4th of July weekend, Jody and I went for a run and trike ride with Beth Sanden (competitor and advocate for Challenged Athlete Foundation. Please check out an article on Beth's story and photos, http://www.ocregister.com/sports/sanden-146735-edwards-ironman.html?pic=1). After meeting Beth in front of 24hour-fitness gym, and exchanging email addresses, Beth invited Jody and I to meet at the beach with her and some of her disabled triathletes and friends for a ride along the beach. In the photo above Jody is running along side for part of her workouts for the day...she is in awesomely amazing shape!...Built for professional sports, people are always stopping her for an autograph, mistaking her for pro-volleyball player "Holly McPeak"! She's always in top condition ever since I've known her, since meeting while outrigger canoeing on lake Natoma, 7 years ago. Jody also paddled with our US whitewater team and helped by filling in for workouts in the raft, and giving a few pointers for conditioning. She is always ready to play a game of Beach-Volleyball at a moments notice...her passion. Since I arrived in Southern Cal, she has been there for me none stop helping in whatever it maybe....from helping me to bed, food-shopping, to assisting with intense exercises. Jody is such an inspiration to me and keeps me striving to reach for more, and to never give up, as-well-as telling me to go take a nap and get some rest. Then after waking up we'll either hit it again or do something restful and go watch the sunset, or I can always enjoy watching Jody play a game of beach-volley.
There was a lot of networking going on during our ride along the beach....I learned everyone suffers from some degree of nerve pain and was unable to work; all except Van, he said since he has been working with Project Walk he is able to work part-time. In Photo below (from left to right): Kathy and her husband Lance-he is sci from a surfing accident; Van-sci from a 40mph biking accident; Firman-disabled from a stoke; Beth-our leader-sci from a cycling accident during a triathlon; Patrica and husband Tom-sci from a hang-gliding accident; Jody & me.
At the end of our ride, even though my nerve pain was starting to kick in, I wanted to try out Tom recumbent bike to see if I was ready to start pushing a bike with my legs. He let me try it out. His wife Patrica took the time to help me around the parking lot steering me while I tried to pedal and adding encouraging words. At the end I learned I'm not quite ready for it and will be needing to spend many more hours on the spin-bike before I start think about selling my hand-cycle. At the end of the day it left me wondering "who were those people?? We all became fast friends, caring for each other and making sure everyone was doing okay. Halfway through my trike got a flat tire....not being ready with the tools, nor Plan A or B, Beth had a spare tube, tools and pump! and Tom provided the brawn and started changing it by pulling up beside my trike, from sitting on his bike he contorted his body and pulled the tire off and put the new tube in...while I sat like a queen in my seat. It was a fun day, I paid for it last night in nerve pain :O( ....letting me know I'm alive :O)!!