Here I am strong in the beginning of the ride

Well the 2013 Cycle for Survival is over. What an extraordinary time we had. I made it through the hour, but it was really hard this year. My daughter Josslyn did two hours, Evan was able to do one, and over $13,500,000 was raised…bringing the seven-year total to $31 million! All of it for rare cancer research. Thanks again to all of you who supported this event, whether with silent prayers, encouragement or donations.

Evan gives me a good luck kiss at the start of the ride, while Joss looks on

Evan gives me a good luck kiss at the start of the ride, while Joss looks on

Although I am in pretty good shape from tennis and squash, and had stationary-cycled at home for two weeks before the big day, I only did gentle spinning while watching TV and would then stand up out of the saddle for 60 seconds, 2-3 times each session. On the day of my New York ride, the female spinning instructor was like a marine drill sergeant who “loves hills.” Unlike the previous instructor who led seated, easy rides and occasionally had the cyclists stand up for “hills,” my fearless leader had us constantly standing up for FIVE-minute pretend hills, and then seated for only a minute. Then back up again, again and again. I was wiped out.

After 30 minutes, she decided to lead sprints–six of them for 2 minutes each, I think, with a slight break in between. I was pretty numb by then, so I could barely hear or notice anything. Of course I didn’t have to listen to her directions, and some family members told me to just ignore her, sit down and peddle comfortably. But the seat in the gym was hard and painful, and some of the members of my team would come over and make fun of me for pedaling so slowly or sitting down. To my right was a friend of Evan’s who is a very experienced mountain biker. He was churning furiously the whole time, to sort of challenge himself with a heavy workout. Yikes! I was tired just watching him whirring his legs like a robot, non-stop the whole hour. And at the same time, it was all completely exhilarating.

Anyway, it is called the Cycle for Survival, and I did. Proud once again, because I only use these cycling muscles two weeks a year. Support from friends and family helped push me to stay with it, not be wussy and slow, and as Josslyn said, “fight fight fight.” I broke through lots of barriers thanks to others’ caring, contributions and messages. Hopefully many cancer patients will survive much more than an hour in the gym as the result of everyone’s efforts.

Here is an overview of the gym I was at with hundreds of spinners and enthusiasm and sweat!