Monday, October 19, 2009

10.19.09: Enjoying Exercise

As I was making my way up Oak Ridge Road, a man doing yard work said to me, "It's a long hill, isn't it?"

"The longer, the better," I said, after walking a few blocks of up. "I am training to go up Kilimanjaro in a few months.

He pointed to another hill just around the corner. "That one over there is terrible."

I looked down what felt like a ski jump and said, "It looks like a good workout."

As I walked away it occurred to me that my perspective has changed dramatically over the last several months. I am not just enduring exercise, I am enjoying it.

Instead of just slogging through a workout, I enjoy the crunch of leaves under my shoe while out on a walk. I actually want the treadmill to go a little faster, because I can go a little faster. Tomorrow I will head out on a hike -- and I can't wait to get out there in the woods.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

10.10.09: Nothing But Stairs

Now that I have the Tour De Pink under my belt, it's time to focus on my final Save the World Diet Challenge: A Kilimanjaro climb to benefit Global Alliance for Africa's AIDS orphans programs.

I have done it before, so I know that the next three months are going to be hard and heavy with trainings. Everything I do from this moment will affect my trek up the mountain. So if it's a choice of an elevator or stairs, I better choose the stairs. My diet is getting more streamlined because every extra pound on my body is a pound I have to carry to 19,343 feet. I've even started to ween myself from coffee.

But it's all worth it. I am doing this for kids in Africa left behind by the AIDS crisis. Who am I to back down when they need fresh water, an education, a chance.

So the coming months will be hard -- juggling my schedule with fundraisers and training, and eventually my trek up the mountain -- but it is so worth it.

Come hike with me:

Fundraising Halloween Hike, 10 a.m. 10/31 Jockey Hollow, (Harding, NJ)

Support my climb:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

10.04.09: Small Favors on a Big Ride

I parked my bicycle next to another one this morning on the train. I wasn't sure if it would stay up on the ride from Metro Park to Trenton, but it was the only way I could figure how to get down to the Tour De Pink, a charity ride for young breast cancer survivors.

Then a guy said, do you have a bungee cord for that? I turned around to see the owner of the other bike, as he pulled a spare cord from his small bag containing many bike things.

I said no, and explained that I was rather new to this bicycle thing, and was feeling ill-prepared and ill-equiped. In fact, until I was on the train that morning I wasn't quite sure I was going. But I told the guy, who later introduced himself as Steve, that I was heading to a charity ride for young breast cancer survivors and that I had to go.

He looked down and said, "My mother had breast cancer." His voice trailed off at the end.

He fastened my bike to his, and told me to keep the cord as he exited in New Brunswick.

These small random acts of kindness kept me going during what was a great day for cycling. Whether it was people on the SAG bus filling up a water bottle for me, or a fellow rider pushing me up a hill. Throughout the day women -- especially those from the Giant For Women team -- gave me tips to keep going en route from Trenton to Bridgewater.

The Tour De Pink was a challenge, but a terrific experience. My heartfelt thanks to all those who helped me along the way for such a great cause.