As I was watching the Tour last night, I was also surfing around the blogs. I don't remember exactly how I found Kat's blog, except that it was a link from a link from somewhere else. But when I saw the title - "This Is Why I Ride - LIVESTRONG 2010" - I had to check it out. After all, Lance was in the breakaway and I was rooting for him to get a stage win.
I read a couple posts and left a few comments, with one comment being a question about training. As a result, we were going back and forth on e-mail this morning. Once you see Kat's blog, it's immediately obvious she's on a mission with respect to her participation in endurance sports (in her case, Cycling). So I asked her about it, and she answered with this.
I got involved with the LIVESTRONG Challenge in 2008. Elianna, one of my students, was diagnosed with leukemia (AML) in June of that year. I did some research into the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is where I discovered the Challenge. I got the family some support materials from the LAF and decided to get involved with Team Livestrong and participate in the 45 mile cycling challenge, riding in Elianna's honor.Stories like this are awesome. This is a triple win - Unbelievably special relationships are being forged between Kat, Elianna, Joyce, and their families, Kat is committed to raising money for a worthy cause, and Kat is doing something good for herself by riding her bike. I love it.
I've been training for the 2010 ride and plan to hit the fund-raising trail pretty hard in the next month or so. This year, I will be riding in honor of both Elianna and a colleague of mine named Joyce, who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. I'm riding to honor the strength and courage it has taken for them to become survivors.
Basically, I'm just a 43 yr. old teacher who is trying to get my creaky self in fighting shape to conquer this ride. This year, I've been training and really working hard to do what I can to be prepared for this ride. I really want to honor Elianna and Joyce by riding and finishing strong to show them how much their strength has inspired me. They are truly my heroes.
So thanks to Kat for sharing her story and thanks to everyone for reading it.
Kat Callaway's blog "This Is Why I Ride 0 LIVESTRONG 2010" can be found here. Check it out.