Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Cycle For Survival

On Friday night, I was nervous about participating in my first Cycle For Survival event on Saturday morning. I tried going to bed early to get a good night's rest, but my plan did not quite work the way I wished. I tossed and turned. At 1a.m. I was still awake. I eventually fell asleep and woke up short after 8a.m. I had one hour and a half to get ready. The morning session ran from eight o'clock to noon. I was scheduled to ride at 10:30a.m. I walked out my door at 9:30a.m. and headed to Equinox the Loop. I arrived with plenty of time to spare. I gave my name to the two young women sitting at the front desk. One of them said, "Oh yes, I know you're in here somewhere because I saw your name earlier and it caught my attention because I am from Israel." She gave what I needed then offered to walk me up to the second level where the Cycle would occur. It was a loud atmosphere. I could not hear. The music and person on the microphone drowned out everything else. I did my best to follow the young woman, but I kept running into equipment and people. We made our way to a young man named Paul who said he would take me around to get ready. After I removed my coat, sweater, and running pants, he walked me into a room which was filled with fruit, energy drinks, and food. I grabbed a banana and energy drink. While walking around, we ran into Nandan. This was perfect since, for him is whom I was about to ask. Paul left and nandan said he would walk me over to the bikes reserved for Njoy Racing Team. I was introduced to two lovely young women, Julie and Jenna, both of whom said they had heard so much about me from the high praise Kimberly Shah had given me over the last few months. I take this time to say thank you to Kimberly for speaking of me in glowing terms to these women. Julie and Jenna helped me get set up as both Julie and Nandan explained that I would merely need to listen to the instructor on the microphone and follow his or her instructions on whether to pedal fast or raise the resistance on the bike to climb a hill. By this point, my ears had adjusted to the surrounding so I was able to hear much better as compared to when I first arrived. As I warmed up and played with the resistance knob on the bike, Bethaney Minkner greeted me. Bethaney had been on the bike just prior to my leg and we had been in contact leading up to this event. Both of us were excited and apparently both of us struggled to sleep the night before. I was glad I was not the only one. I started to ride. I felt great. I had to climb a few hills then sprint for some time. I was truly enjoying the experience as other Njoy Racing members engaged me in conversation or simply cheered. From time-to-time various team members would ask how I was feeling or if I needed anything. Everyone was so pleasant. It made me forget my nerves and enjoy the ride. At one point I thought to myself, this is really just a very large spinning class. This is fun! I had nothing about which to be anxious. I was able to raise some funds for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center while joining a group of wonderful people on a ride. I express my deepest heart felt gratitude to those who took the time to log on and donate to my effort. Each one of you who already long since had a special place in my heart, cemented your place. Before I knew it, I was only five minutes from concluding my leg of the ride. I made sure to fully enjoy the moment. Then I heard that my half hour was complete. It was time to dismount to let the next person prepare. Nandan came over and assisted me off the bike. He helped grab my belongings and change into my winter outfit for the cold. As we chatted, Ted walked up already preparing for his time. The last time I remember seeing Ted was when he guided me for the Glow Run 5K on December 1. That was another fun time. After a few minutes with him and taking of some pictures, Nandan walked me downstairs where we continued talking as he waited for my ride to pull up.

It was so much fun meeting and seeing people at the Cycle For Survival. I loved the opportunity to be a part of Njoy Racing Team. Special thanks to Kimberly Shah for letting me be on the team this year. I hope to do more in the future. Again, thank you to those who supported my efforts. Also, thank you to Ted and Bethaney for posting some pictures which included me at the ride. It was such a joy to do my part to help sufferers of rare cancers hopefully get a fighting chance at treatment or medication which will enable their cancer to be managed or go into remission.

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