your own eyes what I see in my trainings and events. Unfortch, I’ve only had one event this year and haven’t been able to use my GoPro much at all. And even though I’m pretty well known for my selfies, it is rare that I actually take a selfie with just me in it. Most of my “selfies” are with groups of people that I workout with and are posted during or after trainings and events. So naturally, training on my own has been out of most public eye.

Funny how perception works. Because I’m no longer publicly posting my workouts for the world to see, it seems like I’m not working out at all. True, I haven’t participated in events but my workouts have been consistent and tough enough for Dr. Martin to say “You’re pretty banged up now. This is not an injury to take lightly. If you continue this way, you’re likely to end up sitting out for a long period of time.”

Now on my second week with the Martin family chiropractors, I’ve been kneaded, twisted, turned, popped, cracked, ART’d and Graston’d by three of the four Martin family doctors. Never having any experience at a chiropractor’s office (other than a car wreck from about 15 years ago), I was both scared and skeptical. The thought of someone telling me to relax while they yank my head off my shoulders as echoes off crackling bones bounce around inside the confines of my head is not cool. I kept imagining my head being popped off with a snap and then how is my headless self supposed to get to the front office to tend to my co-pay and pick up my son at school afterwards?

I’m trusting that their time line with me is spot on because I’d like to push myself harder. My injury is odd in that I feel fine, stronger than ever, rested, my cardio is okay, and my weight is about 11 pounds heavier than last year but that’s from the kidney infection that I’m fighting already and the additional muscle mass since I had not been doing strength and weight training before.  The only time I actually FEEL my injury is when I do that aka ballet turnout. It’s not my hip flexor but my hip rotator that is aggravated. This is frustrating because I FEEL like I can do a good workout but Doc says no running and no strength training until we get the spine aligned properly so it reduces the stretch in my hip and equalizes.

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A few days ago, I did a really awesome bike ride on Zwift, my new indoor bike training program. 30 miles at about 20 miles per hour. Two days later, I couldn’t settle into my saddle. My hip felt like it had popped out and did only 16 miles at about 15 miles per hour. What happened from one day to the next?

Doc says that I irritated it and inflamed it too much. I didn’t give it enough rest with my trainings and therapy all week. Well, that’s what I get for feeling better, eh? It’s very frustrating!! But ok, ok… I’ll listen and behave.

I had wanted to do the 100 mile ride this morning for CADD = Cyclists Against Drunk Drivers. I didn’t though. I behaved and I have the big picture in my mind. This was a ride that I really wanted to be a part of. It had meaning. It was our community taking a stand against the all too common bad behavior that had been stealing and hurting the lives of my cycling friends.

The event was organized by Bicycle World and had asked Eddie Arguelles’s wife, Monette, to say a few words. She posted this:

monettes post

I’m telling you… she’s honestly one of the strongest women I’ve ever met.

The winds were really strong this morning so deep in my heart I know I did the right thing for myself to stay in. Cycling is tough enough at the distance and speed that I wanted to be at now. Add in 20-some mile per hour wind gusts and it can become dangerous, really dangerous for my recovery.. but I really did want to be there even if just in support.

I woke up this morning at 3am with lots on my mind. By 6:30 a.m., I had figured out all the solutions to mankind’s problems. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had my coffee so I forgot all those solutions already. So all I really figured out was my schedule and my list of things to do this week. I know, everybody else meal preps on weekends… I schedule prep. Ya, it’s that crazy.

By chance, the owner of the gym that I had gone to surfing classes at contacted me after reading on an earlier post on facebook that I was hurt. She offered to change me to another class, TRX and Rowing, both classes have upper body focus on strengthening so that I could rest my hip area and not have to give up my workouts. Ever so thankful, I naively jumped head first into TRX and as expected, my weakness was blatantly visible. I was shaking more on those dang ropes than Elvis’ hips in the 1960s! I survived the class blushing, out of breath, exhausted and with noodle arms. I was beyond pathetic. No seriously, I was.

Don’t know what TRX is? Here’s a video of what we did.

So combining the TRX and rowing class with the Surfset..

And my Zwift Cycling… I think I’m doing pretty damn good for being injured.

