Monday, April 6, 2009

digging deep and tear ducts

April 5-11 is National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week (NYACA)!

I've been more sore the past three weeks than I have ever been in my life. Well maybe sometime earlier, but in my adult memory, I've never stayed this sore for this lenght of time. On going sore! This forces me to dig deep to reach inward to see what I can accomplish. When you're a little sore it is a little more difficult, you start off already moving with effort cause your muscles hurt.

Yesterday (Sunday) I was still sore from our rock climbing expedition. Still looking forward to rock climbing on Wednesday but it was Sunday, nice outside and I had to get out for a bike ride. Late morning we headed out. I set my goal in sight. I was going to finally make it up the hill of doom. You see, to people who cycle all the time, riding along the Blue Ridge Parkway, "the hill of doom" (as I refer to it) is a simple training ride. For me, being on the overweight side, never really having had muscles or lungs good for long steady uphill rides, it is a tough hill. Today, I was going to own that hill, it was not going to own me any more. I pedaled my bike past the cancer center turning right onto Jefferson. Remembering all to well why I was on the bike as sore as I was. I pulled out my water bottle, swallowed and shifted gears. Took a deep breath as we slowed for the red light at Jefferson and McClannahan. Moving forward, I went into a steady cadence, trying to keep my muscles in a steady movement forward. Passing the church I was still able to talk comfortably, I pointed out to Tammy that my goal is to make it to the base of that curve, which is 27th Street. Still steady rolling forward, breathing a little more heavy, the pitch gets more steep and I downshifted.

Now, focusing on keeping my breath with cadence and focusing on the top of that hill, just before it goes into the curve. A quarter of the way up, my legs start getting tight, then my breathing becomes more labored, and steady keeping sight on the sign, now visible. My whole body now feels this hill and then two thirds of the way up I hear, that's all I got. I yelled back, "I'm doing it today!". I see the corner across from the street sign pass by my tire as I crossed 27th Street. I cried, I rode over and stood by the sign. Tears welled up in my eyes and breathing heavily I turned and said, "I did it! I did it!". Tears now rolling down my cheeks, looking up at the sign with a smile on my face, it took some effort cause well I was trying to breath. We paused for Tammy to take a picture and continued on with the rest of the ride.

No for most it is not a big major hill or tough ride, but for me, it was. It is an accomplishment I have been working toward for a few years now. Making that hill is an accomplishment for me and my riding. I did it and I dug in deep to do be able to do it.

Digging in deep seems to be the theme this week. As I was at the gym today digging in deep to make it through our sets in weight lifting. When the soreness only made me want to turn back over when it was time to get out of bed and not go lift weights. Then I rememberd that I don't want anyone else to enter the fight against cancer, so I got out of bed and went. I dug deep again, again bringing myself to tears for being able to push myself beyond what I thought I could do. No I'm not a crier. Well I am tender hearted and cry in movies and sad commercials, but not at the gym. I once agian had tears well up in my eyes as I pushed myself beyond what I felt I could do. Proving once again that I am stronger than I ever thought.

You see, I am pushing myself to the limits. As I have said before, it is the only way that I can give any type of comparision that people living with cancer feels. The only way I can get an idea of the feelings my Dad has when his body is drained from the radiation treatments, from the cancer eating all the beneficial cells. For many, just hearing the diagnosis of cancer, forces them to dig deep to walk out of the office.

You see, 70,000 young adults between the ages of 15 and 39, will be diagnosed with cancer this year. AND cancer is the leading disease killer among 20-39 year olds. So I push myself to the limits as I am riding and strengthing myself, because I can, because my body is not fighting cancer and because I don't want anyone else to have to fight it either.

Please, donate to my efforts in the fight against cancer, my goal is $2,500, Any amount is appreciated and the Livestrong Foundation will make sure it will be put to good use. I thank you ahead of time in this fight that we are in together.

Thanks for sharing the journey!

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