Tanya Sage – WFSB John Holt – Inspirational Story!!

Hi Friends!

For those of you who read my blog, but are not on my fb yet,  here is my story in just about 8 minutes! Lol!  There is so much more to it & you can read my past blogs to get a better idea of my history!  I missed out on blogging about my athletic events this season due to an  “out of order” PC,  lack of funds to fix it & being legally blind typing in on my phone was not an option!  Lol!

I hope I attached this “youtube” video properly as I am not very tech savvy & consider myself lucky to even get my blog out there half of the time!  If I did not, please just go to youtube & type in Tanya Sage & it should pop right up!

I remember sitting on my couch after my accident with my horrendous vision & the left side of my body completely paralyzed except for a tiny bit of movement in two of my fingers.  I truly felt as though my life was over at the age of only 38.  It was so monumentally devastating that I could not even begin to wrap my damaged head around it!  I DO NOT WANT ANYONE ELSE TO HAVE TO KNOW WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE! SO I AM ASKING YOU TO “SHARE” MY STORY BY WHATEVER SOCIAL MEDIA MEANS YOU CAN,!  I would like to let as many people as possible know that YOUR LIFE IS NOT OVER!!!  

Lets make this a group effort to help others! You can consider it your” good deed for the day!”  and spread some needed positivity around this difficult world we live in!!  Thanks so much for your love, support & kindness!!!

xoxo!!

Tanya

Link | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My “Dare2Tri” Paratriathlon Training Camp Experience!!!

This one time at paratriathlon training camp…

I met the most truly amazing group of people I had ever met in my life! We came from all types of backgrounds, ethnicities, social standngs and we were all disabled in one way or another! This gathering of extraordinary athletes came to be,through the efforts of the “Dare2Tri” founders, volunteers and positive attitude minded people who were searching for others like themselves,who were willing to be put to the test of human cpability! We gathered in the flatlands of beautiful Pleasent Prarie Wisconsin to continue on our own journies for a better and more Fulfilled life. We left behind loved ones, sorrows, and negative thoughts to embark on a life-changing journey of self-awareness, physical being, and a positive state of mind-body awraemess.

We filtered into the gymnasium from near and far and began to mingle and tell our stories openly but not without timidity. Although we were all “disabled” in some fashion or another, it is an awkward feeling to ask someone “how long has it been for you?” or “When did your accident happen?” and so on. We started with “Where are you from?” and “Wow check out that guys bike…”

After we had all been checked in, we sat down and the introductions began. The three wondreful founders sapoke first and told us about how they made this dream become a reality. How in their first year they had 9 athletes in attendence, the second year 12 athletes and in this third year we were 25 athletes strong!! We heard from the coaches, trainers and volunteers, who all gave a brief intro of themselves and how they came to be involved with “Dare2Tri”. Then it was our turn, each athlete also gave their name, athletic experience level (from novice to major competitor) 25 people, 25 stories, 25 hopes and dreams! We played asilly ice-breaker game and then we were off and running and rolling!

The 25 were divided into two groups, my group “B” remained in the gym for legwork and core strengthining drills consisting of step ups, exercise ball crunches, balance exercises and footwork drills. I culdn’t wait to get outside and onto the bikes, which I had been dreaming of for years now! We continued with our drills and then it was finally time for us to switch, Yay!

