Picture yourself training for a triathlon. You’re coming off an awesome snowboarding filled winter, getting a lot of confidence in your abilities. Swimming is going as well as swimming can go for you (being a bad swimmer, and all), the running is so so, but the biking…the biking is great. Every other day, or so, you get to hit the road, put some miles on the tires, and be free and clear for an hour or two.
Then, something changes. Suddenly you start to struggle. First in the pool, but you shake that off, because you’re not a good swimmer. Then the running becomes increasingly difficult. Again, you shake it off. You’ve always had issues with your knees. Finally, the bike.
You go for a ride with a friend who you normally keep up with, and can barely keep him in sight. What should be a nice and easy 14 mile ride, ends with you pretty much shot. The triathlon is around the corner. You start to get worried.
This is where I was in the month of May, 2012.
Thanks to an awesome sister, I was able to get into the doctor’s office, and they quickly found out what was wrong. Unfortunately, the problem wasn’t a virus or a flu, or something easy like that. It was leukemia. I was diagnosed the day before my first triathlon of the year, and wasn’t able to complete any of the endurance related goals I had set for the summer.
I’ve written an awful lot about my struggles with leukemia on my blog, effleukemia.com. If you want to read about being a 27 year old guy dealing with cancer, that’s the place to go.
However, I’m here to talk about a love I discovered while training for my triathlon. A love I have (luckily) been able to continue doing despite chemo and talks of radiation and transplants. That love is a love for riding. In the coming weeks, every Wednesday, I’ll talk about why I continue to ride, despite it not always being the, shall we say, safest, of options for myself. I’ll talk about training, motivation, picking the right bike, finding trails, and all sorts of other riding related topics.
But most of all, I’ll talk about doing what you love, no matter what obstacles might get thrown in your way. To give you a taste, the next article I write will be able dealing with a crash I had while biking on a path near my home, just about a week after being released from the hospital.
I hope that you’ll enjoy reading my stories, and if anyone wants to ask a cancer patient about anything, I’m your guy. I look forward to our adventures in the coming weeks.