In fact, I’ve been winning some pretty awesome jerseys on a consistent basis. Not meaning to sound like a braggart about it but just trying to keep myself accountable to my past coaches and teammates that the promise to continue is still alive and well in me and although the thought has entered my head to quit, I’m still here.

On Wednesday, the community will gather again to remember those we’ve lost on two wheels. The annual ghost bike ride will definitely be one that I CANNOT MISS OUT ON.

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I apologize if it’s bad to end on such a sour note, but after all the tremendous progress we’ve made as a community towards health and fitness and sharing the road … I was disheartened to learn that Mr. Garza’s case STILL HAS NOT BEEN ADDRESSED CORRECTLY. Must every horrific cycling death in the Rio Grande Valley need an entourage of concerned cyclists and news reporters to flood the courtrooms to address their cases properly?

Last year, road construction on North 281 prohibited the ghost ride course from including Mr. Garza’s bicycle on the route. this year, we have a similar issue. However, I’d like to ask that prayers be sent to the Garza family as a year has already come and gone and very very few have heard of how Mr. Israel Garza was hit and killed while riding his commuter bike by an intoxicated driver. If you don’t know about this story, maybe we all need to start asking about that white ghost bike on the West side of 281 north of Edinburg by Red Gate.  As per my last conversation with the Garza family, the driver still had not even been arraigned.

Israel Garza was killed while he was riding his commuter bike on North 281 (I-69) by an intoxicated driver.

Israel Garza was killed while he was riding his commuter bike on North 281 (I-69) by an intoxicated driver.

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The Shape of my Heart – Valvular Heart disease and April’s Heartaches

Posted in Running with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2015 by runmyssierun

This April, like the many Aprils before this, has been notoriously and expectedly damaging to my heart. I don’t know why so many bad things happen to me in April but it does. However, because I am now aware of April’s intentions, I find myself more prepared to deal with it so that I can shelter my heart from more damage. Well… at least I’d like to think that I protect my heart. Sometimes there’s just no way to shield yourself from the pain that hurts your heart.

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April is the time of year when seasons change and Spring arrives. It is a new beginning.

April 8th was the day that we lost my mother to cancer.

April 11th was the day that we lost my brother.

April 17th was the day that Eddie Arguelles was hit and killed on his bicycle by an intoxicated driver.

April was when the Boston Marathon bombings occurred. I could go on and on about death and heartache… but here’s the truth about April. It’s when bad things happen that the opportunity to make good things happen from them arise. Events like this can either make you or break you. It’s your choice.

Now, don’t get me wrong, misunderstand my words or try to turn this whole thing around. The pain of the loss from all these mentioned above is still agonizing. I don’t want you to think that it’s all ok now. Because it’s not. I doubt it ever will be ok. That pain will always be there.

However, watching the way Monette gracefully and eloquently handled the one year anniversary of the loss of her husband, Eddie Arguelles, was so inspirational and uplifting. I have so much yet to learn!!! My mother died on Easter Sunday and I haven’t been able to keep a dry eye even thinking about an Easter Egg hunt. This woman bravely goes out on a celebratory 5am morning bike ride along the route that took her husbands life. She was able to hold her head up high and celebrate his life in the way that he loved to spend his life doing… cycling. It’s times like this that make me question my strength and courage and validate to myself that I still have so much more to do, to grow, to achieve.

It was an emotional day as the UTPA family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of Eduardo “Eddie” Arguelles. This picture montage video was created in loving memory of Eddie. He will truly be missed by all whose lives he touched and everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him.

Posted by UTPA – Division of Information Technology on Friday, April 25, 2014

Considering all that was happening, it was understandable that there was a lot of emotional drama that not only I had to live with but many of my other family members and friends dealt with as well. Too many of these issues interfered with my training and state of mind. For now and until some of these personal matters become better managed, I am stepping down and out of all of the events I had prepared to do. There is no way that I can properly train for the big events I had hoped for. I’m not quitting… I just know better than to risk my body and health for the ego of the finish line. My time will come. I’ll see the sign when it’s ready.

