Monthly Archives: October 2011

San Diego Triathlon Challenge- My Reflections on 1 year of Involvement with CAF

Last weekend was the big weekend for Challenged Athletes Foundation: The San Diego Triathlon Challenge. It is an amazing weekend that brings together challenged athletes and able-bodied athletes to race together and fundraise for the Challenged Athletes Foundation so that they are able to provide challenged athletes with grants. I was one of these athletes to receive a grant for a running prosthetic last April from CAF and Ossur. And as most of you know, I knew my life was going to change forever that day I received the grant.

But before I received the grant, I participated in my first CAF event. It was October 2010 and I participated in Tour de Cove- a 4 1/2 hour spin-a-thon. On that day as I sat staring at the stage of CAF athletes and heard their stories about all they had accomplished, I had a wake up call. I could do that too! I wanted to be part of this community too! And so it began.

Last Sunday, nearly a year to the date since my first CAF event, I had some time to reflect during my 10 mile run for my relay team for the San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC). I find that running really helps me reflect but 10 miles?! That is a lot of reflection to take in. As I was running I was having a great time cheering on those finishing up the bike and run leg of the triathlon and I began to think about how much CAF has done for me in the past year. Not only providing me with the running prosthetic that has enabled me to race as a paratriathlete but also in improving my mentality. Being a part of CAF and meeting other Challenged Athletes and hearing how much they have done has taught me that there is no CAN’T but only things we CAN do. I believe in myself so much more than I ever did in the past.

SDTC is such a fantastic event and if you have a chance to come out next year, YOU SHOULD! It is a great time to see the camaraderie associated with the triathlon community and the support everyone shows each other. On top of this, I was completely in awe of the many many people who were there to support and have raised money all year (and year after year) for all of the Challenged Athletes so that we are able to continue to reach for the stars. I wanted to say Thank you to everyone!

On Saturday, despite feeling a bit under the weather, I was able to attend my first running clinic put on by Ossur. We received great training advice and recommendations for different drills from some great coaches and prosthetists. I was also able to see some of the amazing female Challenged Athletes I look up to and aspire to be like and meet Chrissie Wellington (4 time IM World Champion) who came out to support CAF all weekend! It was so great having her there!

A lot has happened in the past year- I ran my first 5k, my first triathlon, received a fantastic grant for a running prosthetic, raced at Nationals, raced at Worlds (in Beijing! Still unreal…) and connected with a fantastic and supportive community. And I would not be here without CAF. Or  all of you supporting me a long the way!

What’s next? Oh. Only my first half-marathon this weekend!

If you live in Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego (or anywhere if you are willing to make the trek), TriFit Club and Studios will be hosting a spin-a-thon to benefit CAF. This will be a great event and I really hope you come out and join us on December 3. For my information about this, please click here.

Curious about Paratriathlon?

For the past few months, I have been blogging and detailing my life as a paratriathlete. But last night I came to the realization that perhaps you, the reader, don’t know the specifics of paratriathlon. So class, let’s get ready for a little lesson! I’m new to this too so I am constantly learning new things about paratriathlon!

There are currently 6 paratriathlon categories.

TRI 1- Physically challenged athletes who use a hand cycle on the bike course and a racing chair on the run.

TRI 2- Severe leg impairment Above knee amputees

TRI 3- Les Autre. This category includes athletes with MS, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy and so on.

TRI 4- Arm impairment amputees or paralysis of the arm (s).

TRI 5- Slight leg impairment below knee amputees

TRI 6- Visual impairment. Athletes race with a handler.

We do not race against those in other categories. For example, I am a TRI 5 and only race against other females in TRI 5. I would not race against a TRI 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6.

Paratriathlon was officially accepted into the Paralympic Games in December 2010 following a campaign called, Back the Bid. Check out the awesome video by clicking the link! It will make its debut in Rio in 2016!

So now you know a little bit more about paratriathlon.

Tuesday night, I was fortunate enough to be included in a CAF fundraiser at the new Athleta store at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. The store was beautiful and the Athleta team members were so wonderful! Tina Pauley put together another great event! If you haven’t checked out their work-out clothing, you should!

Some of the amazing people who came out to support CAF with Jami Goldman and I at the Athleta Store

This weekend is the San Diego Triathlon Challenge, Challenged Athletes Foundation’s biggest weekend of the year. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to it!! If you are in the San Diego area, come check it out and be inspired!!! Monday’s post will detail the big event 🙂

Happy Thursday!

Everybody should have a chance to tell their story.

This past weekend was busy to say the least.

On Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early (I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sleep in again) to drive to the South Bay to speak at a Swim-a-thon at the Spectrum Club. This swim-a-thon was put on to raise funds for the Challnged Athletes Foundation so of course I was there! For how early it was, every swimmer there had a smile on their faces and were ready to hop into the pool. Beth Sanden, another CAF athlete and amazing athlete, and I were there to tell everyone about CAF and share our personal stories. After we told our stories, the swimmers were off to swim 50 laps for us! I volunteered to tally how many laps one lane had done and enjoyed getting to know the swimmers. 50 laps in a pool is tedious so I am so thankful to each and every swimmer for taking time on a Saturday morning to do this! When the second round of swimmers arrived, I decided I would get in the pool and swim a little with them. It was great! One swimmer mentioned to me that she really enjoyed seeing what her fundraising was going towards. Isn’t that true? It is encouraging to see how the money a person has fundraised is helping someone who needs it!

Later that day, I headed to the Hollywood Bowl! I was given a ticket to attend the Clinton Foundation’s “A decade of a difference” concert. While it was a star-studded event, the Foundation still managed to remind the audience why we were attending: 10 years of the Clinton Foundation treating HIV and AIDS in Africa, fighting childhood obesity, promoting economic opportunity in urban areas among other things.

It was a fantastic event but I was struck by something the former President said at the end. Don’t stop reading, I swear I’m not even getting close to anything political! He said, “Everybody should have a chance to tell their story.” This comment left me thinking about all of you reading, this blog and my morning at the swim-a-thon. I have been fortunate enough to be able to tell my story to all of you via the blog or events you have been at. So thank you for giving me a chance to share my story with you!

It was not always something I wanted to share but I have found that speaking about having cancer and becoming a challenged athlete has empowered me more than I ever thought!

Part of me thinks that when I run I am also telling my story. For example, this morning I decided I was in the mood for a morning run. Since my training is much more relaxed for the off-season, I am able to make this last minute decision to do a 5-miler before work (I live 10 blocks from the beach, I want to see the ocean before sitting in traffic)! I hit a light and was jogging in place when another run popped up next to me and said, “Way to go!” Now I feel like that runner will take a part of me with her through her day. She may not know everything up me,  but she knows some small part of my story.

I’ll get another chance to tell my story tomorrow at the Athleta store at Fashion Island from 6-9pm. If you live in Orange County come check it out! 10% of the day’s purchases will go toward CAF! Woo!

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