Monday, July 26, 2010

There IS an I in TEAM by John Dapper

Since playing grouped sports as a kid, I have been told that “There is no I in Team”. The notion was that each member had a role to play and the whole was bigger than an individual. This conjures up the image of the poster that says, “TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More”. I still believe that to be true but I would like to promote a different spin. I believe that there is an I in Team and that “I” stands for Inspiration. This is particularly true for Team In Training.

I am still proud and Inspired fifteen years later by how my father dealt with his diagnosis of CML and with the manner and grace he lived out his shortened final days. His inspiration is what eventually got me into the Team In Training program. I am just as inspired with how my mother, a cancer survivor herself, managed through losing her husband and carrying on alone these last fifteen years.

We are greatly Inspired by our current honored heroes and each of the honored heroes from previous seasons. They have opened up their lives and struggles to us as they manage through what must be a very, very scary thing. Their courage is amazing.

I find Inspiration in my fellow lane one swimmers. You will not find a group with more heart. By the way when my mother asked me how my swim training was going, I proudly told her that I was in lane one. She thought that was great. I chose not to correct her thought that the speedsters were in the other end of the pool. If you see my mother, let’s keep that our secret!

Great Inspiration is found by all of our fellow teammates who initially had the courage to commit to raise money while preparing for an endurance sport and then the additional courage to recommit through the event. The dollar tally announced at the Inspiration Dinner that represents the aggregate of all of the hard work from their silent auctions, garage sales, bake sales, car washes, letter writing campaigns, et cetera being still provides goose bumps. Extra inspiration comes from those Alumni that do this season after season after season.

We receive Inspiration by our TNT coaches, mentors and LLS staff, who give so much of themselves, well beyond what is asked but because they want to, so that we may be successful in our journey.

Don’t forget the Inspiration by the efforts of the researchers that our raised dollars fund and the progress that is being made every day. We are inspired that some day cancer will be a disease of the past and that we will have a grand last event celebration where we will claim victory.

I am proud and Inspired to be your teammate, John

John Dapper is currently training for The Nation's Triathlon 2010 team and has been involved with Team In Training in a number of roles including participant, mentor and now coach. John brings extensive experience from having participated with various chapters of Team In Training and has a strong passion for the cause.

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