It has been hard to train on my own. I am not the self-motivating type… in fact, I’m pretty self-defeating. I’ve written several times about the mean voice in my head… she’s actually worse in person. I’ve had to edit much of the language here in the blog that she actually says to me. and quite honestly, just between me and you… I think she really needs a life. 😉

I am very much a goal oriented person. I see a finish line and I work myself towards it. But in this case, today, there is no more finish line. The ironman I was looking forward to is no longer there. I won’t be attending CapTexTri for family reasons. And it’s just too late to sign up for other races without proper training… so I’m basically just going through the motions.

But isn’t that the goal?

Tada!!! Helllloooooooo!!!

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sigh So, I’m having a hard time dealing with not going for that gold star on my head, not having accomplished something and putting a check mark by it to note that it’s done. What I’m working at is never ending… and I’m having a hard time adjusting my thought process around it for proper motivation. This is my struggle today.

I need to find it in my heart. Last thing I want to do is quit on myself after all this hard work has been done, with or without the support I’ve had thus far.

So in my search for motivation, I figured I needed to start with my heart. If I can’t find motivation in my heart.. then were else would it be??? Coincidentally, a symposium was being held by my running guru and a group of cardiologists that are experienced marathon runners. There it is!!! Answers to my heart 🙂

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I attended the meeting, late of course, and stood in the back of the room listening in awe to those doctors who ran the courses all over the world that filled my bucket list. They gave advice that, for the most part, I had already been following.

Dr. Paul Manoharan and me as he gave me my  cardiology exam results. Yes, that IS his happy face :)

Dr. Paul Manoharan and me as he gave me my cardiology exam results. Yes, that IS his happy face 🙂

Prior to taking my initial first steps towards my marathon journey, I went to Dr. Manoharan – my cardiologist who also worked with my baby brother, Donny Cardenas, and knew better than most other doctors about my family history and my personality when it came to accomplishing a goal. After several exams, stress tests and even went so far as to offer me the option to choose the dye that my brother sold to him (my brother was his pharma rep for this product), he discovered that my heart had a malformed valve.

My grandmother and grandfather on my father’s side both died of heart disease. My grandmother had this same heart defect. My father and my brother have/had heart disease. My brother died of it. My father is living with it.

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Dr. Manoharan carefully went over all the pros and cons of this genetic oddity with me and after all the discussion, we decided that I would continue cautiously while he monitored me closely and often. After the first year of running, he removed the cholesterol medication I was on. After the second year, he was sarcastic (his normal self – whew! – that’s a good sign) and I think pretty stunned that I stuck with it and kept improving. Now into my third year, I’m curious as to what his numbers show.

So… long story longer… and getting to my point: Your body doesn’t have to be perfect to do amazing things. You can have things wrong with your body and still do some pretty neat things you thought you never could. I did. However, you do have to be brave enough to ask the right questions and do all the right tests to know all the right answers about your body. You have to communicate correctly with your doctor, not just once in your life or once a year – because your body isn’t what it was 10 years ago, 10 months ago, 10 days ago. You aren’t supposed to be the same. You change and change often. It’s knowing if you are changing for the better or for the worse that’s important.

Know what’s in your heart. And know what’s in your heart.

Now, go run and set up that appointment with your docs.

Late night prayers on the Jogging trail

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2015 by runmyssierun

I’ve talked before about dog runners and cat runners… (dog runners run in packs and cat runners run solo and independently) Since, leaving the Team in Training triathlon team in February, I haven’t had any organized group workouts. Finding the motivation to go out there and do the scheduled workout has been a personal struggle. I don’t get those encouraging, motivating texts to get my butt out of my warm spot I’ve snuggled into at 3:45 a.m. anymore. Its so much harder doing this solo.

And now it seems that my morning workouts will change to evening workouts because of hubby’s crossfit class at 5:30am.  The struggle to be consistent is always challenged by the struggle to be adaptable to any and all situations.  In March, I had noted all the morning classes around and group runs/rides that I could join. I even got super excited because there’s a new SURFING class at 5:30 that would help me focus on my core and upper body so that I can empower my weak swim stroke.

