Archive for October, 2012

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The aftermath

October 30, 2012

All is good over here at Camp Eggers we got through the storm just fine. With one small leak in our roof and a chair that was blown across the lawn. Thus far our electricity has remained intact. My worst problem was that I was sick,and  if that was my worst problem I am a lucky girl.  The guys took good care of me. Again…… lucky.

My gratitude can’t be bigger right now as I read reports coming from the coast and the south. Houses are burning in a city I once called home. Hospital generators have failed but the medical teams have  heroically executed a plan. I am always amazed and not amazed at the same time…. how people come together in times like this.

Of course we would come together. That’s who we are in this world.

I hung out on facebook and twitter as they gave me such instant access to friends and family all over the east coast. Just a simple “We are without power, but ok.” was comforting. We did a QT2 coaches call in the evening and it was comforting just knowing that we were all okay,we  all live in different parts of the country.

I slept on the sofa bed with Luc, who was scared of the trees outside his bedroom window (legitimate), and for the first time in a long time I watched him sleep. If you have little ones right now watch how they move, how they stretch in their sleep. They do the same thing at age 11. I think I watched him sleep the entire night.

It’s a strange mix of feelings from gratitude to guilt. I have friends in NYC who are watching their houses burn to the ground, while I sit here in my Western New York home with one small leak. I have had that feeling often in my life. Survivor’s guilt is real.

I was going to teach a spooky frightening theme ride tonight at Cycledelic, but it just doesn’t seem appropriate with what some of my friends are enduring right now. So let me offer this…… let’s come together tonight, get on a bike, ride. We will be together and just ride. Class is at 5:45pm at Cycledelic. Sign up in advance, first ride is free. We have showers. I also teach on wed am at 5:30am, and can offer the same. Get out, take a break, break a sweat and be near your community.

When it comes down to it, at the end of the day….. what we have is each other. I think and often see … when offers of help are extended…… we close, turn away and shut down. We ask “Why do you want to help me? You don’t know me.”

Because we are neighbors in this world. And that’s what we do.

Be safe and be well. Let me know if you need anything.

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Almost there

October 27, 2012

Wow. What a season it’s been. Had you asked me in January what I would be saying in October, I would have imagined I’d be sitting here telling you about my comeback season of glory. What I am telling instead…. of one of the greatest seasons of my entire life, and it had absolutely nothing to do with my athletic performances. Or lack thereof.

Last Saturday evening I had the honor…. and I mean honor…. of receiving the Melissa’s Living Legacy/ Teens Living With Cancer  Make A Difference Award. I stood in front of 400 people and I accepted this award on behalf of all of YOU. What we did this season we did together. This was not a ME award, this was a WE award. WE … TOGETHER… made a difference to the teens of Teens Living With Cancer.

I looked out over the crowd of 400 as I gave my speech. Teens who had survived cancer. Parents who lost heir teens to cancer…. and all of the supporters. In the back of the room were several blown up pictures of myself and the teens with Lance Armstrong. He was part of this, and we remain grateful to him for what he did for us.

I have been asked what I think about this Lance Armstrong stuff. I remain strong in my original statement. You can read that right here. Lance Armstrong will remain on my blog header up there, and we will continue to be proud of the work that we did with him. If we had the chance to do it again…. we sure as hell would.

As I made my way through the crowd that evening it was of course, a topic of conversation. In speaking with many of the parents… one theme was strong and crystal clear. “Unless you have stood at the grave of your child, you don’t understand what it’s like on this side of the fence.”

And that’s the God’s honest truth. I am not speaking for anything regarding Mr. Armstrong…. except what he did for us.

Watch this video. I want you to pay attention to the two young men in it. The boy with the winter hat….. his name is Charlie. the boy with the piercings… his name is Mike.

Both of these teens…… are dead. I have known Charlie’s parents for a while now. Every time I speak to them I wonder how in the world they are even getting dressed in the morning. How they have hope in life. How they go on. Yet they do. They smile, they are involved in this cause. They, like Lauren and Doug and too many others….. turn their grief into dedication for others.

Two people shyly came up to me at the end of the evening. they introduced themselves as Mike’s parents (Mike is the one in the video with the piercings. He has also since died). The grief they still feel was evident. Tears came easily. They expressed how Mr. Armstrong had been a source of hope for Mike and how he would have loved to have been a part of the kick off.