We headed for the parking lot and all of the adaptive cycles were gleaming in the warm Wisconsin sunshine! We talked with trainers and selected the appropriate cycles, of which there were several. Hand bikes, upright bikes, recumbants and two tandem bikes! They were all so amazing in their adaptiveness, with special pedals, straps and seats. I was pre-slated for one of rhe tandem bikes (per my choice) and one of the trainers yelled out “Who’s got some experience on a tandem?” A young guy said “I do” and stepped up. His name was Ryan and we hit it off right from the start! Adjustments were made and he took it around the parking lot for a bit to reaquaint himself with a tandem. He said he had only been on a tandem once and we laughed and joked a bit about hopefully not crashing. It was now my turn to climb aboard and adjustments were made for me as well. I requested a pedal strap for my left foot which tends to pull up and in, which makes my heel whack into the frame on every rotation. The next thing you know, we are riding around the parking lot! Rididng a tandem cycle is truly a team effort and we learned quickly to communicate when making a turn, shifting gears, slowing down and starting up. After a few more adjustments and laps around the lot we were out on the road around the lake (2.2 miles) and it was Friggin’ Fabulous!!! My first time on a bike since my accident in 2005 and even a few more years before that! What a rush it was to be cruising along winth the sun on my face and the wind in my hair! I knew instantly that I had just become a “cycling junkie!”

We broke for a lunch of grinders (dubs, hoagies…) Salads, iced tea, water and yes, cookies and chips! Yay! It was nice to take a break and chat with each other and hear about our experiences. After lunch the groups rotated and our group hit the pool next. I was very excited for this portion, as those of you who know me, know how much I love to swim! The pool was huge!! A true Olympic sized pool! One by one we scooted over the edge and into the frigid water! We ran some drills and were split into two groups. The group I was in went to the other end of the pool and swam drills that we were given with specific instructions. I consider myself to be a pretty decent swimmer but my body does not respond well to cold water and it was not happy with me. We were all cold and this poor young girl’s teeth were chattering! We soldiered on and did our srills until our time was up and then we hit the showers and day one of training came to a close around 5:00 pm.

My roomie Brenda & I hit up some sporting goods stores to try and find me some triathlon shorts (to wear swimming & cycling) but to no avail. I was very sore from the blasted bike seat and was thinking of how much worse it would be on day two! Triathlon shorts have some padding in the crotch but not as much as a cycling short. This way you are not cycling and then running feeling like you are wearing s soggy diaper! We were on our own for dinner and hhad a great steak dinner at the “Texas Roadhouse” restaurant around the corner from the hotel, not a morcel left on either plate! It was then back to the hotel for a good nights sleep!

Day two was more drills and training like day one and again a gorgeous warm and sunny day! The only difference was today we were to swim in the lake instead of the pool. On went my short wetsuit and into the water I went and AHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! It was FREEEEEEEEEZING!!!!!!!! It literally took my breath away!!! I figured, let me get going here and that will help me warm up – NOPE – not working! Every time I came up for a breath I could only take a small one, my lungs refused to expand. My guide was righ tnext to me and I decided that I should take a few breast strokes until I could somewhat get used to it. I had also chosen to do the longer quarter mile swim so I was committed. With my usual drifting to the left a lot, I made it out and back without having a heart attack or another stroke and was happy to sit on the grass in the warm sunshine! Day two came to a close and I had purchase my “Dare2tri” Triathlon suit for more comfortable cycling experience! Whew!! There was a modest dinner banquet and then back to the hotel for a good nights rest before the mini-triathlon in the morning. There were two options for the race, the short distance or the longer distance, I of course chose the longer version!

I kept waking up and thinking of how cold that lake was and contemplating doing the shorter swim and the longer cycle and run, but I figured “what the hell, you only live once!!!! My guide Ryan was at my side for the swim, and we cycled like the wind and I did my signature “Joggle” (jog-hobble) across the finish line (as ridivulus as it looks)!! I completed a quarter mile swim, nine miles on the bike and 2.4 mile walk/joggle!!! What an Amazing weekend at Paratriathlon Training Camp!! I dared to tri, do you???

So many special “Thanks” to all of the volunteers and my sponsers (friends & family) who made this all happen!!!

Posted in Disabled to ReAbled, Inspirational, Triathlete | Leave a comment

What to do with adversity?

The best thing to do when facing adversity is to embrace it…!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

My First New Haven 5k Road Race 2012!!!!

Hi Friends!!!

