Archive for triple crown

Viva Bike Vegas – the Triple Crown

Posted in cancer, cycling, Mom, Running, triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2015 by runmyssierun

My vicious, super duper mean spin cycling RPM instructor from Gold’s Gym posted on my facebook wall today that he removed all the coveted finisher award shirts from the gym members today… except mine.

Joey Williams took a picture of my shirt in his cycling studio and posted it on my wall... this... this meant sooo much to me. Thank you Joey! Thank you Gold's Gym!!!

Joey Williams took a picture of my shirt in his cycling studio and posted it on my wall… this… this meant sooo much to me. Thank you Joey! Thank you Gold’s Gym!!!

That shirt… wow. That shirt is so treasured. It symbolizes EVERYTHING I had done. All the blood, sweat and tears to keep my promise to Momma & Sissy. The 40-plus some non-athletic anti-gym rat with absolutely NO experience took on THE toughest 100-mile bike in America and I was able to do so with Joey pushing me harder and harder every dang morning at that class… making me stay longer, turning my gears two to three times more than anyone elses so that he could make sure my legs were ready for those mountains. The triple crown is significant because it symbolizes to me and to everyone around me in this journey that nothing is impossible so long as you have passion and support. I was way out of my league in EVERY single event I attempted but I didn’t give up. I trained right for all that I did and was surrounded by countless experiences supporters that believed in what I was doing. Together, we did it. That shirt is not mine. That crown is not mine. Those awards, donations, treatments, lives saved are not mine… they belong to all of us. Re-reading the blog post for Viva Bike Vegas and watching the video of the three sisters on the Silverman trail… I still can’t believe that I did that. Wow!

Just the first few minutes of this video, you hear from the greats themselves how difficult this is!!!

https://youtu.be/AZlbjOo-2yk

RunMyssieRun

You have to be brave with your life
So that others can be brave with theirs

The moment was here. I boarded the plane knowing that quitting was NOT an option.

“Fasten your seatbelts. The captain just said he was going to try something new.” – Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant and part-time comedian. He kept my nerves at bay with his comedy act over the loud speaker.

After a few delayed hours of flight, I went straight to Las Vegas Cyclery to pick up my “Mimi”. To the person who has never ridden an awesome road bike before, the relationship between me and my custom built Felt bike is probably perceived as a bit coo-coo. And to those people I have to say “so what?”. “Mimi” was beautifully reassembled and rolled out to me with unanimous comments from the bike store staff gasping “Your bike is wicked!” – yes, I…

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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

It’s easier to run

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

People do things for other people that they wouldn’t ordinarily do for themselves,” Pamela Anderson (the well known actress who played the sexy lifeguard on the TV show Baywatch) told the press when she started training for the ING NY Marathon. She completed the marathon in 5 hours and 41 minutes.

Pamela Anderson during and after the 2013 New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (Left: Seth Wenig / Associated Press; right: Pamela Anderson / Twitter)

Pamela Anderson during and after the 2013 New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (Left: Seth Wenig / Associated Press; right: Pamela Anderson / Twitter)

This is exactly the behavior that convinces me that there is more good in the human race than bad. Sure there are a few people out there that are in it all just for themselves and don’t care to do anything for anyone else but themselves… the world revolves around them… they’re a legend in their own mind… and that’s all fine and dandy. Those people are clearly on a journey that is destined for a grand lesson.

Less than an hour after I posted my last blog entry, I received a text on my phone from one of my blog followers that stated “Dezma’s donations complete. You inspire us to help others. Love you!!”

If you haven’t read that last entry, I talked a little bit about Dezma’s family continuing to run in her memory. They pledged to raise $100,000.00 to fund a research program for AML patients in her name. However, at the time of my posting, they were $2,000.00 short of their goal.

I am happy to announce that TEAM DEZMA reached their goal. A research grant named after Dezma Chavez will soon be underway thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors and one very special follower of this little blog.

TEAM DEZMA will be running together at the San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon next weekend. Keep them in your prayers.