This is not drama. This is real and unless you have been on this side of it you don’t truly understand. I hate this side of it and I love it at the same time. You don’t get it unless you’ve been here.

My 2012 season was a bit of a bust, for many reasons. I knew that coming into it. I am elusive about and I know it. When the time is right I will share the story. Sometimes you have to walk right through the fire….. get to the other side….. and allow the burns to heal before you tell the story. It’s also insignificant, not a big deal. Just a road bump and I am almost to the end of it.

There are people who have written me off. Mocked me. Some of my own  have given up on me. That’s the easy thing to do when someone is enduring something beyond their control. Call them … over. Instead of asking what’s up…. judge. Assume. Give up. Instead of just asking if you are ok.

Little do they know…. little does anyone know…… the underdog is the position I love to be in. That I thrive to be in. Tell me I am over, tell me I am off my game and I will rise and I will rise higher.

I have a small circle of those in the know, and they’ve been my rock. We stay quiet, we work forward and we keep dreaming big. That’s what I learned from these teens. You get written off before you have the chance to thrive. If you are weak you will allow them to do that to you. But if you believe in yourself and what you are capable of….. then they can not place those limits on you.

To those who have always stood by me…. you know who you are….. I can’t thank you enough.

One more small hurdle and we are full on. Things to this point have been coming around and coming around well. I have my feet back underneath me. I have a team of those who believe in me. Most importantly I believe in myself.

And when the smoke clears……. well….. I will let that do the talking.

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The healing power of sport

October 20, 2012

From age 10 through age 20 I was Bulimic. Many of you who know me know my story, I am extremely open about my eating disorder and my recovery. I don’t feel that my recovery should be viewed as some miraculous achievement, I have a lot of shame surrounding it. Why? Because in the end I chose to do it, it didn’t happen to me. Others who suffer from eating disorders may feel differently. Why we develop them and why we recover or don’t recover is highly individual in my opinion.

I now work with Teens Living With cancer. When I was their age I was flushing my health down the toilet. They would have done anything to have the health I had. That’s why I feel such shame about it.

I started binging and purging because my friend taught me how. We were dancers and I wanted to have the beanpole body of a 16 year old dancer, which at ten years old was just unrealistic. It wasn’t for lack of parenting that I felt this way. trust me my parents did everything they could to promote a good body image and promote a good self esteem.

We would diet all week long and on Fridays we’d binge and purge. Simple as that.

Then she moved away. And my grandmother died. It was my first experience with death.

Then the slippery slope began. That was my coping skill.

Eating disorders begin as a body image issue, then they morph into something entirely different. I had a tumultuous relationship with my brother which fueled the fire of my eating disorder. See when you have an eating disorder…. at least Bulimia…… vomiting is the way you get RID of feelings you can’t deal with. Or in my case you don’t know how to deal with. Anger. Frustration. In my case….. normal life issues. My parents raised me with good coping skills, I just chose not to use them and sought out sticking my fingers down my throat as a means to an end.

I was also hell bent on killing myself. Which I almost succeeded at.

My friends in high school staged interventions. I stopped talking to them. I quit dancing and became a swimmer so I didn’t have to look in the mirror. When my parents learned of my EDO (this is the abbreviation we edo’ers use) they put me into therapy, we joined support groups…… they did everything they could. I have good parents. I just chose a bad path.

I found healing in the water. I began to crave that feeling…. and I still do….. of that first push off the wall. Arms in streamline, the water rushing over my body and nothing but the sound of water in my ears. I shake my head at athletes who use earplugs and underwater radios, the sound of the water is miraculous. Listen to it sometime.

The feeling of weightlessness. The feeling like I am flying. I feel at home there.

I recovered well during my last 2 years of high school. I played by the rules. I attended the therapy.

When I got to college all hell broke loose. I made sure to go where no one could find me and I relapsed quicker than quick. I found solace in the pool and that was about it. Again…… all of my choosing. I had the resources at my fingertips.I chose not to use them.

