Friendly Reminder: The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Ok, as some of you may remember, I made a promise at the beginning of the year and now it's almost time for me to cash in on that promise. But first...
What is a promise anyway? Is is just a word? Is it better or stronger than a pinky swear? Is it something you vow to do with your hand held over your heart? What does it mean to you? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word "Promise" can be used as a noun or as a verb. "Promise: to pledge to do, bring about or provide", is one of the many definitions listed. How many promises have you made today or in the last month or over your lifetime? Hmmm... that's way too many for me to count. The bigger question... how many promises have you kept? Ouch, that's a tough question too.
I promised that if I raised over $1000 for my local Komen Race for the Cure, I would cycle (yes, pedal a bicycle) to another Komen event over 200 miles away in efforts to continue to raise awareness and funds. And... by some miracle, I did it. Gulp! So what was the next logical step... purchasing a bicycle of course. Like many, I learned how to ride a bike when I was a kid and that was about as far as it went. I own a mountain bike but it spends more time on the rack in the garage then actually out on a trail. So on one lazy Sunday afternoon in June, I went window shopping for a road bike. I test rode about 10 different bikes and I purchased the last one I rode. I was so excited to get home and ride! My first ride was barely over 8 miles and I was exhausted by the time I got home. My first thought after that ride... what the hell was I thinking? Gradually over the next few weeks, I started going longer distances... 11 miles, 17 miles, 20 miles. One Saturday, I got lost while I was out riding, when I finally made it home I had ridden 38 miles without much trouble. So the next week, I stepped it up even more, 47 miles was my maxium ride that weekend. Little by little I've gained speed and distance, my current maximum continous ride is 86 miles... that's almost 7 hours of continous riding, occasionally stopping for a bite to eat or to stretch a bit. Now comes the fun but tricky stuff, I've been planning my ride route and all of those other little details.
Why Komen? I've been an avid Komen supporter for many years. Like many, I've seen what breast cancer does to the individual, the family, the friends, the coworkers. Did you know that in most locations where Komen events are held, 75% of the funds raised stay in that area to help individuals with the resources needed to aid in treatment, education and research.
Why Team Betty? When I was approached by Team Betty asking if I'd be interested in starting a team for my area, I was hesitant. I've never participated in a team at a Komen event before. I wasn't sure that they would want to be involved in my individual fundraising goals for this year but to my surprise they didn't even flinch when I explained my plans. I've had the opportunity to participate in three other Team Betty Komen events this year and I've been so blessed to have met some truly wonderful people along the way.
In my opinion, enough is enough, breast cancer needs a cure. I'm quite certain that me riding a bicycle to this event won't cure breast cancer worldwide but... it might help spread awareness, it might inspire someone to register for a Komen event or make a donation that will someday lead to a cure. A friend mentioned to me, it's okay to think outside of the box for this type of stuff. If you can't participate in a Komen sponsored event, you can donate online. If you don't have the resources to donate, you can volunteer at a Komen event or at a cancer treatment center. There are so many opportunities and ways you can participate in fundraising and help with awareness. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
On my upcoming ride, I'll be carrying a list of names of who I'm riding for, do me a favor... let me know who you honored, remembered and celebrated this year and I'll add them to my list, I'll be happy to take them with me on my ride. I'll be cycling to Little Rock, Arkansas the third week in October, in hopes that I'll arrive (on time) for the Komen Race for the Cure, which will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2011. We already have a Team Betty setup for that location. If you'd like to make a donation or join us, just click here -------> http://bit.ly/LRTB11
Much Love- Cat ♥