Over the last year or so, I’ve had a few people criticize me/my actions/my motives saying that I talk too much about myself, brag too much about all my achievements and that I am desperate for attention. I feel so redeemed now. The above paragraphs validate me, my actions and my motives. It’s not about ME. I think sometimes some of the people who read this enter my blog with ill-intent from the get go. They see a before and after photo and feel inadequate or they see the large number of “likes” on a Facebook post and question their own likability and want desperately to pull me down into the crab bucket.  This kind of behavior does us no good. It’s destructive. Don’t compare yourself to the events I’m doing or what I look like. Focus on making yourself better than you were yesterday and on making the world a better place.

Had I not mentioned in my blog the $2k that Team Dezma needed… had I not had so many incredible generous donors following me…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Just because you post a lot does not mean that you are not humble.  I post to share a story, to inform, to inspire and to instigate a positive response. I want to grab the world by it’s shoulders and shake some sense into it! Stop turning a blind eye to the problem. Wake up and do something for yourself and for the rest of the world.

I went to celebrate the Cyclepaths recently on their successful journey to Ironman. Their story is incredible! A true testament to what can be done with sheer dedication and “iron will”. While I was there, I was taken aback by a few comments made to me that night. (I won’t post all of the shocking comments and I understand that a few people probably had too much to drink that night – still no excuse in my book)

“I read your blog but there was no mention of me in it so I stopped reading it.”

Hmmmmm

I didn’t respond to that person. In fact, I pretended not to hear her and simply turned around and walked away. Oh but remember that brutally mean and sarcastic girl inside my head that yells at me all the time during races? Ya, she had a lot to say. Thankfully, the rest of the world can’t hear the sarcasm in my head.

So, on that note, let me be clear about this little blog.

It’s not about you. It’s not even about me.

This is about a promise that I made to my family members that were stolen from me by cancer and my journey to fulfill that promise.  Along my journey I meet a myriad of people on similar paths. I open myself and my heart in every vulnerable way to them and absorb the determination, lessons and love that they share with me in hopes that together we will find a way to heal from our losses and prevent other losses from happening as a result of cancer.  I find solace and healing with these people and these activities. Together we ignite happiness in each other’s lives again.

Sissy chose for me to run as part of this journey.  Running quickly evolved into Triathlons and Cycling and a completely new active and healthy lifestyle for me (I have a feeling this was all part of Sissy’s master plan). Defeating/preventing cancer and helping caregivers while loved ones endure the wrath of cancer is the other component of my journey. I post about (1) running, (2) triathlons, (3) cycling and (4) cancer and every emotion and physical trial that attaches itself to these. If you’re here to read about my children, my relationship, my work or what’s going on with my friends… good luck. It’s not gonna happen unless they are directly tied to the 4 subjects stated here.

I close today’s post with a reminder of why I do what I do: the speech that I gave at Team in Training’s “Mission Moment”

I lost my best friend to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma just a few months before he was to walk with me down the isle at my wedding. His name was Rodney Perez. He bravely battled cancer for 5 years. He died at age 24.

I lost my grandmother, Lorenza “Lencha” Cavazos and grandfather, Narciso Cavazos to Leukemia.

I lost my baby brother, Donny Cardenas, not from cancer but from what cancer does to loved ones and caregivers… what no one talks about, the stress that the family deals with while caring for their loved ones like financial stress and emotional stress. He felt he had to take on this burden by himself. He dealt by eating all the wrong things, drinking, locking himself up from the world. He had a heart attack at age 38.

I lost my Aunt Sissy – the woman who raised me while mom worked and went back to school. Leukemia stole her from us and her three years of retirement that she worked all her life for.

I lost my beautiful close friend Jana Miller. A brilliant doctor, fun loving and kind hearted… many you were in Junior League with her. She was diagnosed at stage IV during her 3rd year of med school. She finished, practiced and became an active member of the community. Few people knew she lived ten years with cancer. Her smile fooled everyone.

I lost my Momma. On Easter of this last year. Exactly one year after we lost my baby brother Donny. Eight months after losing her sister Sissy.

I’m sorry. I still can’t talk about my Momma.

I joined Team in Training because I thought that if the world and God saw how hard I was trying to do this impossible run… then maybe, just maybe, the world and God would make the impossible cure possible.