My college swim coach was my saving grace. He knew of my EDO, confronted me. Gave it to me straight. Allowed me to continue on the team even though he watched me make myself sicker and sicker and sicker. He told me that he wanted to kick me off, but kicking me off the team was like kicking a drunk out of a bar. I would just stay sick. And at least there I was under his watchful eye. Which was a good thing, because when it came down to it…. the man saved my life.

I ended up coming home, hitting rock bottom at about 110 miles an hour. Sometimes in these situations the only way to get better is to hit the bottom. In my case it was a big bottom to hit and like I said, my coach saved my life. And so did my parents. What I put them through was unreal, horrible and terrible. They did everything they could to help me. I threw it back in their face.

I came home and put a pause on college for a while. I had been through all the therapy in the world. I could talk my way off any couch. I started working as a nursing assistant and got into the profession of helping others. It was my father’s idea and it was brilliant. For forty hours a week I took care of other people, and it was the exact medicine I needed.

I needed a place to live and answered an ad for a room available in a house in the university area. In a weird twist of fate I moved in with five guys who essentially were my brothers. The first night I was there I made a potato for dinner and they freaked out. That’s all you are having? They taught me how to eat. They became my family and between them and my work, I began to get pulled out of myself and the dark hole I was living in (and just for the record, I never hooked up with ANY of them. They were family. I hit the jackpot). Recovery was going well but I still could not string together 7 days without binging and purging. Despite the close call I had been through.

I began teaching fitness classes, got accepted into a nursing program and found my way into running, as a compliment to swimming. I signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon as part of the Leukemia Society’s Team in Training, thinking I would be paired with some cute 7 year old bald kid with cancer. Instead, I was partnered with a 30 year old man. Who changed my life.

We met for lunch one day and he told me his story. He battled Leukemia in his early 20’s. It got dark for him. Real dark. I remember sitting with him and thinking….. this man was fighting for his life at the exact time I was wasting mine. He was trying to live and I was trying to die. He would have done anything to be in my shoes. And I didn’t want to be in his.

I remember blocking out 16 weeks and promising myself that as long as I was running this marathon for him…. I would not binge and purge.

I made it 16 weeks.

The day after I finished the marathon I signed up for the program again, because as long as I was running for him, I wouldn’t binge and purge. I made it a year. I loved being healthy enough to do what I was doing. The guys taught me how to eat and I very slowly and very surely solidified my recovery.

I found my way into triathlon and began to move up through the ranks. I relapsed a few times and put together that if I wanted to be good at this, I had to take care of myself (I know….. genius I am). And I found healing in triathlon.

I didn’t have any trouble with being pregnant. I trained the whole time. I swam and spun the day I delivered like every other triathlete mom. I had a 17 hour pure as hell labor and a beautiful son to show for it.

Three days later is when you have the trouble. Your stomach is boggy at best and with a fourth degree tear I hopped on my bike. Let’s just say my doctor was expecting that. I took four weeks off, as I had newfound respect for my body. I struggled with feelings of my EDO but I had a little person to think about. The world was no longer about me.

18 months later I did my first Ironman. 100% of my best performances have been since I became a mom. And I have been holding steady at about 15 years of recovery.

For me sport is healing. Sport is where I can find the outlet. I have had sport taken away from me twice and I was ok. I don’t’ freak out…. but I know enough to find the outlet for my energy (I have a lot). Being a nurse, a triathlon coach, a yoga and spin teacher  focuses my attention on other people. I love to watch other people find what I have found in sport. I love to be part of their journey.

People often ask me where I get my energy. Where I get my intensity. I spent ten years of my life trying to kill myself. I am making up for lost time. I didn’t enjoy my youth because I chose not to. I turned away friends who loved me. I threw away the help my parents gave me.

I hold people intensely now. If you are in my life you probably see that. I take nothing for granted. I live and play hard. I love hard too.  I mean what I say and I will never hold back. People have tried to impose rules on me and quickly learn that they can’t. I spent a long time living in a black hole and won’t do that again.

My husband gets that and I am so grateful for that. He lets me be who I need to be. I am who I am directly because of the balance he gives me.

My recovery from Bulimia is not textbook. It’s probably questionable. People come to me all the time to ask how I did it. It’s not something you can replicate. But is any recovery? Is it possible to recover before you hit rock bottom? For me…. no. But that’s me. I am in or out. Up or down. On time or not coming.

