Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Challenge Begins!! Bikes, Beads, Hope and Healing.

So who is Carol and what is this challenge she wants us to care about? Is she climbing Mount Everest? Setting a world cheese making record? Attempting to eat 500 hot dogs in 45 minutes? Those endeavors would surely win her 15 minutes of fame on YouTube, or perhaps a guest appearance on a talk show, or maybe even a movie starring...hmmm, who would they choose to play her? And the hot dog thing would probably earn her a stint in the ER for sure. But seriously, that isn't what this is all about.

This challenge is far more personal and much less sensational, but hopefully it will make a difference - a difference in my life, a difference in the lives of people with physical challenges and the lives of a lot of really brave kids fighting childhood cancer and other serious illnesses.

So if you are totally disappointed that I won't try to explode my brain at 29,000 feet or my stomach with an appalling number of processed meat tubes, no need to read any further. But if you are still here and wondering: WHAT THE HECK IS SHE DOING ALREADY? Please read on...


To ride my bike 100 miles in one day to support and give hope to the amazing kids in Beads of Courage. The kids enrolled in the Beads of Courage program are in a daily battle with cancer and other serious illnesses and are some of the most brave, optimistic, inspiring and admirable people I have ever met. And believe me, in half a century, you meet a LOT of people!

Through this blog, I also hope to help inspire other people who suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, MS and other similar life altering illnesses to see how exercise, under the care and advice of licensed medical practitioners, can help them feel better and improve their chances of having a better life.


Two reasons, really. The first was working with Dr. Jean Baruch at Beads of Courage and meeting the children who face the ultimate challenge in their lives. These kids changed the way I face my own life challenges - they have given me a precious perspective on how to live. Through the Team Beads of Courage program, I hope to bring them hope and healing by letting them know that there are a whole bunch of people out there in the world who are riding, running, dog sledding, skating, skiing, swimming, driving race cars and even going into outer space (yes, Team BOC has astronauts!!) and rooting for them to get well.

The second reason is having been diagnosed with a life long chronic, debilitating illness. It makes you take a long, hard look at how you are going to live the rest of your life. For me, physical fitness is so very important to maintaining a quality of life with less pain, fewer medications and the ability to perform the simplest of tasks that most take for granted. I am slowly getting my life back this year working with Terry Roach and the caring staff at Body Stabilization. Terry's unique approach to healing and strength building gave me the support I needed to get me back on my bike and ride for my life and for the lives of all those I hope to raise awareness and support for.

In the following days I'll be posting my progress on the bike as I head to my first milestone - a one day 70 mile tandem ride in the Tour de Safford on October 30th 2010. I hope you'll join me in supporting Beads of Courage and Team BOC!