And when I ran my first full marathon in San Diego, just a couple of months after my Momma died, a woman yelled at me – when I wanted to quit – I was at mile 22 – she said “You are running for the treatment that has kept me alive! Please, don’t stop!”

Thats when I understood that hundreds, thousands of strangers for years before this had run for the treatment that allowed my mother to spend 6 more years with me, 3 more years with Sissy, 10 more years with Jana.

So I close with what I’ve had posted on my facebook over this last year…

I never ran to try to beat your time
I ran because I tried to buy my mom more time
I ran so that I could help find a cure
I ran so that I could help my mom pay for that cure
It didn’t work out the way I had planned
Now I run so that you don’t have to go
through what my mom and I did.

See, the thing is that I first thought I was running for a cure for my Momma.
I had no idea that Team in Training would be a part of MY cure.

Now what?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2013 by runmyssierun

I went from never running a mile in my life to running a marathon (ok, make that plural for technicality’s sake)

And then after that was dared to complete the Triple Crown for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Did that.

As part of the training for the Triple Crown, I joined the Maniacs. Part of their requirements was to complete three triathlons a year… did that.

Now what?

As I sit back and contemplate on the personal PHYSICAL milestones that I have achieved in this short time, I have to wonder if my personal EMOTIONAL and SPIRITUAL milestones were met as well. And don’t kid yourself… I’ve also asked myself the question “What’s next?”

Yes. My relationship with God and myself has become quite intricate and intense. I would love to say that I’ve always had a closeness to God and was pretty good at knowing myself… but these last two years put me at a level that I never thought possible. After speaking to Derek a short while back, I was reminded of my purpose.

Have I completed my PURPOSE?

No. I don’t believe so.

I went back to the picture that fell on my foot that Sissy had intended to give to me but passed away before she could.

The first line grabbed me once again.

Life in not a race but indeed a journey

“Life is not a race — but indeed a journey.”

You see, it’s not about the races that I complete… it’s the journey that I have taken along the way. It’s the people that I have met and befriended. It’s the obstacles that I have overcome. It’s the way I have looked fear eye to eye and took that step forward anyway. It’s about all I have lost and all I have gained. It has nothing to do with the medals hanging on my office wall. It has nothing to do with my PRs and splits and what I weighed on the scale before and after. It’s much bigger than that. MUCH MUCH BIGGER THAN THAT.

It’s about the people that I have helped. It’s about the hope that was generated. It’s about relieving someone else’s family from debt. It’s about taking the worry away from a family wondering how they’re going to get transportation to MD Anderson or San Antonio. It’s about providing housing and utilities and copays during chemo treatment. It’s about getting people to realize that there is a problem, a serious epidemic here and it seems to be getting worse. It’s even more than just a cure. It’s about PREVENTION of this ever happening again to another family…. selfishly, it’s also about doing all I can to make sure it doesn’t happen to MY family ever again.

I had made mention of being asked to be a panel speaker in a previous blog post. I was leary of being a part of this movement because I live in an area where anger and ignorance thrives. We take a mistruth and spread it around like gospel. We call it “chisme” (pronounced cheese-meh for my Spanish-slang novices out there). It is really hard to get a donation from our residents so when you GIVE them an excuse NOT to give… oh ya… they’ll run with it by saying “I’m not going to give because all these races you do are cancer fundraising scams!!!” “I’m not paying for your vacation” “None of this money even goes to help cancer patients!” or that local spin… “None of this money even goes to help LOCAL cancer patients!”

I was so afraid that if the ignorant got word of this, they’ll spread it around and we’d never get anywhere!

I did, however, attend and gave it a chance. I’m glad I did.

I was a little disappointed in the number of people who showed up who were actually touched by cancer. There were more politicians running for election there than those who had or had had cancer. But if they can help create/change policy here locally (i.e. impose smoking bans regionally or remove chemicals from our locally grown agriculture, etc.) I can see why they were there. The handful of people who were there that had been touched by cancer stood out. Not in a bad way. It’s like they lit up the whole theater. I’ve met people like that before. You know… you can tell they’re going to be big, really big, but no one knows who they are yet. That’s the kind of shine they had. Momma had that light. Everyone she met could see it. We as humans gravitate towards people who have that light.