I don’t know if that’s the case for others.

How can you hep someone you love? You confront them even if it means losing their friendship. You have to love someone enough to lose them. You go to them with a plan. For example if you confront a friend, have a therapist selected and offer to drive them. Don’t accuse and then leave them hanging. Expect them to be mad and even hate you. But it’s worth their life in my opinion. One day they will thank you. It took me 20 years but I went back and thanked them, and man did I hurt them bad at the time.

Like I said before…. I carry much shame about my eating disorder. For me…… and I emphasize…… for me…… I remember the very day I chose to stick my fingers down my throat. For me it was a choice every single time. For me it was a hole I put myself into.

Which is why I fight so hard for my teens. They would have done anything for the health I threw away.

If you struggle with an eating disorder, know this…… there is a way out. I don’t have the answer, I don’t have the protocol, I don’t have a formula. I just know there is a way to the other side. We just have to find the right path.

And a fabulous dentist.

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Tarnished

October 19, 2012

The look on my husband’s face said it all. Disappointment, disbelief, heartbreak. Maybe some anger even. If I were him I would have a lot of anger.

Yesterday it was announced that an age grouper tested positive for illegal substances. Read the name and the full report right here, this link also contains a link to the actual report from the USADA. I can’t speak on anything regarding the specifics of the case as I am not involved. What I can speak on… is how it affects one man. My husband.

He looked like he’d been punched when I told him. I handed him the phone so he could read it himself, and he shook his head. “I can’t even read it right now.”

Curt Eggers began this sport in his late thirties. He taught himself how to swim. In his first triathlon he was the last man out of the water. Five years later he came back and won that very race five years in a row. When I met Curt he had qualified for Age Group Nationals for the first time.

In the 12 years I have been married to this man I have supported him through 4 Ironman races. Including Hawaii. Including an amazing 9:54 performance at the age of 54. (Yes, there is a BIG age difference between us,1 2 years of marriage should say something about that). He’s a five time National Champion in both triathlon and duathlon. The accolades I can give this man would take three pages. He’s also the most humble.

The secret to the success of Curt Eggers is very simple…. consistent and smart training. I can count on one hand the amount of times he’s been injured. He doesn’t brag. He doesn’t own a heart rate monitor or a powermeter. He takes a HUGE off season every single year. He eats well. He doesn’t train in big groups. He doesn’t overtrain. He is always prepared when it comes to a race.

In 2007 at the World Championships in Germany….. he was drug tested. And he came out clean.

He puts in the work year after year after year. He lays a big base and builds off of it. It’s really quite simple.

I have listened to him speak of the athlete found guilty of doping, in admiration. He looked up to him. When that guy was racing, everyone else was racing for second place. How is that guy so good? He must just have incredible genes. man I wish I had that kind of natural talent.

I haven’t done it yet, but I am going to go through the results and see where he robbed Curt of a podium. A medal. has he?

Curt is disappointed. I haven’t spoken to him much about it yet but I am very interested to hear his reaction. All of his own hard work. Curt has always played by the rules. How does he feel about this? I have to guess he feels cheated. I have to guess that he wonders why. I have to guess that he feels hurt. Wouldn’t you?

It’s hard for me to wrap my head around why age groupers use performance enhancing drugs. What is there in it for us except a $3 medal? There is rarely prize money. Certainly not in WTC races. A few free products? Really? It’s worth damaging your health for…. that?

I think doping comes down to one thing. Yourself. And insecurity. If you feel that you HAVE to be the best…… if you feel that you CAN NOT lose…… so badly that you are willing to cheat….. that says something to me about the person you are. And how you feel about yourself. I think doping comes from a very deep insecurity that only standing on a podium can cure….. and that is a hollow fix. Not a real fix. Not a solution to your insecurity.

What’s the fix? A ban is nice I guess. But the damage is done. I believe in second chances in life….. but once a cheater…… always a cheater? I don’t know.

I think the fix is a good therapist. A good examination of your morals, ethics and values because if you are willing to dope, you clearly have none. If you are willing to cheat in sport…… how do you live your life?

All I know is that I am married to a man who works more consistently, smarter and harder than anyone I have ever met in my life. He achieves things the old fashioned way, nose to the grind. One step at a time. Has he been cheated out of some podiums? We will see.

