It’s a big decision. During the last two years I’ve trained exceptionally hard by honing in on my nutrition and exercise. All with the ultimate goal of pushing myself to my limits and getting up on stage for fitness competitions in British Columbia. From 2017 to 2018 I competed in three events placing 6th, 1st and somewhere in the double digits at the Vancouver Pro Show. I had so much fun participating in these events. The day is always a whirlwind, but what I love most is the preparation.
I couldn’t have pushed myself without the guidance of my Coach Ondrej of My Trainer 365 at the time. I’m forever grateful for the knowledge and habits that he instilled in me. I still train at the gym generally 5 to 6 days a week. I monitor my nutritional intake, but naturally without competition my dietary habits are certainly more relaxed. I feel very happy that coming out of three competitions I have recovered both mentally and physically with ease. The reverse diet was so important. I’m also aware that especially as a female, lowering your body fat to competition levels for most genetic make ups is not attainable all of the time. It’s about generating a balance for your life with your nutrition and fitness at the forefront. My body is still where I live so all superficial diatribes aside…I like to take care of my “house”.
So if I had so much fun competing…why on earth would I decide not to compete this year? Well never say never, but I have no competition plans as I’m taking on a new challenge.
One of the main reasons I joined the CTV team last year was to provide myself a sense of community that I didn’t have in Vancouver as a solo video journalist. I’ve made it my mission to participate as much as possible with my new crew and I’m happy there have been lots of opportunities to do so. That said, you can’t join this team and not hear people talk about “the ride”.
Team CTV is going to be a part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer for the 11th consecutive year. When I hear my colleagues talk about the ride many of them express sentiments of how emotionally moving the weekend is and the level of camaraderie that is felt. This years ride will be 200 kilometres spread over two days August 24th and 25th.
Fun fact: I don’t really ride a bike nor have I ever ridden one on the road with cars. This will be an entirely new experience for me. Sure I’ve had a beach cruiser I dust off a few times a season—this journey is going to be exceptionally different. This is why I have decided not to compete. I want to focus on my ride training with my initial step of committing to 3 spin classes a week along with my regular strength training regime. I’m looking forward to the new physical and mental challenges that are to come.
Naturally the cause is the most important part of this journey. Every single one of the riders has a personal cancer story that has impacted them. Sadly many of you reading this also have these stories to share. For me the most upsetting part of this disease has been in recent years when it comes to the devastation cancer has caused for women my age. I lost my Grandmother to breast cancer in my teens, but I have to say it is a completely different experience when I see cancer going after women I know in their late twenties to mid thirties. Now don’t get me wrong one instance is not worse than the other. It’s just when it is someone so relatable to your own age it makes the entire disease have a whole new sense of reality to me.
In my mid twenties one of my very best friends was misdiagnosed with a gluten allergy for years. It turns out it was Ovarian Cancer. She fought hard and had to endure a very invasive surgical procedure. I’m so happy to say she quite recently celebrated 5 years cancer free. She is my absolute warrior having handled the whole ordeal with grace and courage.
This year I had a shock when I heard news of an old college friend. She is a 31 year old mother of two who is fighting against stage IV breast cancer. Although we have not been close in recent years it is still someone I shared a classroom with and sat next to at Niagara College. She is a kind and beautiful soul who clearly demonstrates this disease does not discriminate. She has been candid in sharing her journey and it is heartbreaking to see it unfold for herself and her family. She shared a sobering reminder for women to check their breasts regularly and stay in tune with their body. Upon her advice I literally made my check up appointment I had put off for years that very day.
Most recently a good friend from Orlando shared very upsetting news about her sister that is in her thirties. After being in terrible pain with unexplained symptoms for months she has now learned that she has cancer. She very much wants children of her own and is currently raising funds to freeze her eggs before she starts her cancer treatment.
We all have stories of people we know that have battled, are battling or have lost the battle. Participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer is a small stride to make a difference when it comes to new discoveries and improved patient outcomes.
Spoke to Spoke and Pedal to Pedal. I’ll be sharing the training journey here on the blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this. My fundraising goal is $2500 and I would love if you could take a quick moment of your time to make a donation to my ride.
For all those with a story — We have the power to create a happy ending. You can donate below and I thank you so much in advance.