Several weeks ago, I first mentioned Team In Training, the triathlon group that I train with. I figure after a year and a half with the group, it’s about time that I introduce them to my blog!
First, let’s start with a little history: Team in Training began in 1988 when Bruce Cleland formed a team that raised funds and trained for the NYC Marathon in honor of his daughter Georgia, a survivor of Leukemia. That team of 38 people raised over $322,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Since then, Team in Training (TNT) has been one of the largest sources of funds (75% of dollars raised goes directly towards research) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It has grown from a group of 38 in a small New York town to more than 40,000 athletes in cities across the nation.
I joined TNT last January with my friend (and now roommate) Lili. We decided to try our hand at triathlon – a ridiculous thought, considering I could hardly swim and I didn’t even own a bike. Regardless, we thought it would be a fun experience. So we committed to raising $2,500 for the cause and spent 4 months training for the Capital of Texas Triathlon…and you know what? It felt great! And it was fun – more fun than I could have ever imagined, actually. And throughout that time, I met an amazing group of people who I feel honored to call my teammates and my friends.
What started as a new experience to try has since turned into an entire lifestyle. I’ve been training with TNT for about a year and a half now and am absolutely in love. Not only is it a great way to keep myself in shape, but I just can’t stress enough what an amazing group of people it’s allowed me to meet. How can you not love individuals that spend their days raising money for a cause that’s even larger than themselves? Many of the people in TNT joined without ever having a connection to cancer – they just wanted to do good. And we have done good – really good. In the time that I’ve been a part of the Austin Chapter, our run, bike and tri teams have raised well over $500,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Think of how much research that can help fund…it’s A LOT!
Now, I’m in my second season of TNT, and this Monday, I will be once again racing in the Capital of Texas Olympic Triathlon. For those who don’t know, that’s a 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike and 6.4 mile run. While I’ll be racing for all of those who can’t, our team will be specially dedicating this race to Jay Taylor – one of our own teammates who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer and is about to face one of life’s biggest obstacles head-on. As our coaches frequently like to remind us, Jay (or any other cancer patient) can’t just give-up on chemotherapy, so why should I be able to give-up on something so comparatively easy?
So to Jay and every other member of Team in Training that has impacted my life in the past year – this post, and Monday’s race is dedicated to you. Thank you all for being such a welcome inspiration in my life.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or Team in Training, click here.