But he is the guy who loses in this situation.

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Eggers goes to Kona, day 6 & 7. End of the world.

October 18, 2012

On the second to the last day in Kona, we went to the End of the World. Truthfully one of the reasons I wanted to go there is because it’s called The End of the World (doesn’t take much to amuse). The title is misleading, because it’s just a short drive from Kona. It’s a series of dramatic cliffs that overlook the most beautiful water I have ever seen.

Once you arrive, you have to hike a short ways through some beautiful lava rock (I consider lava rock to be beautiful)

The hiking is not difficult, and the cliffs come upon you sooner than you think.  There was a group of people already there jumping. I have some really great video from the Go Pro that I will load up today, but there was this one guy jumping who…. definitely had the shazzy.

I totally wimped out on jumping. It was really really high for me. Molly and Charlie jumped, and of course I screwed up the camera and MISSED her awesome jump. Molly had the shazzy. and so does Charlie.

This is Charlie jumping. He was awesome. I have his on video.

This is my favorite picture. The color of the water is not even truly captured here.

The cliffs as I said…. were dramatic. The water was beautiful. I stood on that cliff and looked out over the ocean and felt like I could see eternity. You really begin to feel how big the world is, and how powerful the ocean is. So much bigger than you, and so much bigger than the small issues we face in life.

The last day in Kona was the most bittersweet. I have some really amazing underwater photos to upload, I just wanted to memorize everything I saw and everything I touched. The last swim in the ocean for me….. turned into slowing way down. Circling around the coral reef and staring at every fish I saw. There were blue ones, yellow ones, black schools. There were coral that were SO BIG. I memorized the taste of the water. I memorized the feel of the water. As far as swim workouts go… I blew it off. That’s a big one for me. I just floated, tooled around and soaked in every second.

We didn’t do much that last day. Charlie and I didn’t leave until 9pm andMolly is still there (jerk!). The best part of all of this….. was these guys.

I will forever remember and cherish this week with Charlie and Molly. We have been on some really great trips this season. As Molly and I were talking….. we both admitted that getting out there are living carefree as we did this year….. was something we both needed. Whether Charlie knew it or not he needed it too. He spent every waking moment either training or working. So this final day we forced him to come to the end of the world. I am so glad that he did.

These two…… are really, really special to me.Thank you so much Molly and Charlie for the trip of a lifetime.

I am not the girl who gets to come to Kona every year, so I was there to appreciate it, savor it, soak it up, and appreciate being in such a beautiful place. The gratitude I have for being able to even come here is insurmountable.

It’s always funny to me how you leave somewhere a little bit different from how you came. There was so much that I absorbed from this that I didn’t know I really needed. Well…. I probably did. Maybe it’s just that I needed a little Aloha, a little sunshine, a chance to see some things I haven’t seen before. Experience life for a week a lot differently than I normally would have.

This was a special trip in so many ways. MOST importantly…… I got to talk to a LOT of people about Teens Living With Cancer. I came home with….. $2,325 plus another private $300 donation. That’s $2,600 (+/-). You can still donate here by the way , and I will set up a button on the right column today. That was the most important part of this whole trip. The fact that Craig Alexander immediately came to help…… wow. What a guy.

I have many more people to thank, many more pictures to take. Stay tuned. Something really special is happening this coming Saturday as well. So stay tuned.

As we were walking down Alii Drive the evening we were leaving…… this stopped me dead in my tracks. The beauty of Aloha. Thanks to all of you who shared this with me, I  considered this to be our trip. Not just mine. Thanks for allowing me to share this experience with you.

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Crowie vs. Eggers, the kick off

October 16, 2012

Today was my favorite day in Hawaii so far.

If you are new to this scene…… last April I challenged Lance Armstrong to a duel in the pool when he came to the University of Buffalo to give a speech. I volunteer for an organization called Teens Living With Cancer. I am their fitness coach and I helped run a fitness program for teens who are finishing chemotherapy.

Teens Living With Cancer is a small organization in Rochester NY. When I say small I mean two person. They do their best to scratch by and help serve the forgotten age group. The 13-18 year olds who don’t have a targeted program like pediatric cancer or for those over 18.