My first #surfset class  at Contempo Fitness Studio - LOVED IT

My first #surfset class at Contempo Fitness Studio – LOVED IT

I found myself quickly scrambling to adjust my calendar of workouts to see who was doing what in the evenings… checking open pool times, costs, memberships, group rides, distances, speeds, sags, etc…. and then it happened. My freak out session came. I cracked. That thought again…

WHY AM I DOING THIS???? It’s too much. Just quit it all. Do something that doesn’t take so much time. Do something that’s not so hard. There’s tons of other stuff you can do to help. Besides, you need to be here for (son) when he does his homework and to do laundry, sweep up the dog fur, take the dogs out, (insert a million other excuses that will clearly make the world come to a screeching halt because I didn’t do this or that… and that lasts for about three hours of conversation in my head while I desperately try to convince myself that it was ok to quit)

uh oh…

You read that last word in parenthesis, right? Yep, that’s all it took to wake up that mean voice in my head.

Have you ever felt someone roll their eyes at you? Have you ever felt someone snicker and sneer at you even they knew you knew they were doing it? Has that other person ever been your inner you? I swear the Inner Myssie is so sick and tired of me now. Her patience is wearing thin.

Anyways… long story longer…

I had it out with myself – again – as always – and got out there to do anything… anything… just to get out and move and get clarity back where it needed to be the first chance that life gave me…. later that night. Much later.

I love how a simple little jog takes my mind to where my heart is. I had a pretty messed up month and as each week passed, things seemed to be getting worse. It was as if this big dark cloud was following me around CONSTANTLY!!!

It was late. 9:30p.m. I usually don’t run in the dark at night here in this border town that has been infiltrated with illegal activity for a while now (and some pretty scary stuff happening on the running trails to women on this trail). This evening, though, I was determined – almost in a rebellious driven determination – to get a run in. No head lamp. No reflective or light vest. No mace. No gun. No taser. No garmin. No runkeeper. No NikeRun. Nothing but me and my iPhone with none of my playlists that took years to build (in my bad luck, my iPhone died… taking all my running playlists with it – my songs got backed up but not the playlists).

*DO NOT EVER DO THIS!!! NEVER EVER EVER RUN LIKE I DID. I LUCKED OUT BECAUSE I HAVE AWESOME GUARDIAN ANGELS…. ok, proceed onto the rest of the story…

So there I was in the dim shadows of the Bicentennial Street Running Trail right smack in the middle of my pity party about about a mile and a half into my run when I see him…. the first split second is a freak-out session… He’s sitting down about 200 yards ahead of me on a bench by one of the metal planet informational sculptures along the trail, his head in this hands, elbows propped on his knees and looking down and I’m running towards him… but this wasn’t what I first focused in on… the first thing I focused on from the distance were his shoes. They were brand spanking new blinged out Clorox white leather court shoes… like for tennis.

*Runners don’t wear court shoes on a running trail.

Clearly this young man – approximately mid-20’s – was not a runner. Immediately the runner snob in me takes a mental note: this man does not belong here. And then the Myssie that I like about me pops out…

“He’s here for clarity. The same clarity you are seeking.” I said to myself.

“Look at him. Can’t you see? He’s praying. He’s asking for guidance, seeking answers, wanting help.”

I ran to the northernmost trail and looped my way back South again. I’ll bet a good 20-30 minutes had passed. There he was still. On the bench, hands clasped holding his head against his knees… praying.

Yes, yes, I could see that now. This trail is not just for people running marathons. This trail is the path that all people take to seek clarity, answers and the way to their own happiness. Some of us run this trail. Some of us walk this trail. Some of us ride this trail.

But we all are here in search of that thing that makes us happy, whole, productive, appreciated and loved.

We all have our reasons. They may all be different but none more important than any other. We all have our reasons.

I prayed for him that night for the rest of my run.

This month is tough for a lot of us. It marks the anniversary of the death of my Mother, my baby brother and the one year hit-and-run death of Eddie Arguelles.  Friends and family organized a petition to establish an alert system similar to the current Amber Alert but designed for hit and run drivers. The news media has promoted it and we need just a few more signatures to make this possible. Please help us with your signature and share amongst your friends so that they can share and be more aware and unafraid of calling in any suspicious cars with fresh dents or witness a hit and run.

Sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/sergio-munoz-juan-hinojosa-texas-hit-and-run-alert-system?recruiter=268720761&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-reason_msg&fb_ref=Default

On the Seventh Wave

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2015 by runmyssierun

Much time has passed since my last blog update. Much more has happened… good and bad and many decisions as a result of them.

Today is the first day of March. March is Colon Cancer Awareness month and I would be remissed if I went without asking everyone I knew if they knew what was up their butt. So, What’s up YOUR butt???

Unfortunately, as I checked my facebook feed this morning, I found that my Fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa Big Brother, Joey Soto, has rectal cancer. This is proof that cancer IS prejudice. It picks the best people on Earth. See, in college, Joey was this handsome, gentle, funny, debonair, green-eyed cowboy that all the girls swooned over on campus. I was president of Delta Zeta Sorority and my college boyfriend was a Phi Sig. Joey was his big brother and because it was in his nature to go the extra mile, he looked after me as part of his duty, as well. I never got into trouble and no one messed with me. I think a lot of that had to do with people knowing never to mess with a cowboy from Central Texas.

That's Joey. The one with the green eyes and dangerous guns!!! These guys showed up at all our DZ events, protected us and always  infused an overdose of fun and giggles into everything we did together.

That’s Joey. The one with the green eyes and dangerous guns!!! These guys showed up at all our DZ events, protected us and always infused an overdose of fun and giggles into everything we did together.

How he shared his news to the world via facebook was one of the most incredible posts I’ve ever read. I’ll share just a little part of it (I hope he doesn’t mind):

So I was talking to God last night. Yes, we talk often… Most of the times, it is about you guys. We have a good laugh and then move on to other topics, but he started telling me last night some things that he wanted me to share with you. He also told me to remind you that I am sick right now so you HAVE to Listen.
He said:
1. Take time every once in a while for those you love. Maybe, once a week, do something they really want to do. Whether that be go walking down the Riverwalk on a Saturday afternoon? Or go to a Plant Nursery? Just let the world stop every once in a while and smile. You will realize how beautiful it is sometimes.
2. Take care of your health. He told me that I am very lucky that he has given me the OPPORTUNITY to fight this and not just be gone one day. For that I have been given a chance to fight. AND I promised him I WILL FIGHT !!!!!!!
3. Talk to him. Yes, he is the Big Boss, the CEO, and all that, but his door is always open. He said he even had the door removed from his office so it is always open and he is ready to listen.
That is all he really told me last night. That OOHH and also not too worry at all. He’s got this for me and I will be ok.


I celebrated my 45th birthday this week. OMG!!! Did I just say my real age… out loud for the whole world to see and scrutinize and judge???? YES! YES I SURE DID!!! There was a time, not long ago, that made me cringe each time my birthday came around. Now, today, I no longer take my birthday for granted nor can I afford to ignore the blessing of another birthday… because the alternative is just something that I nor my family can handle right now. I am FORTY FIVE and am more blessed now than I have ever been before and I thank GOD and the world for allowing my silly age issues to annoy them this long. Won’t happen again. A lot of people don’t get to live this long. A lot of people who do live this long haven’t lived as well as I have. I honestly feel better now than I did at 25 and 100x better than I did at 35!!!!

My birthday wish was for people to donate $10 to #TEAMSARAH and the blood cancer treatment grant that our local LLS chapter is hoping to have named after her instead of posting a facebook birthday online for me. I had almost 1,000 social media birthday wishes and raised just over $500 in birthday wish donations from it. BEST GIFT EVER!!!! Thank you!!! Most people don’t have 1000 facebook friends so for me to have this many people send so many good vibes on my special day AND donate was validation to me of how awesomely I am blessed. Words can never thank everyone enough. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

I was also contacted by the American Cancer Society this last week. They told me that they wanted to honor my mother, Mimi Cardenas, my family and what I have done in her memory by naming me their honoree at Cattle Baron’s Ball this year.

Geez!!! Does this get any better????

Yes, but I’ll leave this for another post.

And now the bad stuff but with the silver lining… because that’s how I do things.

About a month ago, shortly after my last post, three of my teammates were cycling and were hit by a drunk driver. Two are recovering well and the third suffered a traumatic brain injury, a broken back and a tough struggle to come back to a normal life again. This was the morning that we were all supposed to go ride in memory of Eddie Arguelles who was also hit by a drunk driver almost a year ago now.

