Sunday, September 26, 2010
Deke Copenhaver is the mayor of Augusta and is set to do his first Team In Training event at the 2010 Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Deke draws his inspiration for TNT from two local boys in Augusta who are both dealing with leukemia.
Brittany Banker, a TNT alumnus since running her first event in 2008, is a cancer survivor and single mom. Now also an assistant coach with the TEAM, Brittany shares her recent Ironman Louisville finish experience.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
|Coach Julian with his wife, Catherine, |
and son, Lawrence.
I have had the good fortune to wake up next to my beautiful wife most mornings for the past six years as well. More mornings than I care to recall, however, the rail of hospital bed separated us as she fought through her latest treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But on the morning of August 29th we rose together, along with our son, to be a part of the Team In Training that has meant so much to us, that has raised, nationally, over $1,000,000,000 for blood cancer research.
After overwhelming the stunned breakfast steward at our hotel, the green and purple swarm rolled south, to East Coweta Middle School. Local and regional rides generally abound with warmth and energy, and the Wilson 100 proved an excellent example from the moment we were shepherded though our arrival by the multitude of volunteers. The team coalesced on our blue minivan, a mix of multi event veterans, century virgins, supporters, and one tricycling three year old. Our venerable coach called the team to order, and following the reading of “Close the Door When You Leave”, our traditional inspirational poem, we were off. As the team turned right and headed out for mile one, my son implored his mother to push him along with us on his tricycle. His mother later informed me of his immense disappointment when he could not keep up.
Our ride followed some roads southwest of Atlanta, roads we had seen in our training. As the miles passed by we settled into the pace groups forged over the season and passed the miles singing badly and telling bawdy jokes.
When hunger or thirst arose, we soon found ourselves under the care of locals wielding water and peanut butter sandwiches. After chattering along the chip seal from Greenville to Warm Springs, team members glared at the Warm Spring Wall that had proven such a formidable training foe, enjoyed the support of the Team In Training SAG stop, and turned for home. Enduring a torrential downpour at mile 65, a flat tire soon after (the changing of which was truly a team event), an uncooperative rear derailleur, and an unplanned extra hill climb, we powered through the closing miles of the ride. As made our last turn towards the finish, our first time participants moved alongside each other at the front of the pack, and we followed these newly minted century riders across the finish.
Barbeque, beverages, hugs and pictures closed our Wilson 100. Following my group’s arrival, our teammates rolled in to rousing cheers until our final participant, struggling through injury but unbowed, turned left into Coweta Middle School. She too was feted with hugs and pictures, testament to the enduring power of fellowship and support.
Close the Door When You Leave
I never asked you to visit ... at least I don't believe I did
Maybe...I don't know
It's so confusing
At any rate, you're a rude guest
You take my energy, rob my sleep, and with a stick
You swirl and distort my dreams
All right, you are here --- for now
There are two places that are forever off limits
You may not tread on my spirit
You may not occupy my soul
I have heard of your visits to others
I know the damage you leave in your path
The wanton disregard for innocence, value, and what some would call fairness
Also, I hear that laughter confuses you; that good foods make you feel bad, and
That nothing causes you more distress than an autumn sunset, the forever blue of a summer sky,
Or the unconditional radiance of a child's smile
Listen and understand
You might pilfer my closets, empty all the drawers, and trash my house
But there are two places forever off limits
You may not tread on my spirit
You may not occupy my soul
Do not mistake my nausea, weakness, and pain as signs of your victory
They are simply small dents in the armor I wear to fight you
Instead, look deeply into my eyes
They will once again remind you that there are two places forever off limits
You must not...
Will not tread on my spirit
You must not...
Will not occupy my soul
Copyright © 2000 by Michael Hayes Samuelson
Author of "Voices from the Edge: Life Lessons from the Cancer Community"
Longstreet Press, www.TheNationalCenter.com
Julian Cowart first joined Team In Training in 2005 and has completed almost a dozen events with the Team. Now a coach for the cycling program, Julian is leading the Team at the 2010 Six Gap Century Ride.
Friday, September 10, 2010
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of being able to address the Atlanta TEAM at this season's All Sport GTS. One of the messages I hoped to convey was the all too often unrealized, sheer awesomeness of the group of people we train with every week. I've had the opportunity to be part of several TEAMs over the past two years, and I continue to be amazed by the people I have met, so, since public speaking isn't my forte', and some of you may not have been at the All Sport, I wanted to share this story with you again.
|Bruce & cancer survivor, fellow |
teammate, Mallory Chandler
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
|Mitzi with her mom and dad at the Nike Women's Marathon|
As I was in a daze being told terrible, change your life in a second, type of news.... there sat my mom.
Her eyes filled with tears, her heart breaking, her world crumbling...she had to witness the "you have cancer" diagnosis. The fact that she was a mere bystander to the words that I had Leukemia and that I could die in two weeks still haunts me! It's one of the most painful memories I have from my entire experience with cancer.
Parents should NEVER have to hear that the son/daughter they have raised, loved, and nurtured get diagnosed with a deadly disease. No matter how old they are.
When those words "you have cancer" came out of Dr. Morris's mouth I turned to my mom and I smiled. I told her that it was going to be ok. I was going to be fine and she had nothing to worry about. I became the parent. I comforted her. I was watching her watch me and all she saw was my life flashing before her eyes.
Why am I a part of Team In Training? Lance Armstrong said, it's because I have an obligation as a cancer survivor, but for me it's for the parents, siblings, family members, friends and caregivers. I hope there comes a day that they no longer have to hear someone they love is sick.
To all the members of Team In Training Fall events, what you have done this season has not only helped those who are sick but those caregivers who have been just as affected.... so, Thank You, Good Luck and GO TEAM!
Mitzi Jiles has been a part of Team In Training since 2007 and is doing her third TNT event with the 2010 Nike Women's Marathon, her first marathon. As an acute myeloid leukemia survivor for the last nine years, Mitzi is one of our Honored Heroes and motivates us all to continue the fight against cancer. Thank you Mitzi for the inspiration!