I am so excited to share my experience wth you all!!  In 2011 I contacted the the road race folks about Rick breing my :seeing eye dog/guide” and was told he wqould also have to pay the registration fee, after another failed attenpt to contact this race director via email I decided to table it for the time being and move on to other events Iwanted to do.  This year with a new resolve and a few tips from my friend Mark, I sent a certified letter to the race director explaining my situation and that Rick is not there to compete for himself and that he is there for support and to be a visual guide for me.  Shortly after mailng the letter I received a phone call form a race staff member, inviting us to participate at no cost!!  She was very lovely and understanding and couldn’t have benn more gracious and kind!  I can completly understand the volume of requests they must receive and was just plain thrilled and grateful to receive the invitation to participate!!   WooHoo!! We were in!!!!

I finally had obtained a job that I had been hoping for, at the Naugatuck YMCA (where I train) a few weeks prior to the race and was thrilled that I would now be able to increase my workout after finishing my “Early- Bird” 5:30-9:00 am shift!  My training plan was to hit the weight room first, alternating different body parts on different days, then hitting rthe cardio room for a short period and then to the pool for my usual 1 mile free-style swim and backstroke cooldown.  This worked out perfectly and I was ready and waiting for my previously scheduled 1:00pm “paratransit bus” pickup!

The days before the race were filled with nervous excitement at the thought of participating in such a massive event, which includes 7,000 Runners from all over the U.S.!!!!!  Wow! Wow! Wow!  I never  imagined  how completely mind-blowing  it was going to feel until I was standing there in a sea of runners!!  Th energy that was pulsing through that crowd of 15,000 or more runners and viewers was ABSOLUTELY UNLIKE ANY OTHER FEELING I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED!!!  What a Total field of positvity surrounding these thousands of people!!

The horn sounded and we were off!!  The crowd of runners starts moving and we are at the back so it takes us a couple of minutes to cross the timing pad.  It always strikes  me kind of funny  how we star off in a group and then we watch as the runners before us dissappear into the distance ahead of us, and then it is just us, trying to keep the last of the participants in front of us in sight.  There were other walkers ahead of us that Rick could see, but even they escaped his sight eventually.  I felt pretty good the whole route and there were live bands playing music along the route which made it fun to “rock out” along the way!  At about the halfway point we had to move onto the sidewalk because the road had to be reopened to traffic so we just continued on until we were back to a closed race road again.  Once back on the main road there were many more spectators along the route cheering us on ,as well as the first 20kr’s who were headed towards the finish line!!  It was really something to watch them run!!  They are so fit and their motions so fluid and perfectly paced, I wish I could run that well!  I am happy for them and the crowds tell them what place they are in  as they go by, “Keep it up ! you’re number 21 right now!” etc…  The first 20k woman passed us and I “WooHood!” for her  She was cruising!!!  You Go Girlfriend!! I thought to myself!  Good for her!!!

When we hit the 3 mile mark I was surprised at how good I felt!  I wasn’t nearly as tired and achey as I usually am at this point, and I thought YAY!  My new workout regime is most definitely helpuig!!  I felt as though I could even go a little further if I had to!  It was a great feeling to know that puting in the extra time training was already paying off, even though it had only been for a couple of weeks.  I am excited to see how well I can do in my upcoming races this fall! 