The movie played in that freezing cold theater and while I completely agree with the ultimate message they were intending, I still saw so much bitterness and … oh, I really don’t want to use this word but can’t think of any other word that describes it… hate towards big corporate business.  I do not believe that all big business is bad and greedy. The undertone sure made it sound that way especially when the leader boasted that they did not take donations from ANY big business. If I owned a big business and knew that 1 out of every 2 men  and 1 out of every 3 women would be touched by cancer, I would certainly take a good look at my workforce, calculate those stats and jump in full force to do something for my employees. Big or small business, that’s just the right thing to do.

I guess my background in economic development has given me an understanding of social and economic balance and need for both the big box and the mom-and-pop or sole-entrepreneur in this country. So the tone that was set from the get-go was like nails on a chalkboard to me. The women who were interviewed were all angry and bitter. They were all stage IV breast cancer patients.

My mother was first diagnosed in 2006 with stage IV cancer and never once showed anger or bitterness to the world (although I know she must have felt it at some points – she never showed it). She told me over and over again that she was not “battling” cancer. She was DANCING with it. Cancer would take a step and she would take a step back and then she would take a step and cancer would take a step back. She smiled when she said that. ALWAYS. She danced with cancer for 6 1/2 years. It was when the death of her sister, the death of her son and the overwhelming worry of expenses stole that smile from her face that her condition worsened. It was when she was UNHAPPY that cancer finally gained control over her.

She didn’t “market” herself that way. She simply WAS that way. Always smiling. Always happy.

She taught me to be like that. By example. It’s not some marketing ploy.

So that was the only other part of the movie that I didn’t agree with… and took offense with. *But that’s another topic

Bottom line: I hope that all those miles I put in and all the money I helped raise are not in vain. I run for organizations that my mother said helped her. I know there are organizations out there that have profited off of the breast cancer awareness movement. There will always be greedy people like that in the world. Let God deal with them when their time comes. In the mean time, don’t make it any easier for them. Think before you buy pink.

Pinkwasher – a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

Critical questions for conscious consumers

* How much money, if any, goes to a breast cancer organization?

* What organization and programs will your money fund?

* Is there a maximum donation and has it already been met?

* Does this product put you at an increased risk of breast cancer?

Donate directly to a breast cancer organization of your choice if you are concerned about where your money is going.

If you are local to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and would like free movie passes to see the last viewing of Pink Ribbons, Inc., I will gladly provide them to you. It will be showing on Sunday, October 27th at 2:00 p.m. at the Historic Cine El Rey Theater (311 S. 17th Street, McAllen, TX) A Question and Answer panel with discussion will follow the film.

My personal note:  I don’t care what kind of cancer you have or what kind of issue you have, once you let anger get the best of you… it has already won.  Do not let it control you. I highly recommend watching this movie but please disregard the bitterness. Just think before you pink.

Critical pinkwashing questions to ask when donating or purchasing pink ribbon items.

Critical pinkwashing questions to ask when donating or purchasing pink ribbon items.

Speaking about the toxicity of our environments and our need to not just focus on finding a cure for those who have been hurt by cancer but also  PREVENTING cancer from the rest of the world. Discussing cancer priorities

Speaking about the toxicity of our environments and our need to not just focus on finding a cure for those who have been hurt by cancer but also PREVENTING cancer from the rest of the world. Discussing cancer priorities

Talking about the points in the Pink Ribbons Inc documentary that stood out most to us.

Talking about the points in the Pink Ribbons Inc documentary that stood out most to us.

So in conclusion… now what?

LET THE STORY BE TOLD. Momma and Sissy had a message. The world needs to hear it so that it doesn’t happen again. Not just deal with it and “slice, burn and poison” it… but NEVER allow it to happen again. This is beyond a much needed cure that is accessible and affordable to all. This is now about prevention for the next generation.

Oh! and ya… I’ll keep running and getting others to run with me (or tri, too).

