Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Years 2011 Goal #1 complete - cycling 200km

Hi Gutsy Generation,

Its been quite a while since I last wrote a blog entry - I missed you guys.

I'm happy to follow up with you and share that I successfully completed the 200km bicycle ride for cancer. I raised over $3400.00 and did this for my sister. Courtney, my younger sister and best friend had stage 3 cancer a few years ago in her final year of highschool - she's moved me in ways I'll never forget... and why we both ended up with challenging conditions?... I do not know, but its pushed us to strive for things - big things - like cycling 200km from the CN Tower in Toronto all the way to Niagara Falls together this last June 10 weekend!!!

Here is my page that tells more about Courtney's story with a picture of her -

(Picture 1: Courtney; Picture 2: Myself and Courtney in Hamilton, ON after cycling up some tough hills along the escarpment; Picture 3: Niagara Falls - We Did it :) )

I really don't know how it happened. I've been trying to pay closer attention to my nutrition - to see what foods work and what dont... its been a struggling experience... because if you toss stress into the equation, that makes practically every food un-digestible ... and sometimes the minute stresses of just trying to watch what you eat is enough stress to tip the scales....

The day before the cycle, and the week before the cycle, I wasnt feeling too hot - I was even second guessing myself thinking - "why the hell am I doing this? Why the hell am I putting my body through this? Did I think I was healthy enough to do this?" . I had a huge pit in my stomach while packing extra clothes and getting my bike ready and my water bottle filled up with electrolytes. The morning of the Ride my brother drove us down to the CN Tower, to the Ex grounds and Courtney and I walked our bikes to join the crowd of people also participating in the Ride. I kept thinking in my head " ok... im here now... and im only going to go until I feel I can't go anymore - Im not going to push myself."

Courtney was in the opening ceremonies. She was amazing. There was another lady sharing her recovery story from colon cancer - and she was there RIDING THIS YEAR THE 200KM ALSO! Go Her!!!! Courtney, along with 3 other cancer survivors together walked a bike down through the crowd of people for all those with cancer and/or touched by cancer. I was at the beginning of the crowd and when I saw Courtney, with her helmet, and her bike gear walking the bike towards the starting line with those 3 other cancer survivors, my heart poured out and I found a powerful strength come from deep inside me. I thought about her and how strong she was during her treatment - while loosing her hair, and going to her highschool prom during chemo, and making it to Camp Ooch (Kids Cancer Camp because at the time she was 17 years old and was able to be treated at Sick Kids Hospital where they have great camps like this for kids), and making it through radiation... and then starting university right after, and becoming a Big Sister, and volunteering, and joining her university cycling club and.... being filled with love and peace everywhere she goes, shining positivity, ambition and kindness to everyone she meets and everywhere she goes. As tears poured from my eyes, I let my heart lead the way, and as I can barely believe, together, Courtney and I completed our 200km cycle for cancer and we crossed the finishing line, with the beautiful sun shining, and felt the mist from Niagara Falls, I felt immense gratitude for the health that I do have - even if its not 100% perfect. But like many others, I chose to do the best I could, and although we don't always cross the finishing line - that part doesn't matter: ITS THE JOURNEY THAT MATTERS MOST.

Ash :)

Next goal: Aug 1, 2011 - The Death Race (125km run through the mountains as part of 3 man relay) in Grande Cache, Alberta... I'm going to do my best, whether or not I cross that finishing line.

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