Here comes the finish line in the distance!!  The corwds on the street thicken as we grow closer to the finish line and I can hear the announcer calling off the names of the runners as they cross that finish line!!  I am so excited and can’t wait to hear my own name as I kick it up a few notches for a good finish!   And there it is “Tanya Sage of Prospect!!!…!”   He says something else but I can’t quite catch all of it, something about the 5k distance and the rest is lost in the moment…!  I was just so happy to finish a race I had been looking forward to for a whole year!! We finished in 1:09:41!!  (Only 5 min. overmy best timeYAY!!)  My friend Rachel was at the finish line with her two kids in their stroller cheering for us!!  We proceeded to the waiting “Staff Kids” who were handing out the medals to all the runners, as they crossd the finish line, I leaned fforward and a nice young kid placed a medal around my neck and the group of them congratuledt Rick anf I!  Rachel then rushed up and snapped a photo of us for postereity!!  I gave her a huge hug, as we admired the medal she noticed that on the back was engrved “20k Finisher”  We all laughed hysterically!  All of the other 5krs had finished already and they were now handing out the 20k medals!  I debated on whether or not to keep the one I had been given because that’s how it happened, and it was kind of a funny story to tell!  I pondered this for a few silly moments and then decided that I wanted my 5k medal instead, that meant more to me than a funny story.  I worked hard for it and wanted it to be accurate!  I’ll always have the funny story I thought, but I was really proud of that 5k medal!!  This was a special medal for the 25th Anniversary of the race, so each participant would receive one.  so I wanted it to be accurate.  Usually only the top 3 division winners receive medals but due to the anniversary we were all medal recipients!!!! Yay!!!!!

We proceeded to find Rachels husband Steve and his two friends who have been running this race for years.  We all congratulated each other  and then Steve and I proceeded to the “Free Beer Line” for participants!!! WooHoo!!!  We compared our notes and experiences while waiting for our cold and refreshing “Hooker ESB” beers!!  We all hung out in this huge ocean of people on the New Haven green on thi simply Beautiful last day of summer, with the sun shining and the positive energy just swirling and twirling around this group of thousands, who all came together for this a,azing moment in time!

Image

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

mt 2012 “Hope Is Coming 5k” Experience!!!

Hi Friends!

On Saturday August 11, 2012 my husband Rick and I participated for the second time,  in The “Hope Is Comind 5k” to benefit patients at the “Smilow Cancer Center” at Yale New Haven Hospital (New Haven, CT.)  The race actually took place along the beautiful shoreline of  West Haven, CT.  I had asked many friends ro join us and  a lot of interest was generated.  Several people wanted to join us for the run/walk but with hectic schedules and vacations, most could not make it.  I was so excited with the initial response and must admit, a little bummed when people couln’t make it.  I TOTALLY understand that life is extremely hectic, as we can’t make it to everything either.  I sometimes wish that either the days were longer and that we all had super high energy and recovery levels, or that life was just slower and simpler (like it was before the “computer age!)  So I figured that it was just Rick and I this year, until my god-daughter Suzanne called because she had written it on her calander (WooHoop!)   We had at least one person joining u on our walk!  Yay!!  Our good friends Dan & Sarah had also planned on joining us but after Sarah had made a job change they were unable to attend.  I was so bummed.  Well ,I just decided to look at the bright side, Suzanne was coming so that was an extra $20 we raised for the “Smilow” patients in N. Haven, maybe next year we would have a couple  more friends jpin in!  As they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, kind of like that old  shampoo commercial “…And they’ll two friends, and they’ll tell two friends…” with the the girls on the tv screen doubling over and over!  That’s how a movement begins, right? with one person and one voice and the rest just falls into p[lace from there!  I always post my 5k events on my facebook account and I figure every once in a while we’ll get a few people to join in.  We always have a good time and meet new people and everyone is in such a great mood because they are doing something to help other human baings and they are also getting exercise and usually a goodie or two!  Personally I Love the tee-shirts because every time I wear one it reminds me of that special day and the people we met and the people we helped! 

I was up at 5:00 and in the shower to loosen up thje muscles!  We went through opur usual “5k morning routine” which includes lots of “Where is the camera?”, “I don’t know. you used it last”.  “Are all the cats inside?”  “I don;t know – shake the treat bag”.  Oh, and always “Where’s the cell phone?”  It goes off like this everytime, you’d think we’d have oue shit together by now, right! Lol!!  I am sure someday we’ll get it together!!  Okay, now 20 minutes after our originally scheduled leaving time we are finally on the road, and usualyy another 20 minutes later we realize what we forgot to bring with us – oh well – nothing we can do about it now!  This time we couldn’t find the GPS so we had to wing it from last years memory.  We stopped twice when we were very close and attived with plenty of rime to spare!  I always like to leave very early because I hate the stress of being late and lost to boot!