CLARITY

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2013 by runmyssierun

It’s a moment in time when all of a sudden the light bulb shines brightly in your head…

The “Ah ha” Moment!

As I near the end of my TRIPLE CROWN journey, I wanted to take a look back over all the people who stood by me, those who encouraged, those who said it couldn’t be done, those who benefitted, those who joined with me, those who mocked me, those who gave, those who took, those who I lost… and those precious, dear new friends I gained.

Those of you who follow my facebook, twitter, instagram and other sm accounts know that I rarely use names in my posts. I have nick names for family members and simply don’t talk about people I don’t like. *I learned that from Bambi* http://youtu.be/I71cY9Ysy5U

So, if I haven’t talked about you and you want to see your name here, want acknowledgment of some sort and are upset because you feel I’ve left you out… think again. Ask yourself, “Is she protecting my privacy or is she upset because I hurt her?” Regardless of the answer, know that you certainly have NOT been forgotten.

The ones that deserve more recognition than I have given… I’m going to continue on with my kudos and their nick names:

Dolly Gas – I was 18 years old when I first met her. Even back then I -and everyone else- knew this woman was soon to be the pulse of the Valley. She has a gift unlike any other, that of kindness and generosity unmatched. It is always when I least expect her to be by me to lift me up that she is there. She has been one of my biggest supporters, largest donors, most encouraging fan and dearest friend. For over two decades, this woman has shown me by her example all that I hope to be.

Butterfly Angel – This woman is so incredible! When I first met her, she didn’t know who I was and started talking about me to me. When I got to know her story, it was so similar to my own, I felt from the get go that we were true sisters. We both knew the torment that cancer causes and the torment of running a marathon… together. She has also been one of my biggest supporters, largest donors, most encouraging fan and has quickly become a dear friend. From bike jerseys that have turtles to orange bike gloves to hiring an artist to paint my first running shoe… this woman thinks of everything!!!

Les is More – This woman was one of my baby brothers dearest friends. She was accused of untruths and blamed for things that she did not do. She still had the grace to keep her head high, crush the lies and still do the right thing by killing the accusers with kindness. When those things happen to me, I look to her for guidance as her example has led me through way too many situations that flooded my eyes with tears and brought me to my knees… from those same people who tried to take her down. She has not only donated to EVERY Leukemia & Lymphoma event I’ve been in but she has also been a fabulous mastermind to several fundraisers for me as well.

My Breakfast Roll Club, PNO, and the “Family” – If laughter, love and encouragement had a dollar value… with all that they have given me, I’d be a gazillionaire. Honestly, I did the math.

Because the above have given so much, I keep their identities sacred so that others do not attack them for donations. Unfortunately, our world revolves around money and the people above have worked very hard for the money that they have and are always being hit up. People see their deep pockets and not their overflowing hearts. I’ve been the lucky one to be a recipient of their overflowing hearts.

Coach – I know… I call so many people “coach” because I have so many (running, triathlon, tnt, flex, vrc, etc). I often boast that the world is my coach because of all the lessons I’ve learned these past couple of years. But my close circle of friends/fellow athletes know who my “coach” is. While she has not made a donation, it is the skill, motivation and experience that she has shared with me that trumps any dollar amount. How can you put a monetary value on self-esteem?

Xman, Skittles and Little Skittles – I could not do my long runs on Saturdays, open water swims on Sundays or 80-mile bike rides in the hill country without these boys “taking up the slack” at home. They’ve waited for hours for me to finish marathons with cowbell and posters. They ran 5ks with me for training. They shaved their heads in solidarity. They gave me swimming lessons, took the dogs out, folded laundry, swept fur off the floor, quietly watched TV in the other room while I recovered and even followed me around on one marathon with ice chests full of ice, water, gatorade and fuel for me and all the other runners around. How can you put a monetary value on sanity? There’s no way I could train the way I do without this kind of support at home.

And now to “those”

To the mothers (especially) and families of Sarah, Ben, Baby E and Dezma… thank you for allowing me to befriend the grandest treasure of your life. Thank you for having the courage to tell the world of your struggles and your triumphs. Through your grace I have found my resolve. Thank you.

