Health-wise I was now good to go. I threw away the cane, put on my sneakers, re-invigorated my runnin and began training for a second tri.
Don't exactly remember how or why but I became obsessed with doing the MS Ride to Provincetown. It took me awhile to make the commitment because I do hate trying to raise money.
During my training rides my hands started to become swollen and painful. Eventually the pain spread to me hips and feet. We were doing 45 to 75 miles in 90 degree weather. I remember having to bail on one ride because my hands and feet could just no handle the ride. I walked down Route 114 feeling bad for myself and guilty for deserting my training partner.
Ultimately because of the weather, the Ride was cancelled. The reality was I probably could not have done the Ride anyway. My condition had significantly deteriorated. I return to using a cane. I couldn't open the front door most mornings and couldn't open a jar. I struggled to get through each work day and came home just to sit on the couch. Walking up and down the stairs was slow, prodding and took a very long time. I had to will each foot to move to the next step.
In my mind the stairs in my house looked like this...
I will never forget those feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Now imagine your child is fighting the battle to beat cancer...a much tougher battle than I was fighting. Talk about a sense of helplessness and most things are out of your control.
I am doing Reid's Ride because I am physically able to when once I couldn't. More importantly I am riding to raise money for cancer research to replace helplessness with hope for a future. Hope begins with research. Research begins with finances.
What is the end of my story? I was ultimately diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I took Methotrexate, a liver toxin, for 7 years. I decided enough was enough and stopped. Since that time, I have been mostly pain free. I went back to triathlons and finally picking up heavy objects.
So on Sunday I will complete the 28 mile ride from Lynnfield to Gloucester. Please donate.