We pulled into a parking space and Rick was out of the car first and talking to some peole in front of oue car.  I am legally blind so I couldn’t tell who he was talking to until  I got out and heard their voices and I realized that a group of our friends surprised me and had shown up!!!  Danny and Sarah,who  had just left her new job (which was awful)  had come with their friends Gina ( who has been to our house) and Ginas friend Jasmine came too!  I had been so sad that Danny and Sarah couldn’t make it and Dan had sworn Rickl to secrecy upon penalty of death – Lol!!   They had already checked in so Rick and I headed over to the chech-in area.  After that was done  we headed to the “Reikki” treatment tent, a wonderful group of Reikki masters and students volunteered to provide ten minute sessions to those who would like to try it!  It was fantastic!  When us girls had finished our sessions we went over to catch up with the guys and two more friends had arrived. Rachel (aka Ho-Dazzler- long story) and her friend Tina (my extended Ho-Dazzler!)  There was ten minutes to go and Rick had been on and off the phone with Suzanne who was having difficulty finding the event, she arrived with ten minutes to spare!! 

All the participants lined up, the horn blew and we were off!  This route is very flat which is nice but I must admit that I really do like the challenge of a few hills thrown in!  I feel like I get a break when I’m going downhill and then a challenge going uphill, I keep my eyes on the ground no more than about 4 feet in front of me, it’s “living in the moment” (something we rarely do in this life!) !  There is nothing like the felling of accomplishment when I reach the top of rhose hills!  I feel like i just climbed to the top of Mount Everest!!!  Except I am usually sweating instead of freezing!

As we head out onto the main road we pass “Jimmies” restaurant on the beaxh, which brings back waves of childhood memories of my parents taking my brother and I there for a special summer family night out!  There was always at least an hour or more wait and we would sit in the cocktail area with the “Savin Rock Amusement park” mural on the wall.  My parents would tell us all about the park and the fun they had there!  It was all gone now  and how I had wished it was still there so I could ride the ferris wheel by the ocean!  My Dad was still with us when we did this 5k last year so the memories are now bittersweet.  We continue on past “Jimmies”  and walk by all of the beautiful beach homes that are on our right.   I remember last year when we thought how wondreful it would be to live in them, and rhen after the storm “Irene” came through and many homes were flooded or qashed away on the CT. shoreline,  I thought how thankful we were NOT to be living there.  We are human so of course we had the same beach living dreams again this year, and friends to shre them with, oh the parties we would have in our beach homes!!! 

As we were wlaking along, the first runners were on their way back to the finish line and I made sure to “Good Job!!” and “WooHOO!!!” each one!!!  I love it when someone does that for me so I try to spread the cheer!!!  There is absolutely nothing like it in the world than to hear someone cheering you on!!  It makes my heart feel like the “Grinches” heart at the end of the story when it grows so big that it bursts through the frame shattering it!!!  It is amazing the power of positivity and the miracles it can create!!!

Rachel and Tina finishd before the rest of us, being that tthey had their kids in jogging strollers, and as we all know, kids can only take so much of that!! Lol!!  So little Jayce and Keira an Santino were now happily sitting on a blanket under a shady tree when we croosed the finish line with a time of 1:12:37!!!  We watched the raffle drawing (we didn’t win – oh well maybe next year!)  We chatted a bit and then Rachel, Tina and the kids headed home and our little group headed to the diner for a well deserved breakfast feast!!! 