To the fellow runner who accused me behind my back of lying about my mile times. Thank you for getting me angry enough to run even faster than what I had stated and was smart enough to have proof the next time on my Garmin. YOU made me faster. Thank you.

To the jealous gym bunnies, false friends and former co-workers who made my life miserable with gossip, flirting, accusations and making fun of the hand sign that my mother and I treasured so deeply… I hope one day you’ll be able to experience the self esteem and confidence that I gained. You probably need it more than I ever did.

To those hundreds of people who wrote to me with questions on how to get started on your own journey, please know that you ARE worthy enough to make yourself the same promise I made to myself. DO NOT GIVE UP. Not on yourself. Value yourself more. Trust me, I struggle with the same issues you do. Many of us do. NEGU

To that stranger who ran a marathon for my mother and my aunt Sissy without ever knowing who they were… THANK YOU. Thank you for giving us six more treasured years together. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication and training and fundraising and sacrifice and anonymous grace. I will probably never know who you are but I hope that I honor you for what you have done by doing the same for someone else in the same circumstance.

To my sponsors… WOW! It is honestly overwhelming to attempt to even try to name them all here (some are at the top right corner of the screen if you’re on a computer or at the very bottom if you scroll down on your phone screen). To think that a business owner saw enough potential in me to give a portion of their hard earned money and donate it to some crazy person doing an extreme physical event so that someone they or she would never know could get their cancer treatment, transportation, housing or possibly a cure just fills my heart with hope for our world. God really does work through us all. In all our deeds and thoughts, He is in us. How else can you explain this?

To my donors… Each one gave as much as they possibly could in honor or in memory of a loved one touched with cancer. So many gave me names, photos and stories of those they gave for. Each one touched me to the core. I knew many and felt like I knew the rest after hearing the stories. From $5 to $2000, the donations kept coming in. I did my best to tell their stories to any who would listen. I did even better remembering them when I wanted to quit running, swimming or cycling. Because what I was going through couldn’t be nearly as hard or as painful as what they went through. Thank you donors. Your money is going to someone as special as my mom was to me.

To my Team in Training teammates, fellow Maniacs, Cyclepaths, VRC running class, RWC girls, 5am wake up riders and RPM classmates, thank you for pushing me and encouraging me. I always felt guilty as I was the last to come in (always) and knowing that each of you sat and waited for me to finish each practice and event. You did so with cheers and smiles and no complaints. I am honored to have had each of you by my side. YOU WOULD NOT LET ME QUIT. Thank you for that.

To my family – Thank you for sitting in the hot sun and the bottom of heartbreak hill with posters and cheers before I even knew what heartbreak hill was! Thank you for homemade banana nut bread for recovery… yes, bananas ARE supposed to be eaten to help with lost potassium. We’ve gone through so much together, I am so thankful that the silver lining for us is a much closer, loving family than ever before.

To my friends – Homemade pasta carb-loading dinners pre-race night, custom wet-suits by design, dinners in San Diego, floor seats to the Spurs before race day… the extravagance of their generosity is amazeballs!!! I am one of those lucky people who has lifelong friendships that count. They never EVER forget me and the bonds are unbreakable. Clearly. They know that what I am doing is completely different from what I have done all my life… I’m a professional princess 😉 And they still treat me as the legend in my own mind. I really do have the best friends ever.

To my brother – I know you are still with me. EVERY SINGLE EVENT I have done has had a Foo Fighters song blaring out at me at one point or another. I know you are still with me. Now stop laughing at how slow I still am!!! You weren’t fast either!

To my Sissy – Thank you for pushing me into this journey. Thank you for knowing that this would be the perfect opportunity to meet your biological family. Thank you for planning my journey back to self-esteem and health. Thank you for NOT picking zumba (as I first joked to you about).

To my Momma – Thank you for the courage and strength you showed all your life but especially while you were being attacked by cancer. Thank you for being the roll model I still struggle trying to portray. THANK YOU FOR EVERY SINGLE CHOICE YOU MADE. Thank you for telling me every chance you got that I could do anything I set my mind to. You were always right.

Thank you world.
I see what I must do.

What does a DATE mean?