Through that duel in the pool with Armstrong we have raised now $90,000. That’s the short story. If you’d like the details, head over to the search bar to the right and type in Teens Living With cancer. You can read that race report right here.

Fast forward to August. We sent a tweet to Ironman World Champ Chris McCormack asking if he’d be interested in a kick off when I came to Kona this October. He accepted, got in touch and then vanished. At the same time he made the decision to come back to Kona, so we thought maybe he’d be too busy. Never heard from him. Understandably. He’s a busy guy.

Two nights ago a few of us came up with the idea of challenging three time Ironman Champ Craig Alexander…. Crowie. He had a rough day in Kona this year and triumphed to the finish line. He finished out of the top ten. As age groupers….. we learn a lot from that. Not that winning is easy….. but losing after you have won here three times….. that’s hard. Many drop out when they realize it isn’t in the cards. Crowie…… he sticks it out and plays the cards he is dealt.

I get really nervous about this type of stuff. I know I don’t seem it. These guys are busy and everyone wants their attention. I am really adamant on never bothering them if I see them out in public. They have sponsorship things to do, training to get in and most importantly family to spend time with. I refuse to disturb them at a restaurant, I refuse to approach them on the street….. I have strong feelings about respecting their privacy. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that Crowie would have the time or the interest to kick off. What could Teens Living With Cancer possibly mean to this guy? He probably doesn’t even KNOW where Rochester NY is (who would?).

In the same breath, I think about the teens I work with at Teens Living With Cancer. There is nothing, and mean nothing I would not do for them. If it means putting myself out there….. I can do that. I got on CNN in my damn bathing suit…. and that’s fine. Becasue if I can somehow use my voice and my platform to help this organization keep going and keep doing…. then I have to. As a nurse I have taken care of too many of them who have not made it. Who need this.

Our marketing director Mary Miller … lucky for me….. lives in Bolder and knows all these guys. She offered to get in touch. He accepted. I reached out to our friends at IMAthlete. They had a page up and ready to go in seconds. Check it out here.

At 8am Monday morning we got the word. Meet Crowie at the pool at 9:30. We pushed go on the link to the IMAthlete page. To Teens Living With Cancer ANY amount is a big amount. Whether we raised $10 or $100 that is big money to them. Anything we’d raise would be more than what we came here with.

When we arrived at the pool Crowie’s incredibly lovely wife was there and came over to greet us. She is a nurse and we got talking about what this was all for and she immediately resonated with it. She’s been there too.Sometimes it takes understanding what it means from the inside to understand my why. I really…. really enjoyed speaking with her.

Crowie arrived just a few minutes later and was just incredible.

Crowie, Mary Miller and I

He had heard all about the prior kick off with Mr. Armstrong and was incredibly interested to hear what Teens Living With Cancer was all about. He was stunned to learn how much money we had raised and he understood the size of the organization (two people run the show). I told him that in the hour since we put up the link for him….. $1,000 had already been donated.

I can’t say he didn’t throw the race…… but he did make me work for it, as you will see in the video shortly. If I have learned anything from these guys is that they raise the bar and they make you want to rise to it. They are willing to help but they want to teach you to work. He made me work and trust me….. I did.

He was a lot of fun.

Here is the video. The sound is not awesome, it seems to work well if you plug in headphones for the interview. Notice his reaction when we tell him how much money we raised by April 29th. This is something I will treasure for a lifetime.

After the race we hung around the pool and the kids played with Dad while I spoke with his wife some more. I hope I was able to express to her how thankful I was for them lending their family time to us.

“That took a whole 5 minutes.” she smiled, “Of course we would help.” She and Crowie really acted like this was a no brainer. That meant so much to me….. I am sure they are asked for things all of the time and their time is very valuable.

To us at Teens Living With Cancer…… it really feels like this whole year has been our Cinderella story. The carriage will turn back into the pumpkin at some point but we are going to try to ride this wave as long as we can. So many of you have lent your help in the form of donations, sharing the word on social media, and many other ways. To tell you how grateful I am, we are…. is such an understatement.

This is who you are helping.

You are helping a mother keep a promise to her daughter. Melissa died twelve years ago, and she asked her mother… Lauren (the founder of Melissa’s Living Levagy / Teens Living With Caner) to promise that she would make it better for other Teens who have to endure what she did.