Many Thanks and much Love to Race Director Tracey Sullivan and all of the volunteers and sponsers that make this event so special and to Suzanne, Rachel and Tina and the kids and to Danny, Sarah, Gina and Jasmine for showing up and leaving me literally speechless and full of Love and Happiness!!!! xoxoxoxo!!!

Ps:  My next event will be the “New Haven Road Race” 5k distance on Labor Day Monday on the green in New Haven, ct.!!!  Hope to hear you Cheer!!!!!!!

Posted in Cancer Survivor, Disabled to ReAbled, Inspirational, reabledathlete, Triathlete, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My 2012 “Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon “A visit to “Brigadoon”

Hi Friends!

Here’s the story of my 2012 Griskus experience! 

A years worth of training physically and mentally brought me to this  date of July 11, 2012.  I wasn’t able to train as much as I had hoped because 3 months before the 2011 Griskus  my Dad became ill,  so I gladlly spent the majority of my time caring for my Dad and helping my Mom.  My Dad wanted so badly to attend last years “Griskus” but was to ill to do so.  He  left us this past March 13. 2012, only two days before his 82nd Birthday.  I think of him always especially wken I am training and participating in events.  I always take a memento of him with me on the day of the event as well.

Okay, my event bags are packed and ready to go!  Bag #1 has Swim goggles, swim shoes, hand towel, socks, sneakers, small stool  and sunblock. Bag #2 contains my wetsuit, running pants and top, my special running shoes and socks, a light jacket and my memento of my Dad.  I also have a small thermal bag with our sports drinks and a turkey, swiis and mustard sandwich on rye bread for Rick and I to split before the race begins!  My swimsuit is on as well as a pair of shorts and a tank top!  We are ready to go!  It is shortly before 3:00 when we head out the door!

