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Charity Bike Ride and How Far I've Come in a Year

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tomorrow at 10:30am Pacific Daylight Time, I will be putting pedal to pavement and riding 5 miles for Tour de Cure, an organization raising money for diabetes. This will be my first time riding in this event - my first time riding or walking in ANY charity event.

To some people (like veteran bikers or veteran charity event-ers), this might seem like no big deal. What am I getting so excited about? It's another event, yes, and one for a good cause, but why get so pumped up?

The reason I am so pumped up is that this time last year, I didn't stand a chance of riding 5 miles. This time last year, I was approximately 268 pounds - according to my BMI, that would be about 113 pounds over my highest recommended weight of 155. This time last year, any sort of exercise sent me into a sweaty mess. Climbing stairs (duh), walking at lunch, going to the fitness center. I was tired all the time and lacked motivation to get up and move. And to be honest, I didn't think any sort of movement could help me improve my condition, so "Why bother?"

Fast forward to today. Today I've lost 100 pounds - a whole other person! Today I am training to run and can get in 16 minutes of running in a 35 minute set (with 5 minutes of cool down). Today, I put in 22k steps - it's not a typical day, by any means, but instead of being exhausted and having to soak my sore feet and knees, I can work out and still be active.

It's more than just mere weight too. My likelihood of developing diabetes has dropped - and given that my grandparents have diabetes (and a great-grandmother as well), it was even more of a concern to me. I sleep better than I did before. My likelihood of having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. have dropped.

So this bike ride isn't just a great opportunity for me to raise money for diabetes. It's also a celebration of everything I have accomplished in the 8 months on my health journey. It's me saying, "Yes, I can and yes, I did!" It's me saying, "I love my body and my health and want to take care of it." And it's me saying, "I want to use this body and do something good with it."

The ride I signed up for is only 5 miles. Many others will be doing 26 or even 100. Maybe one day, that will be me, but for today, I celebrate just being able to participate, to celebrate my success and to celebrate my health.
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