Monday, September 20, 2010

moab century ride report:hot diggity damn!

I completed the moab century on saturday. This was a bike ride to raise money for livestrong, the moab cancer center or a cancer program of your choice. With apologies to dw who couldn't make it because she is in california, I have to say that it was an amazing day! The weather was perfect (a little warm towards the end but that's why an extra water bottle comes in handy to douse yourself). The course was ridiculously beautiful. I did the rolling 68 mile route along the colorado river on highway 128. I chose the 68 mile course in part because the 100 mile course has a "hill" called the big nasty and has an elevation change of 3000 feet within a 7 mile span. Just didn't sound like it would be fun, but who knows, if I actually train for it maybe I'll be up for the challenge next time. I had a blast tucking and coasting down the big hills and resting my legs before having to work a bit to get up the next hill. Red rock surrounded us the whole way and we were treated with visions of pinnacles and the mighty colorado river. Many of the riders were with Team in Training from states all across the country. TNT is an organization that helps you train for different athletic events and in turn you help raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. You don't need to have cancer or even know anyone with cancer to be involved with their group.

Before the event we had the chance to write names of our loved ones on a board. People we were riding in memory of who lost their fight to cancer and people we were riding in celebration of who have survived the fight. I rode in memory of my mom, both my grandfathers, an aunt, 2 uncles and a cousin. I rode in celebration of my dad, 2 aunts, my sister-in-law, my previvor wondertwin and myself. I also rode for all my loved ones - my support staff, if you will. What do you call your wife/husband/partner that helps you through all this? What about the rest of your family who have to watch all the suffering, take care of you when you are sick and pick up the pieces and try and carry on when you are gone? When my mom got cancer I remember being strong and believing that she was going to make it even though they said no lasted more than 2 years with her cancer in that advanced stage. If anyone could fight it, my mom could. But she didn't. And when my dad told us less than 2 years after her death that he had cancer, I remember my sisters and I all got hysterical. One of my brothers tried to soothe us and he got screamed at. My poor dad did not find any strength from us! And when I told my little sister that I was coming home to visit 2 weeks after my lumpectomy she was suspicious. She asked me was I really just coming home for a visit or was I coming home to tell them that I was dying? Cancer takes its toll on everyone.  I think I would have called the "survivors and previvors" fighters since really we are always on the lookout for what might happen next and I would call our families and loved ones the survivors.

If you are ever in moab I highly recommend driving (if not biking) along route 128, a designated scenic byway. It is well worth the time. There is no shoulder on the road so be careful if you are biking on your own and not part of an event. The road is very twisty and even though the speed limit is only 45mph you will be dealing with tourists enjoying the view instead of paying attention to the road or locals driving way too fast. You can also raft down the river and get the same great views, if not better. There is a raft trip in june that is a fundraiser for susan g. komen, if you have the opportunity, go! I've been to moab countless times and this was my first time on this beautiful road. I can tell you that it will always be a part of my itinerary on future trips and in fact I drove home that way today even though it is a little bit out of the way.

What a difference a year makes! The leaves are starting to turn here which made me think of a favorite hike of mine, stewart falls. DW and I hiked it last fall and we were in a much different place then. At the time, we were very sad and just going out and doing things to try and find a minute of happiness. Now I find myself pretty damn happy with just some stress on the side. I have to laugh when I look back at last year's post and read that I had just decided to go ahead and cut my boobs off! I guess I change my mind a lot. I've been thinking of this whole idea of happiness lately because of some recent deaths of family members of people in my bike club. One lost their mom and another just lost their son in the war. And it is also almost one year since my friends lost their little boy and they are still suffering deeply. I don't want to compare what I've been going through with the loss of a loved one. That hurts on so many levels. I've been there. I lost my mom. I just want to say that whether you are grieving from the loss of someone close to you or grieving changes in your life or some other difficulty, don't give up hope. Things will get better. Your open wound will start to heal and scab over. One day that scab will fall off and maybe leave a scar. Some days that scar might be itchy or burning and irritated but most days it will be ok.

Been trying to figure out how to attach my pictures to my blog now that I gave up my data plan on my phone to save a little money. I used to just text them to my email but that will cost me now so going to try and text them to someone who has a data plan and have her email them to me. Annoying but I have some nice pics from the bike ride. I don't miss having internet access on my phone except for that one feature!{note: bought a microsd card for under $10, problem solved}

This is post number 100! Who'd have thunk I had that much to say? Tune in for my next post where I will review an exciting new book about breast surgery and what goes on in the OR while we sleep.


  1. okay, I'm scared of your next post, LOL. Not sure if I'm done in the OR yet. But I think your bike trip sounds amazing and can't wait to see the pix!

  2. Wondertwin! It appears I have Internet access again. :) Participated in Making Strides this morning and teared up a little as I remembered it was a year ago when I found out I was BRCA+ and went to the walk myself, too angry to even tell anyone I was going. Today gave it a few minutes and then found my group and felt better. Beautiful pics, JJ. Keep rolling.