h1

TLC …. This one’s for you.

March 31, 2012

Greetings from 32,000 feet. There is something so neat about being able to connect midflight like this. It’s because I grew up in the era before laptops and I find this progression of technology and the virtual shrinking of our world fascinating to be honest.

On the flight from Rochester to Atlanta a man tapped me on the shoulder. Aren’t you the girl who is racing Lance? He asked. I smiled, this being recognized is a bit new for me. My initial reaction is to feel embarrassed, then I quickly remind myself…. I am the ambassador for Teens Living With Cancer. It’s not me that’s being recognized, it’s TLC, and that is how I want to keep it.

I told him proudly… yes…. yes sir I am.

Good luck, he said as he slipped me a $20.

When I turn on the news I see a lot of bad things from bad people. Throughout this crusade I have gotten to see the best of people.  THAT… inspires me. This is not about Mary Eggers racing Lance Armstrong. That’s the headline. Yes, it’s interesting how it happened but once you get pulled into the story you realize what this is about.

Thursday morning I received this email from one of the TLC Fit Teen. As you read this, do me a favor, take the Mary Eggers part out of it. Truthfully all I did was give her some modifications and give her a small push and a lot of space. What she accomplished, that was all her.

************

I just wanted to personally thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this program with all of us.

I have to be honest, after the very first assessment I wasn’t sure if I was going to be coming back. I was completely fine that night until it came down to the mile run. When the run started I was okay..until I watched as my friends ran past me over and over and over again. My knee was too weak  and painful to keep up and my heart broke each time I was lapped.

Before cancer I was a year round athlete , playing soccer for 11 years and running track for 2. I was fast, real fast and made the varsity track Team in 8th grade. I was always the one beating everyone else, I was the one who lapped people and now the tables were turned. I felt so physically and emotionally defeated That night and had to hold back the tears with each lap. I’ve Always questioned why my cancer had to leave me with such limitations , but never felt as bad as I did after that run.

Why did it have to be in my knee anyway? The knee that let me start and stop at a dimes drop. The knee that let me score the winning goal and the knee that made me, the athlete I was.

Why couldn’t it have been somewhere else..anywhere else.

I just want you to know how down I was so you can realize the extent of how amazing I felt last night.

Because of you and the program I learned how to regain my strength and confidence.

I  paid attention to the leg exercises and worked hard at them every week and it paid off. Last night I felt like my old self again and I was able to run, pain free.

When I sprinted to the finish line an overwhelming sense of pride and happiness rushed over me. Once again I tried to hold back the tears, but this time it was because I was finally proud of myself.

I haven’t been able to say that in a long time. I can’t thank you and everyone enough for being apart of this program. I just wanted you to know how much it all means to me and to thank you guys for being so awesome.

*****************************

This young lady is in remission from osteosarcoma. She’s experienced the death of teens her age from this same diagnosis. Imagine being her, and understand the terror, the strength and the perseverance she’s got. Talk about tough.

Your biggest problem is whether you can hit your targets on race day. Hers is ….. will this come back and take my whole leg with it?

If you take a good look at where money is being spent in the world of Cancer…… we know by now that all of the money spent on new medications and treatment is definitely helping. Is it decreasing our rates of Cancer? I don’t know. I am sure that answer is out there.

What I do know is that there is good evidence to support the prevention of Cancer. One of the biggest keys in prevention is preventing obesity and eating well (and please forgive me I am being VERY simplistic, don’t read that as it’s the only cause of Cancer.)

What I do know is this….. for those who have had cancer the chances of developing a secondary cancer somewhere down the road are higher than for those who have not had cancer. One of the ways to help push that statistic back is to do things to prevent cancer. Through health and fitness (I hate the words diet and exercise) we can help prevent that re occurrence.

The young lady mentioned above has some physical limitations. Due to where her cancer was she can’t do things like a typical quadricep stretch. Knowing that ahead of time .. each week I was prepared with modifications for that type of limitations. I knew where her rods were, I knew exactly what her reconstruction looked like…. having a medical and fitness background is critical in this regard. Knowing how that all functioned together allowed me to give her what she needed to work the muscle group without compromising it and bam. She made huge gains.

She inspires me. Some of my worst days are what she would have considered her best days. As I head to Texas I really think about that, I really take it to heart. I know many are focused on the fact that I am racing Lance…. but I really do believe that we understand the reason why. These kids are the reason why. I was nervous about wearing the suit until I realized…. if people recognize it they will reach out. If they reach out they will donate. If they donate we get closer to our goal one inch at a time. If that means I need to really put myself out there then that’s what I will do. You have to have some pretty big shoulders to do it and trust me…… I’m a swimmer. I do.

I want this fundraising to continue throughout the season, which is why you will see the Duel in the Pool Suit all over the place. I am currently waiting to hear if we can make them available for purchase. I found an amazing artist to paint my helmet, but I din’t have time to get it done for Texas 70.3. So I improvised, and wrote all of the Teens names on my helmet. Melissa’s name is in the center.

Teens …… this one’s for you.

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. Fighting the good fight? Oh, no. Sooooo far beyond that. Have a great race!


  2. Um…. see presumptious e-mail in response… not sure which is the best way to communicate, so please forgive me if I overstep my boundaries.

    Peace… 🙂



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: