For some time I had been contemplating participating in Vineman 2012 - FULL IRONMAN.
I had pondered the thought to the point of even setting up a dinner with an old soccer pal, Nicole some months ago about her experience with Team in Training in the same event. She had completed it a couple years back. Sitting and listening to her experience was exciting and scary too. My fear wasn't so much the event itself, but the time commitment. Things in my life over the last couple years have been out of control. And it wasn't until recently, that they all seemed to be falling into place. My biggest concern was how it would impact my family. After our dinner, I sat on the idea for a couple weeks and then decided to sign up for an informational meeting, just to see what it was all about.
Then about a week and a half ago, Nicole sent me a Facebook message about a deal on TNT's (Team In Training) registration fee for Spring 2012, register on 11-11-11 for $11.00. Registration without this discount was $75.00, so this was a pretty good deal. Her comment was that even if after my TNT meeting on 11-19-11, if I choose not to participate, I'd only be out $11.00. That made sense to me, so I registered.
Saturday, I attended the meeting. I was graciously greeted by TNT members and by Anna Bechen, one of Nicole's friends. That was one thing Nicole pointed out to me, that you meet so many people through TNT and out of this experience you will come out of it with friends for life. Anna was extremely friendly and excited to see me. She made me feel at ease. She immediately walked me over to one of the IRONTEAM coaches, Jerald. He was a very friendly man with a lot of information about what to expect. Being around everyone filled me with excitement and the desire to get started. When asked if I was nervous, I think I surprised Anna when I said, "No." I'm not nervous at all. I'm so excited to meet the team and be a part of this whole experience.
As I sat at the meeting, listened to Dennis who was the Campaign Manager, I realized that this is more than just participating in an IRONMAN. It's more than just getting into shape. It's more than just something to do for myself. It's helping those who suffer with Leukemia & Lymphoma. It's giving them the opportunity to do what I do each and every day.....and that's "Live!"
The meeting hadn't even concluded and I knew, not only in my head but heart, that I was going to be a part of something spectacular, something amazing, that I was going to be on IRONTEAM!
By the end of the meeting, I had met two Coaches - Dan and Jerald, one Mentor - Lindsay and a team Capitan -Anna and they were all amazing individuals. I can't wait for the TNT kick off event on December 3rd, but even more the first day of team training on December 4th! I feel like a little kid, anxiously awaiting for a special day!
What It Means to Me ~ Personally:
When I think of cancer I often think of those I know who have been touched by it. My grandmother whom was my guardian angel died from this disease on Easter Sunday 11 years ago. I carry a lot of her in me today, my ethics and morals have been greatly shaped by her. I know that no one on this earth is perfect, but in my eyes, she was as close to perfection that you can get.
But I often think of one of my dear friend’s husband, Raymond Souza. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s in 2009. As I don't know Raymond so well, his wife Katrina and became close friends when we worked together back in 2004 at Black Angus Corporate Office in
. Los Altos
I think why Ray has made an impression on my heart so deeply is because of the true love story he and Katrina share, which states his character - A real gentleman, an amazing father and loving husband. The world needs more husbands like him and the way Katrina speaks of him clearly shows the love they share for each other. They are both amazing people and amazing parents to their 3 children.
So this is more than just joining IRONTEAM to complete a full Ironman, it's being a part in finding a cure for blood cancer so we can keep husbands and dads like Raymond around on this earth. And give others the opportunities to spend time with their Guardian Angels, like my grandma, Jessie Cardoza. That is what this means to me ♥