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

What does a date mean? I could go back to my pageant days and remember that famous on stage question:

“Describe your perfect date.”

“Hmm. That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25 because it’s not too hot and it’s not too cold.  All you need is a light jacket.”

We all thought this was funny because of the way that the word “date” was used. And she was actually right. April 25 really is a very nice day.

It has meaning.

Dates to me have meaning. I see signs in everything. I choose to see them.

In late September of 2011, Sissy lost her life to cancer. But not before she was able to push me into a healthy lifestyle and start running.

In late September of 2012, MidValley Events chose me to be their Athlete of the Week. They sent me to a little bike shop for a photo shoot because the shop had an orange wall that could be used as a back drop. I had come a long way in one year from Sissy’s challenge to the athlete of the week. That day changed my life once again. I went from running to cycling (and triathlon) when I was introduced to Wally’s Bike Shop.

In late September of 2013, I will have completed the Triple Crown. A challenge instigated by Sissy, supported by my community, guided by Wally… all exactly one year apart.

What does a date mean? If that date is September 21, it means a lot.

 

 

 

 

14 bruises

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2013 by runmyssierun

What a week! This morning I missed my early 5 a.m. wake up bike ride and did some one handed bike drills and speed intervals with Coach Sandy and some of the Multi-sport Maniacs. I don’t want it to seem like bragging so I feel the need to say this up front now… I really am very surprised that my legs are not hurting and sore as how I would imagine they would be. Coach Sandy really does know what she’s doing. She’s making me stronger!!!

This morning was really awesome with Coach!!  She took us along a stretch of road that was laced with sugar cane fields. There isn’t a lot of traffic so it’s safe for us to practice drills and high speed intervals in flat straight lines. The best part was that she came up to me and recognized that I was improving. Albeit, I still have a long ways to go… but I’m improving!!!

The whispers of the sugar cane silenced my worries. There have been a lot this week. The sound they make is amazing. If you ever have the chance to run or bike by a sugar cane field on a windy day, I promise you, you’ll feel the magic. I needed to feel that.

sugar cane

About three weeks ago, I fell while on a bike ride. It wasn’t a huge smash boom crash. It was one of those slow motion I’m-falling-and-can-order-a-triple-latte-and-still-have-20-seconds-left kinda falls. I was able to buffer my fall with my arm and caught myself with a giggle. No biggie. But my ego got hurt.

The following day, I noticed a bruise on my butt and some tenderness around… well you know… down there. I saw them but casually blew them off. I mean… come on. They’re bruises. That’s all. I rode the Hell of the South a few days later so clearly they weren’t bad enough to stop me.

But they were enough to make a friend of mine tell me that they were not normal for that kind of fall. She is in the medical field and I have to admit… she made a good point.  I believe I can properly quote her with “OH MY GOD! Those aren’t bruises! They’re Hematomas!”

I now have bruises all over my body for no explainable reason. Fourteen of them!

Now, I debated on whether or not to make this little trial of mine public on this blog. After watching Robin Roberts last night accept her award at the ESPYs, I knew I had to. Whether or not this is life changing, it becomes responsibility when you know better to educate those around you.

So here goes…

I went to the doctor and got my blood checked. I have symptoms that could possibly identify leukemia. Bruising, fevers, night sweats, increased white blood cell counts, weight loss, tiredness, tingling and numbness… and other symptoms. In the back of my mind, I have answers and reasons for each of those symptoms. I’m a clutz. I fall off my bike. That’s why I bruise. I exercise a lot, that’s why I’ve lost weight and am tired. etc etc…

But after all that my family has been through, wouldn’t it be really stupid if I did get leukemia, saw all the signs and then ignored them because I was scared?

The smart thing would be to address the issues with my doctors and medical team.

My doctor did find some problems in my blood. I have been referred to a very good doctor at Texas Oncology. Please keep me in your prayers these next two weeks. Deep down inside, I do not believe that I have cancer. However, ignorance is NOT bliss. If I do have it, I hope to identify it in the early stage and fight it with everything I’ve got. If I don’t have cancer, I hope that someone out there who may have similar symptoms sees this and has the courage to address it properly, too.

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