Please read Melissa’s story here.

Lauren…… has been working to keep that promise ever since. With more bravery and courage than I can fathom. I don’t know how you go on after losing a child. I don’t know how you face every day much less build what she’s built in the face of such loss.

This is Melissa. She died in 2000.

To this organization…… $10 is big money. Teens Living With Cancer focuses on the forgotten age group. The 13-18 year olds who have been left out. TLC reaches out to this age group to give each teen who has to live and face this….. somewhere to go. Someone who understands. So that they are not alone during the most impressionable years of their lives.

What were you doing at 16? They weren’t. They knew the four walls of a hospital room and they learned what chemotherapy was.

So Crowie…..  we can’t believe you stepped up to help us. We are so grateful you gave of your time. We are honored to add your name to the many who care. It’s not about the kick off, that’s just the cover story. We are now up to $1,500 online…. because you were willing to give your time and your name. It’s amazing the power of a name and someone who cares.

Thank you, Neri and your beautiful children for helping us. It means more to us than we can express. It was a HUGE deal that you stepped forward.

Thank you as well to Mary Miller, Tim Snow, Charlie Abrahams, Matt Curbeau, Molly Zahr, my amazing colleagues and teammates at QT2 Systems… for continuing to help me reach. Thank you to Morgan from All3Sports for your support (please get that iPhone screen fixed!!). Thank you to TYR for the awesome custom goggles. To Fuel Belt and Quintana Roo for your continued support. And thank you to IMAthlete for your patience and hard work in setting up our fundraising page.

Thank you to the Kona Aquatic Center for allowing us the use of your pool.

This was an event that I will not soon forget. Not because I got to kick off against Crowie…… but because once again I was witness to the beauty of people. The willingness of others to help in any way they can.

Thank you for allowing me….. to use my platform of sport to help a mother keep a promise to her daughter.

Thank YOU all for donating. You can still donate! Click here! THANK YOU!

Of course I won!!! I am undefeated!

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Eggers goes to Kona. Day five. The Shazzy

October 15, 2012

Day five in Kona was a relatively mellow one. We had some recovering to do after the Ironman World Championships. And it was Charlie’s birthday!

I began the day with a 10 mile run along Alii Drive. I was the girl smiling. So many people were out running and cycling…. and no one was smiling. I wanted to stand in the middle of the road and shout “HELLO! WE ARE RUNNING ON ALII DRIVE IN HAWAII! SMILE”.

I couldn’t think of one reason not to smile while I was running. I am in Hawaii!!!!!

Next it was on to the TYR luncheon, where we got to rub elbows with Craig Alexander and Andy Potts, relax poolside and make some goggles. It was perfect to be mellow and chat it up with the gang.

This evening we went to the awards ceremony for the Ironman World Championships. Many of our QT2 Systems athletes got on the podium, and it was awesome.

Pete Jacobs…. the men’s winner, I found to be particularly inspiring. He reminded me of why I do this to begin with. He said that he asked his friends and family to tell him something about love during race day. Whether it be…. Love what you are doing….. LOVE it brother…… You gotta LOVE it…… because he wanted to be reminded of why he was out there. Because he LOVES TO BE OUT THERE.

That resonated with me. I sat up and took notice. I love to be out there too brother! We have something in common, THIS is my language. I LOVE that I get to be an athlete. I LOVE that I get to run down Alii Drive. I LOVE that I get to be coaching these athletes. I LOVE that I get to have the physical ability (I have lost it before….. TWICE….. so I have an appreciation that others might not).

Passion and love and sport have a lot to lend to sport. When you find that passion you know it. When you lose it you know it. Right now I have it. I have it back. And that’s what drives me. He spoke about how he put together his all star team. How he found the shazzy, and man I loved that.

I loved what Peter Jacobs had to say. I identified with him. I think many of us do.

Time in Hawaii is coming to a close. It’s been wild. Absolutely wild. We are going to make Monday all about the water. Surfing. Cliff jumping. A possible kick off with a former world champion. And no worries, it will be Go Pro’d this time!!!!

I love Hawaii. I am having a freaking BLAST!

And I think I have found my shazzy.