by Heidi Adams
Team LIVESTRONG offers many great options for people to get involved through marathons and triathlons, but we know that not everyone is an Ironman. The LIVESTRONG Challenge series offers 5K and 10K walks and short distance rides along with the more challenging century option. These events are fantastic for families. Listen to Heidi Adams, Executive Director of Critical Mass, talk about why she rode in the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Austin and why you should too.
Last year, I rode 18 miles in the 2012 LIVESTRONG Challenge on Team Mikey, fearlessly captained by LIVESTRONG board member Mike Sherwin. Let me state for the record that I am in no way, shape or form a cyclist. I am an out-of-shape mother of two small children who does well to get in a shower some days, much less exercise. But last year, I wanted to ride. I wanted to be in the middle of the pack and read the bibs of the survivors and those riding in honor of friends and loved ones. I wanted to be rejuvenated and re-energized by the sense of community that comes from thousands of amazing people converging on one event to take a stand, together, against this disease that has affected so many of us in devastating ways. Given that I had not actually trained AT ALL and was riding a bike from circa 1998, it was not an easy ride! But when I looked at my fellow team members—Sharon, a rectal cancer survivor; Josh, who had lost his wife; and Mikey, who is one of the bravest champions of the cause I know– I remembered that there were many things that were much, much harder. And that I was there to celebrate alongside them with every ounce of my being that I was alive, that we were together, and that we had the opportunity to ride the roads of Austin, Texas to help others who couldn’t.
Many ask why I support LIVESTRONG. It’s simple. To me, LIVESTRONG means that every day my life can have meaning through both big actions and small. I refer countless people to the Navigation Services team. It gives me great comfort to know that there are kind, knowledgeable people whom I trust to help my friends and family members learn what questions to ask, how to access the right resources, and otherwise find their way through what is an incredibly complex and challenging experience at a time when it is the hardest to summon the energy that it requires.
Riding a bike was hard for this mom, but cancer was infinitely harder. I took part in the Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge to show my support for all those in the fight of their lives. And to all those just diagnosed – Call LIVESTRONG Navigation Services. They can help you figure out the health care system and conquer the hills of daily life that come along with this disease.