The silver lining? It’s this: I wish you could have seen the waiting room at the hospital that morning with all our teammates there. Holding hands in prayer, we became more bonded and unified for Christina and for our cause that we are so passionate about.

However, I did make the personal choice – after much discussion with my family – that I would step away from Team in Training this season. I will NOT be participating in Ironman Victoria this June. I WILL CONTINUE TO FUNDRAISE AND I WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT LLS, TEAM IN TRAINING AND ALL THINGS THAT SUPPORT CANCER AWARENESS AND THE DREAM I HAVE TO LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT CANCER. And yes, I’ll post more about this later in another blog post.

In the mean time… the training continues. And the support is overwhelming!!! If you are planning on participating in the Capital of Texas Triathlon #captextri, or Oceanside Tri, I ask that you please pick me as your Ambassador when asked how you found out about the event in the registration form. LifeTime Triathlon will make a donation for each registration that chooses me in support of helping me live in a world without cancer. Come on! Give it a TRI!

Choose Myssie Cardenas-Barajas as your ambassador and LifeTime Triathlon will make a donation to help #TEAMSARAH and support me in my journey to live in a world without cancer.

Choose Myssie Cardenas-Barajas as your ambassador and LifeTime Triathlon will make a donation to help #TEAMSARAH and support me in my journey to live in a world without cancer.

 

Until then… find me on the seventh wave.

What’s the right thing to say?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2014 by runmyssierun
Funeral visitation for John Zess will be at Rudy Garza Funeral Home. They are located at 1702 E. Harrison Avenue in Harlingen, TX 78550. Visitation will be on Saturday, September 13 from 12noon – 9pm. A private viewing for the family will be on Friday

Funeral visitation for John Zess will be at Rudy Garza Funeral Home. They are located at 1702 E. Harrison Avenue in Harlingen, TX 78550. Visitation will be on Saturday, September 13 from 12noon – 9pm. A private viewing for the family will be on Friday

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“You’re the first person I thought to call,” he said. (I won’t disclose his name)

I had some serious thought provoking conversations regarding the safety of cyclists in South Texas. A close friend of John Zess called me this morning. Clearly he was having a tough time dealing with the loss of his cycling buddy of many years. He admitted bursting out into a loud cry shortly before he called. He knew I had just recently experienced those exact same feelings not too long ago with Eddie Arguelles’ tragic cycling death.

“People don’t understand until it happens to them,” he said while his normally booming, strong voice cracked with emotion.

And he is so right. People really DON’T understand until it happens to them. Sadly, that means that many more will die on our streets before our community will get it. And then it will take something incredibly awful – I’m talking dreadfully, unspeakable awfulness – to happen to THEM in order for them to change their bad habits.

“What’s the right thing to say?” he asked me. “Do you tell people not to ride in the dark?”

We delved into a conversation that led us further into a confusing mess similar to the chicken and the egg. What do you address first? Who do you address first? What do you tell the other party in the meanwhile?

We have become so fixated on blame that we have become blind to the solution that is actually quite simple. But of course, us humans seem to complicate that solution. What is the solution?

Simple. Follow the law.

If we just didn’t drink all night long during the football game – over the limit of the law = All 50 states have now set .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or commercial drivers, a BAC of .04% can result in a DUI conviction nationwide – then we wouldn’t have drunk drivers hitting cyclists or pedestrians or other cars. Simple, right? Put the drink down. And if you can’t put the drink down… give your keys to someone who didn’t drink (or smoke or snort or dope up)… AT ALL.

Simple, right?

Put the phone down. Simple, right?

Don’t speed. Simple, right?

Pay attention. Simple, right?

But let’s face it… life isn’t that simple. Even if cyclists do EVERYTHING possible to follow the law and EVERYTHING possible to be safe and visible, a black and white law that seems to simply state what should be legal and what should be illegal can be interpreted a completely different way by a good attorney or jury or a judge. And while we’re at it, let’s face it again… the life of the cyclist lost can never truly be given justice nor can a monetary value be given to their worth nor will their loss ever be felt as deeply as it should by that judge nor the person who took it away.