We arrive at Quassy Amusement park shortly after three, park the car and head towards the transition area to grab the spot we want,  then we head over to the park entrance to wait for my teamrte Ryan (aged 14) to arrive with his mom (my cousin Andra) and his younger brother Brett, who is quite a good swimmer himself!  but not participting yet!  Ryan will be doing thr 10.5 mile bike ride portion of the triathlon and I am doing the 1/2 mile lake swim and 3.1 milw run!  They pull in around 3:30 and we head out to meet them and take Ryans bike to the transition area to rack it..  From here we walk across the park to the check-in area under the pavillion.  As we approach, I see my good friend (and PR agent, just kidding, LOL) Mark Jaffee!  We chat a bit and he offers Ryan some good first-timer tips for thje bike ride, then Mark is off his way and we go to check-in.  Our team number is “556” which I love because the numbers total to 16 which is a multiple of 8,  my favorite number due to it’s infinite possibilities!  We receive our goodie bag which contains our awesome 2012 Triathlon Tee-shirts, our race numbers, Ryans bike numbers and other goodies!!  Next stop is getting the ankle strap timing chip,  then on to the body marking station!  This is my favorite because it males me feel like a real athlete! Lol!   They just take a thick permanent marker and write your number and group info. on your arm and leg, but I just love it !  Now we head back to transition and take a walk down to the lake to check out the swim route!  We reach the beach and I look through our binoculars and count 2 large orange bouys and one yellow bouy at the end, which is the turnaround point!  A quarter mile out to the yellow bouy, swim around it  and then a quarter mile back to shore!  Last year I went off course and I am hoping not to repeat that again this year!!  I talk with the volunteer about the course to make sure I see it correctly and we head towards the picnic tables on the grass to sit and wait…!  We split our sandwich and some friends and family arrive and Mark is by for another quick chat then he is off and running again!  I start to squeeze into my wetsuit and Rick and I pop down to the lake so I can take a dunk and get a feel for the water.  Then it’s back to the picnic table to wait agaain!  The butterflies are starting to swarm in my stomach!  It;s a mixture of pure excitement, nerves, and just a smidge of panic!!  These emotions are expected so I just giggle at the thoughts whirring in my brain!!  It’s finally time to head down to the lake!!!  My mom finds us and they play the national anthem, before we know it the Horn Blasts and the first wave of elite men and women swimmers are in the water in acrazed fury of splashing waves!! Three minutes later the second wave is in and then my wave is last!!  We enter the beach area, thejHorn Blasts again and I step into the water, Rick quickly removes my swim shoes for me and I am off and swimming!!  I swim 5 or 6 strokes then pop up a bit to look ahead to try to find the first orange bouy –  nothing – head back down 5 more strokes pop up, I can see it in the distance!  I regulate my stroke and bretahing and aim for the bouy! I feel great! My stride is good and I feel fast!  I finally reach the first bouy and pass it! I am stoked!  Then all of a sudden someone swims past me  on my right towards the beach, Then someone swims in the same direction on my left!  I pop up for a look and see a few hundrd swimmers headed directly towards me – I am off course and in the oncoming traffic lane!! OH SHIT!! Okay- Okay I make a quick assessment of what direction I need to go in to get back on track and not get pummeled by 400 swimmers!!!  I make a break for it to the left! Stroke – breathe, Stroke – breathe, Stroke –  breathe…  I just get across and I can feel the wake from the mass of swimmers that just missed me on my narrow escape!  I made it across!  Now adjust slightly left to straighten out!  I now have a kayaker escort by me and i confirm that I am heading in tjhe right direction!  I swim several strokes and  I can spot the second bouy!!  I lock on to it and keep it in my line of sight as I keep swimming!  I reach it and pass it closely and immediately begin looking for the third bouy, stroke, stroke, stroke, look, then stroke again!  I finally get it in sight and just aim and stroke, aim and stroke!  It looks orange to me so when I reach it I check with my kayaker – Yup this is the turn bouy!! I crank hard to the left and am practically touching it when I turn!  Okay Swim! Swim! Swim!  This is the home stretch!!! Stroke-breathe- look, stroke-breathe -look!!  Okay I have bouy number two in sight an am aiming for it!  I have to be careful not to cross too much to the left or I’ll be off course again!!  It seems like I am never going to reach it and then I am there!!! OKAY NOW PULL – KICK – BREATHE,  PULL -KICK – BREATHE,  PULL- KICK – BREATHE!!!!!  I can see the beach ahead in tjhe distance, as well as the last bouy!! I am POURING IT ON!!!  Stroke – Stroke I can see Rick! Stroke – Stroke I can hear cheering!  Stroke – Stroke I can see the sand below me, it’s coming closer and closer to my face!! Stroke – stroke I see Ricks outstretched hand and my hands finally hit the sand beneath my face!!!   I grab Ricks hand and am trying to right myself on the shifting sand beneath my feet!   I’m up and heading for the beach!! I sit on my bench, grab my towel and try to get the sand off my feet so I can put on my socks and shoes (okay One sock! To hell with the other one!  Ryan’s waiting!!)  I put on my *L300 cuff and we are headed towards the hill that leads to the transition area!!  Friends, family and total Sstrangers are CHEERING us on all the way up the hill!!!  It’s friggin’ Awesome!!!  We reach transition, I remove the timing chip from my ankle and place it on Ryans and he is off towards the bike exit, then on his bike and gone in a flash!!! GO RYAN GO!!!!!! 

Now comes the awful task of removing a rubbery wetsuit and swimsuit and putting on dry spandex running clothes! Andra is helping me but  it’s still a nightmare!!   I am coming up with a new plan for next year!!  We finally finish and I put my L300 stim cuff back on and the battery is dead!!! Great – just when I really need it, it dies on me!  I am a little nervous about doing the run without it but I have no choice.  We head back to the transition area to wait for Ryan.  We talk with famliy  and friends who are just utside the ropes and my friend Yxonne comes up with an order of heavenly smelling french fries!  I gobble down 4 or 5 and they are so salty warm and yummy!!!  Ryan is back in 43:45!!!  We swap off rhe chjip again and I ask him “How was it??” he says “I’m really tired!”  I say “Do you want to do it next year?”  He grins from ear to ear and says “Yeah!”  and then Rick and I are on our way! 

