Monday, 21 January 2013

Climbing Mountains from Sea Level - the other side of the Mountain

Climbing Mountains from Sea Level  - A Different Mountain

Well, I have Altitude Training Systems helping me get my bike and I over the next big mountain.
But, there is more to it!

Since crossing the finish line of Ride to Conquer Cancer in 2012, I have been through so many emotions.
2012 was my Everest!
2012 – I did something that I thought was not possible.

Physically – cycling 200kms over 2 days. In 2011 I would have told you NO WAY!
Mentally – raising $2500 for a charity. I can’t even ask people for the time – let alone money!

But I did it. Not through asking for money, but for telling my story and for sharing my Reason to Ride.
It seemed that when I crossed that line, I had achieved everything. There was nothing else in life that was going to trump that moment. But in that moment, I declared that 2013 was going to be bigger and better – because I never wanted that feeling to end.

But as the gloss wore off and the supporters all went home, I am left with memories. Images of that moment when I crossed the line arm in arm with my mates, I am left with one questions  – Do I want to it to be bigger and better than this?

That moment, almost 3 months ago where I broke through a huge emotional barrier that I had built. That moment of achievement and doing something I never thought possible by me. Still now, 3 months later, I cry thinking back to that moment. I am proud of myself and I am proud of the person my husband, kids, family and friends saw me become.

Does it need to be bigger and better?

Yes – because since that date, so many people have died from Cancer. People I know. People I know who are newly diagnosed. More angels and fighters.

No – because so many more have been motivated by what I did … can’t they take over?

For the last 3 months, I have enjoyed the non-stress of life without fundraising. As many know, I started this in January 2011, so it has been a hard 2 years out of my comfort zone.

I got to find a new Reason to Ride – doing it for me! Doing it for fun! Doing it because I love it! I now no longer only ride to raise money and awareness for Cancer research. I ride because I love it. It has become part of my life and I hope when I get old and in a wheel chair that it at least has pedals!

So where does the motivation come from to go on and do RTCC? Emotionally, I no longer carry around the raw baggage and feeling the need to Fight Back. Mentally, I carry more doubt about being able to hit the target again. There are other ways of delivering my message without having to also carry the burden of raising a set target to just qualify. I have enough worry finding money to cover our family expenses and savings , do I really need the worry of this figure as well?

I remember the weeks after RTCC 2012. I had put my life and my family’s life on hold so I could fulfill my dream. It is the first time in my life I have ever done this. So to say thanks, I didn’t ride and we did things together as a family. It was in this time I realized just how much I had missed. So here I am, ready to put all that on the line again. But bigger and better. Am I?
This is the question I have asked myself daily for the last month. Can I do it again? The answer is Yes, if I want to. Will I do it again? The answer is maybe.

So what is my plan:

On October 12 - 13 this year, I might be riding in the Sydney Ride to Conquer Cancer. $2500 to raise for LifeHouse at RPA.

On October 26 - 27 this year, I might be riding in the Melbourne Ride to Conquer Cancer. $2500 to raise for Peter Mac

And in the 12 days between events, Greg Leitch and I have decided that we will ride home from Sydney.

This is 1600kms in 16 days. 

Initially we put a $250,000 bounty on this crazy behavior, but for me, to raise $5000 individually is enough personally for me. As a family, we have to add $2500 for Mello to qualify for Melbourne as this is on his “To Achieve” list this year. There is also the massive cost of getting to Sydney, organising support for our ride, accommodation, spares, nutrition, gear etc for the 16 days. RTCC Sydney and Melbourne are both supported rides. The bit in the middle is not. We are seeking donations and sponsorship for support, but ultimately, if we don’t get that we will be on our own and will need big wallets – just incase! Add to this I will be away from my family for 17 days … that to me is massive. Considering I currently measure my absence in hours … to think 17 days … it’s hard!

Hanging in the Background is also a massive “I want to do this” that I need to decide on.
Physically : The Netti Challenge Series that supports the Cancer Council of Victoria. 4 rides which include Marysville Lake Mountain Challenge, Baw Baw Challenge, Whittlesea Challenge and the Mount Macedon Challenge. 4 events that my family could all attend and cheer me on. 4 supported events.  And 4 events that support an organisation that could lead me to promoting and educating everyone on these lifestyle Cancers. I might not be able to Conquer Cancer, but I could help someone avoid it!
And for fun – there is the Dirty Gran Fondo where I would mount my MTB and have some fun … because that is what life is all about.
And in my spare time not consumed by Fundraising Plans I would volunteer at Peter Mac. This is something I also got a great deal of satisfaction from over December. Co-ordinating a present drive for patients to brighten their Christmas was very special. And this has created a need to want to help doing this more. To be on Ground Zero helping families out where they need it. I have registered as a volunteer and I’ll see what comes of it.
So, there it is. My mountain. My nemisis! I have tried to dig deep and get into the headspace that I was in last year, but when I said that RTCC12 changed me forever – I meant it. I am no longer the person pushing through mountains of pain – mental or physical.
Where to from here – I honestly don’t know! All I know is that making a difference is what I am here for. I think I am just needing a different way. 

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