In fact, since you and I are being blunt with each other, let’s talk about the attitudes that we have towards cyclists on the road, cyclists who are hit and cyclists who are killed.

Now, let me be clear about this – THIS IS MY OPINION and it comes from what I have witnessed personally – I love my community and proud of how well it has overcome many of it’s growing pains because we really have grown quickly in a few number of years. The news headlines gets it’s ratings from talking about political leaders abusing power and going to jail but the political leaders that I’ve associated with have actually become a PART of the community and have kicked the ivory tower to the curb, joined its citizens on bike rides or runs and even marathons and have become active in pursuing infrastructure improvements for encouraging physical activity in our community. Our local police have protected my run group along the trail and have stopped alongside the road several times to render aid to a fellow cyclist who didn’t go over the tracks correctly or simply got a flat tire.

My friends, neighbors and friends I have yet to meet have become inspired with our community health kick and have cautiously joined the wave. They watch with wide eyes as people in big trucks or SUVs zoom by cyclists honking, cussing, throwing half empty beer bottles at them and even worse… intentionally swerving their way to knock them down. They see the local news anchors skim through the auto/ped fatality so that we can have time to discuss the NFL game this coming weekend or car that was abandoned in La Joya with the load of pot in the back seat. Everywhere we look, we see validation that the life of a cyclist seems less valuable than that of any other human.

It has become almost a daily ritual that someone tells me that I should not be riding my bike on the road.

“Roads are for cars not bikes.”
“Go ride your bike in a park where you’re supposed to be.”
“Why do you ride on 2nd street when there’s a side walk there?”
“You shouldn’t ride that early in the day. It’s too dark.”
“You shouldn’t ride at night. It’s too dark.”
“You shouldn’t ride in the day. It’s too hot.”
“You shouldn’t ride around Mission Trails. There are too many illegals crossing.”

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So back to our thought provoking conversations…

The following was sent via Facebook private message (I won’t disclose her name)

“Myssie, I saw all you did and you inspired me to get up and do something good, too. I want to become healthy. I’m tired of being fat and not being able to play with my kids. I want to live a long healthy life but what’s the point if I’m supposed to sit here and accept that most likely I’m going to get hit and killed by a drunk driver way before a heart attack has the time to get me?”

What am I supposed to say? What’s the right thing to say?

I want to encourage people to be healthy and have fun doing it and do good for others and continue to push the healthy wave to others…

But what if I encourage someone to go out there and their life is taken away?

What if mine is taken away?

Since the age of six, I’ve had a recurring nightmare about the way I die. Those who are very close to me have heard the story several times. Even my husband knows how serious I am about this dream and will never drive down Hobbs Drive because of it… but I ride by it on my 5am ride. It is by far the biggest fear I have.

I am not going to pretend I have the answer to it all. I’ve even questioned my own sudden desire to go back to running marathons and leaving cycling. I won’t lie and say I’m not scared. But I also cannot, after all I have learned about overcoming fear and challenges these last few years, be bullied by fear to abandon the sport of cycling… a sport that led me to emotional and physical healing. I cannot let go of it.

What’s the right thing to say?

What’s the right thing to do?

Why is this so complicated now? If that answer just popped up in your head right now… do you believe your own answer?

P.S. The Ghost Ride planned for John Zess on Saturday morning at 7:00a.m. has been postponed due to expected thunderstorms on Saturday morning. Please find more details on the rescheduling of the ride on John’s facebook page, Bicycle World’s FB page or Lone Star Pacesetter’s FB page.

More media links on the latest regarding John Zess: http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1095044#.VBJtjvldV8F

We can not let fear deter us from doing the things we love. Cycling is a rather safe activity to partake here in the RGV as hundreds of cyclists were out and about yesterday and every day without incident. Unfortunately, we do have a *BIG* problem with drinking and driving in the area, and this is what is causing the majority, if not all, of the fatalities. I am a big believer that bicycles belong on the road. However, I am also realistic and practical when it comes to finding a solution to a complex problem. That is why we are advocating hard to have a dedicated, separated, region-wide bicycle trail. I am hopeful that this can happen in the next couple of years. ~ Ramon Hermida

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