Biking, Planning and More Biking!

Okay-I’ll just come right out with it:  It’s been far too long since I’ve written-but it’s been for very good reason!  We were in the midst of an awesome walk and golf season!  From The National Reserve in North Carolina, to the National Mall in DC, we were out and about on the town.  We were even able to see the President drive by our walk in DC!  We hope you were able to meet the Mid Atlantic Team at one of the walks this spring and hope to see you again very soon!  (Check out all of our event photos here)

We were also planning new things for a new year and meeting people all across the region to find out just what arthritis and The Arthritis Foundation means to them.  And we heard the same thing time and time again.  It’s about you!  What we can do to help you!  Encourage you!  Support you!  Advocate for you!  Just be there for you!  And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.  We’re getting back to basics around here.  Prevention.  Control.  Cure.  It’s our mission and it’s what you want!  They may be three simple words, but they hold a TON of powerful information and it’s our goal to share that information with you and get MOVING into a movement of Prevention, Control and Cure.

Now you might be wondering what all of this biking is about.  Myself and fellow co-worker, Calaneet Balas, are biking from San Francisco to Santa Monica (525 miles!) in September in an effort to bring about arthritis awareness and to raise money for arthritis!  It’s a bike ride put together by the Arthritis Foundation, and we’re excited to be taking part in it-BUT there is one little hurdle-getting in shape for the ride.

They always say that the first step is the hardest, but after putting in my first week of training-I have decided it was the second step!  :)  I was able to get 20 miles of biking and 2 miles of rowing in at the gym.  It felt great!  Riding along…doing sprints every six miles-but at about 3pm that afternoon, I had a crash in energy and I felt like I was 90 years-old.  I’m 25 people!  It’s tough getting into shape!  So Sunday morning, I got up and went to the gym with the intention of getting 20 more miles in-big mistake!  I got off the bike at mile 10…  And all I could think was, “How am I going to ride 525 miles, if I can’t even do 40 in one weekend?”

The answer is simple-slow down!  I am by nature an athletic person and just a tiny bit competitive, so it’s no surprise that I tried to over do it the first week of training. But after seeing how difficult it was to take those first few steps, and having my body give me a reality check, I realized I need to stick to the workout plan I was given by a certified trainer and look to others for support!

And from that I was inspired to share my journey to California with all of you, in the hopes that you share your journeys with me.  We encourage people everyday to take those first few steps, and they can be hard ones to take if you have been out of movement for a while.  So join me on my personal journey in movement and share your story with us!  We’d love to hear.  Support and encouragement can be your best friend when trying to put a little wellness into your life.  So let’s do it.  Will you join me?  

Prevention: I leave you with a story about the power of advocating for your health and those of the ones you love….  I was visiting my parents in Pittsburgh last weekend and wastalking to my Dad.  Now my dad has diabetes controlled by medicine, but always thinks he can beat the system and not test his sugar or change his habits to help control his disease.  And me, being the lovely, caring daughter that I am, nag him constantly, while educating at the same time.  The same way I advocate here.  Take control of your disease-change small things in your diet, and eventually they’ll turn into big changes.  Move just a little bit, and eventually you’ll move a lot….etc.  Needless to say, my counting his cookie and cake intake, didn’t help very much.  But this weekend, he shared that another family member also now shares his diabetes, and all of sudden, my dad sounded like me…why can’t he just change his diet? why doesn’t he understand that he can control it.  My very off-topic point, is that sometimes, it takes seeing other people go through what you’re going through, to realize the simple steps you could be taking that could impact your disease in a positive way.

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