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Monday, May 23, 2016

Swimming, Biking, & Running for Cures

Here is an Inspirational Story As told by Sally Roberts I grew up roller skating, playing softball and always having my Mom there as support. She worked the Snack Shack at the Bobbysocks Field and took me to skating lessons. However, despite always putting on her “feel good face” she was always sick - very sick. The surgeries took her clear across the United States to the Mayo Clinic, as they were the only hospital with doctors able to make an attempt at treating my Mom's Crohn's disease. I remember visit-after-visit to the hospital for months on end when my Mom battled Crohn's and infections due to her compromised immune system. Visiting my Mom and taking rides at the foot of her hospital bed was nothing abnormal for me as a kid. I ran around the house wearing hospital gowns as “jammies” and felt cool because I had a souvenir from my Mom's hospital stay. Yet, as I grew older, I knew this was not “normal.” No child, or no child's Mother/Father, should ever have to be in the hospital for months on end. They should never have to undergo 40+ surgeries. I should have never had to reaffirm my grandmother that my Mom (her daughter) was not going to die in the ICU. My Mom is the strongest woman I know. She has combated Crohn's Disease ever since I remember. At the age of 37, I found it was my time to help in the fight when she asked me to race a half marathon in her honor in 2009. This began my journey with Team Challenge at the Napa-to-Sonoma half marathon. At a dinner table post race, I was persuaded and convinced by our team manager (Kat) that I could do a triathlon. I did not think it was possible. I was not a swimmer. I knew not how to drown, but I had zero knowledge on technique, nor did I own a bike. I also thought to myself, “Why would I do two taxing things on my body before I would run?” I had a challenging time just running. However, after just finishing the Napa race with my Team Challenge family, I signed up. I hit the registration button thinking, “What did I just do?” Well, I signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon (TriRock San Diego 2013) – that's what I did. I was sold on signing up when I was told about the excellent coaches (Skip & Linda Slade) who could teach me how to swim. A fellow TC teammate offered their bike and I had my running shoes. I was all set. What I wasn't set for was the way Team Challenge Tri was going to change my life. I look back now at the self-doubt and laugh. Challenging myself is nothing in comparison to the challenges patients fighting IBD have daily. I always have to remember even the mightiest of trees had the challenge of breaking through the earth first. I am fortunate that someone else had more belief in me than I did in myself at that table in Napa. Today, in this current chapter of my life, I am honored to race in my bright orange tri-kit with “Team Challenge” adorned across my chest, and in honor of those who have lost their battle with Crohn's & Colitis, but mostly because I know each swim stroke, push on the pedals and stride of my run is getting us closer to a cure for my Mom and the many friends I have made who battle daily with IBD. I am certain a new chapter will be written soon, and I hope it is entitled, "The day I used to TRI for a cure." Click here to learn more about Team Challenge Tri, and how you can fight back for someone you love.

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