Tri-ing to make it to the finish line!

I'm back, people! Back to working out, back to being happy Amy, back to enjoying life to the fullest again until I get knocked down again on Dec. 16 (AKA Round 5). And boy oh boy am I psyched to only have 2 more treatments!! For some reason, 3 treatments seemed like soooo many, but 2 seems pretty do-able. So I couldn't be happier to have one more down, and only 2 to go! We're making progress! Sorry this post is delayed - I have actually been "back" for more than a week now, but since I've got to cram all my holiday card sending, gift shopping, and holiday celebrating (yes, cancer girls can still celebrate - in fact, it's a MUST!) into the 2 week chunks between chemo sessions, blogging has had to wait a while.

So - maybe it's because I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, maybe it's because I've been talking to friends who are planning their 2010 tri seasons, maybe it's because I watched "The Biggest Loser - Where are they now" episode last week and was incredibly inspired by Season 1's Matt, who recently completed Ironman Kona, maybe it's because a friend told me about Nike's "Livestrong contest" where you submit your Livestrong story for a chance to watch a Livestrong triathlete compete, maybe it's because I couldn't race last year being pregnant with Ty, but whatever it is, I've got the tri bug bad!! I've been sorting out in my mind which tris to do this summer, from the Highlands Ranch Sprint tri (my first tri ever three seasons ago, and a fave of mine) to Loveland Lake to Lake or Boulder Peak Olympic distance, to even toying with the idea of doing a half Ironman next year!! The Rev3 series looks awesome, my good friend Sonja is doing Cedar Point, and so is Biggest Loser winner Tara Costa and Triathlon Pro/Livestrong team member Laurel Wassner, the first cancer survivor (Hodgkin's) ever to earn a USA Triathlon elite license. And it's in September, so I'd have plenty of time to train. It's a big dream, but you all know dreaming big is the only way to go! I'll be saving my Ironman dreams for a few years, but for now, Half Iron doesn't seem too insane, right? Of course, this is coming from a girl who can currently only run a few miles at a time - but one nevertheless that is still lifting, spinning, kickboxing, running, swimming, even doing P90X throughout chemo. So there might be hope... If not Rev3 this year, maybe Harvest Moon closer to home?

I am inspired by other female triathletes who have also battled cancer while pursuing their triathlon dreams. Nancy Reinisch, a Colorado triathlete, whose diagnosis and treatment were very similar to mine, who trained and competed throughout her "journey" in order to maintain her fitness and sanity (sound familiar?!), then wrote a book documenting her experiences. Karen Newman, a 47-year old elite triathlete, coach and mom of three, who raced - and placed in her age group! - during chemo, and allowed The Today Show to document her battle with breast cancer: Her message to those fighting cancer is "never lose hope, don't give up your dreams." And finally, Laurel Wassner, a triathlete for team Livestrong, who battled through cancer to become a pro triathlete and, in her words, "a better person, a better runner, someone who has gotten through 6 rounds of chemo, so can get through anything." I salute you all, ladies, you give me the confidence to know I can push on to the finish line, both in my journey with cancer and in triathlon. Your strength, courage and determination are an inspiration.

There's something about triathlon that has helped me, and these incredible women, push through this tough time, knowing that our dreams are waiting on the other side. I couldn't be more excited to push myself to new limits next year as a cancer survivor and give back to the sport that has pulled me through this crazy time. From racing alongside a good friend as she competes in her first even triathlon to shopping for a new road bike as a reward for making it through this epic journey to going distances I've never gone before, it will be a crazy adventure - and I can't wait!


A.J. said...

Glad you have the tri-bug again. I think a commitment to fitness and pushing your own limits will be one of the many things that helps you bounce back from the big C. It's also nice to have something to which you can look forward. :)

Loved your Christmas card, by the way. Thanks!

~Amy Atwell

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