As we are heding towards the main road Rick spots his cousins Tammy & Ron and Terri and Joe Cheering us on!!!  WooHoo!!  We’re now on the main road, this is one of my favorite parts!  The runners are on their way back to the finish line as we are on our way out on the route so we pass within inches of each other and they cheer us on with “Good Job!!” and we “Good Job” them back and add “You’re almost There!! Keep Going!! You’re so close!!”  and we can hear the cheers behind us as they cross the finish line!!  Once we take our right turn off the main road we break into a jog, which I did for the fiesr time at last years “Griskus” to the suprise of everyone, including myself!!  We slow to a fast walk when the hill gets a little steep so I don’t propel myself to the ground!  We hit the flat straight away and jog a bit more.  We reach the one mile mark and Woohoo a bit and continue on to the Gatorade / water pit-stop and each suck down two cups of water and continue on to the halfway point!  We walk and jog on and off until the turnaround point where I make sure to officially circle around the orange cone!  We walk quickly until we make the left turn to go back up the hill and we see three more runners heading towards the halfway point several minutes apart!  We are hopeful that we can kep up our pace and not come in last this year!  Now, the hill that we just came down is  waiting fior us on our return!!  We reach the watering station sgain and slug some down and continue up the hill!  Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth! In through the nose – out through the mouth!  I keep my eyes set only a few feet in frony of my and take it one step at a time!  My lungs are on fire, my head is hot, sweat is streaming down us and my legs are practically numb by now!  Breathe – step, Breathe – step!!  We reach the steep right turn at the top of the hill and we can hear the cheers and loudspeaker in the distance, we push through until we are on flat ground again!  Now we cut the pace way down to a slow walk to regulate breathing and heartrate, so that when we reach the main road we can finish with a jog!  Okay I am back to normal and here comes the main road! Let’s jog!  We can hear the loudspeaker more clearly now as my body is screaming  for the finish line!  I can see the emtrance up ahead! YAY!!!  We finally reach the turn into the finsh line and people ar cheering like crazy!!!!!  I am screaming too!!!  WOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!  WoooHooo!!!! We cross the finih line and I am given a big hug from Robin Griskus (Pats widow)  I totally feel his presence at this moment and I am so very thankful to be alive and here competeing at this evet for the second time! 

  We receive many hugs & kisses & congratulations from everyonr including  a nice guy Robby that I met at one of the practice swims with his Newfoundland dog “Ludo” who also gives me a big sloppy wet congratulations lick!!!    We hand out and chat for a while and ride the high!!  Later on our way out of the park I look back to see my “Brigadoon” fading into the lake for another year!

2011 race results were: 44:39 – Run: 1:04:24

2012 RACE RESULTS : Swim 36:15   Run 1:04:27!!!!!

Again, Huge thanks to Tom Wilkas,  Robin Griskus and all of theAWESOME volunteers who make this event so magical year after year!!!! xoxoxo!!!

* “Btigadoon” is a 1954 film about two guys on a hunting trip in Scotland who come across a magical & mysterious village not located on any maps.  They learn about the reasons for it’s mysterious and magical existence…

* Biomess L300 – is a stimulation cuff that I wear below my left knee (when I amoutside of m,y home.)  It stimulates the muscles and nerves to help kick my foot out so that I don’t snap or twist my ankle!

Posted in Cancer Survivor, Inspirational, reabledathlete, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

My 2nd “Pat Griskus Sprin Triathlon” My visit to “Brigadoon”

I am doing a test with this entry because I just spent FIVE HOURS typing & then lost the whole thing after “Publidhing” twice!! Still crying!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment