A couple of weeks ago I was minding my own business when I got a notification on my phone that someone mentioned me on Facebook. Giddy at the thought of someone thinking of me, I hopped on my computer and brought up the message thread. It was between one of the instructor's from my gym and a friend who goes there, they were trying to get a tag team together for the spin-a-thon.
I've seen posters for the spin-a-thon around the gym and half heard the instructors mention it before my weight-lifting class, but I left it at that. Spin classes scare me, I was never afraid to admit that. And this was one a monster of a class at THREE HOURS long. It was for a worthy cause to be sure, pediatric cancer research, but I just didn't think my butt could handle it.
My friend didn't think she could commit to the full three hours so the instructor suggested getting two others to join her in her efforts and divide the time into hour increments. And aren't I lucky that my friend thought of me? 🙂
I wanted to say “no, to politely make up a lie and tell them I will be coming down with the flu that weekend, but I didn't. Instead, I agreed. It was just an hour, right? And it would be for a good cause.
After committing to the hour I thought it would be a good idea to take a class or two before embarking on the one for charity. So I did and I FREAKING loved it!
It was the hardest hour of my life, well besides childbirth (those freaking kids brought luggage out with them). I've been working out for a couple of years now, but because of knee troubles I've been banned from running for about two months so I've been slacking on the cardio. After my first spin class my butt hurt from the seat, my chest was tight from breathing heavily and my eyes burned from the sweat dripping into them. I had a freaking blast! So much so that when the instructor approached me and said that there were bikes available for the full three hours of the charity event I agreed.
When the Saturday of the spin-a-thon rolled around I admit I was nervous. Sure I had fun for an hour during regular class, but this was three ungodly hours! I get winded just walking to class sometime, what made me think I could bike for three hours? And it's not just sit there and peddle either, oh no, that would be too easy. It's standing and peddling, it's sprinting until your legs are like JELL-O, it's using the handle bars for push-ups… WHILE PEDDLING! I would fall off the bike for sure.
All my fears melted away when I walked into the class. The energy pumping out of the room almost knocked me back. People were singing at the top of their lungs, others were dancing on their bikes, which is no easy feat I assure you, and EVERYONE was smiling. I had a second of doubt and suspiciously looked at the table of juices and fruit wondering what they were laced with but quickly shrugged it off.
After only about 35 minutes my butt was already starting to hurt and I thanked God that we took a break. When I hopped off the bike to get a drink I noticed our guest of honor had arrived.
Sam. God bless his heart, his strength. God bless him.
Sam walked in wearing the Spin for Sam t-shirt with the Lance Armstrong quote, Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever. It was like someone threw a bucket of ice cold water on me. Why the hell was I bitching? So my butt hurt? So my knee cap grinds when I walk up the stairs? I haven't had to endure chemo for five years. My kids are healthy, I'm healthy, I felt completely pathetic.
The second my eyes fell on that shy little boy my heart melted and I found a new resolve. I stopped complaining and realized what I was there for. I was there because NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO FIGHT ALONE.
Sam's mom, along with some other cancer moms are going to Washington DC in June for the Day of Action Event. There they'll address Congress on the issue of funding for pediatric cancer and will present our donations to Curesearch, the only program dedicated solely to pediatric cancer research.
Many people congratulated me on my participation in the event and while I appreciate all the pats on the back, the real heroes of this story are Sam and his mom, Pauline, and the other families working each day to find a cure.
After he left I couldn't help but push myself through the rest of the three hours. I had a blast. I sang, I danced, I didn't fall off the bike.
I'd gladly do it again next year, hell, next week. If it's for a kid like Sam, just pass me the pillow made of ice and I'm in. 🙂
I would like to give a shout out to the instructors, Mel and Amy, for their awesome attitude and encouragement throughout the class and to Renee for thinking of me when it came time to finding teammates. I'm so happy that I could be a part of an event that raised just over $10,000 for this cause. You are inspirational angels!
6 responses to “A Worthy Pain in the Ass”
Hi, my name is Jen. I'm a fellow cancer mom of Pauline's (my son Porter is 9) and am going to DC in June with Pauline. I couldn't make it that day because it was Porter's birthday party and he had some serious rock climbing to do. Your post here is aweome and I wnat to thank you (and your butt) for helping us out! We've got lots of great kids at clinic and any little bit of effort on their behalf is appreciated! LEt's get the word out that these guys need all the support and help fighting they can get! You rock!
Hi Karen, it's Sam's mom. What a beautiful blog entry. I was laying in bed last night reading it to my husband….crying. Not sad tears, happy tears….It warms my heart more than you know that perfect strangers would do this for my Sam and all the other awesome kids out there. I informed our Cure Search rep. the amount that was raised….she couldn't beleive it. We just want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. Like my friend and fellow cancer mom Jen said in the previous reply…YOU ROCK!!!! You're awesome….THANK YOU!!!!!
Jen and Pauline, thank you so much for stopping by my site! I'm at a loss for words when I think about the the amount of love and strength you must have coursing through you. Your children are very lucky to have strong women as their mothers. If there is anything I can do in the future to help please let me know. God bless!
cool post karen, great that you got involved, i'm spooked too by watching those “spinning” folks peddle and sweat, but you gave me confidence….thx!!!!
Girl, you are one tough cookie and a good soul. Honored to call you friend.
Thank you, Pru!! Your words warm my heart. 🙂