Cycle for Survival

My friend Elizabeth was raising money for research into curing “rare” cancers, and she mentioned it when she came to “guest lecture” at my class this last fall.  March 6 seemed a long ways away so I volunteered to do some spinning with her team.

I put “rare” in quotes because, collectively, these cancers account for 50 % of all cancers, but there’s a lot of them, and individually each one is unusual.  They don’t get the TLC $$ that the “big” cancers get, so I thought it would be a good deed as well as a chance to get in some spinning.

I’ve been spinning since my left hip got replaced five years ago.  It’s a great way for someone like me — not a runner, not a swimmer — to do some interval training.  I’ve really enjoyed it for the most part, although there’s a school of spinning — I imagine that SoulCycle is this way — that thinks “Too Much Ain’t Enough.”  That’s not me.  I do the work, but I don’t bellow or yip or carry on.

Surprise surprise, March 6 came and much sooner than I would have thought.  I realized in mid-February that the event was almost upon us, and started doing some fundraising.

Fortunately, several friends leaped into the breach and funded me, so I felt like could hold my head up with the rest of the team — I didn’t know anyone except Elizabeth, I thought — when Cycle Day came.

I sort of imagined doing the equivalent of punching in at work: I would walk in, register, spin for my allotted time, and leave.

It was much more wild than that.

Imagine a huge spinning studio — I’m talking 100 bikes here — filled with garishly-dressed teams with boas, pompoms, beach balls flying through the air, 115dB music and peppy spinning talk.

My kneejerk reaction to stuff like this is to Sneer and to Cower.  Sneer: I get angry back at all the peppiness and cheer.  Cower: I want to just get my job done and get out without any shenanigans.

But my team was so nice, they engaged me, they got me to dress up in an orange team t-shirt, and they got me into it.  As you can see in the photo (I’m in the upper right), I’m present and accounted for if not exactly bouncing off the walls.  (You can’t quite see the cute little sparkly fedora on top of my head.)

Shucks: it was actually fun, and I loved getting to know the rest of the team somewhat at the Point of Sweat.

Thanks Elizabeth and thanks Kelly for having me.  And thanks to the rest of Team Pedaling Sunshine Bethesda.

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