Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Its Always the Little Things....Damn it!




18 MORE DAYS!!!

18 more days until my 3rd triathlon!!!!

So a quick catch up in case you are new to the blog.  I am a nurse.  I am 55 years old.  I weigh 240 lbs. I met Patrick Stein 3 years ago when I worked as his nurse.  Patrick was 18 at the time and one year prior to that had suffered a brain stem stroke.  The stroke left him with Locked In Syndrome, meaning he can only control his eyes and eyelids.  Otherwise he is completely paralyzed.  He cannot speak.  He cannot move.  Through VERY hard work he is now able to pick up his right arm and has some use of his right fingers (see video below).

A really great way to learn more about Patrick is to watch a short video trailer at www.allinmyhead.com  Colleen Shaw, a young movie director and producer, has done a short documentary on Patrick.  The trailer on her website about Patrick gives a great glimpse into a day in the life of Patrick.

Colleen also did a great, short video about me and Patrick and my challenges in tackling the Chicago Triathlon.  Check it out at http://vimeo.com/100163438

Now you are up to date.

This year I have tackled my training differently...I really trained.  I asked JP Bordeloux from Presicion Multisport if he would donate his services and train me for this year's tri.  He specializes in training endurance athletes and...wait for it...I AM AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE!!!  He checked out the blog and the videos and the AllInMyHead website and agreed to take me on.  Incredibly generous.  I'm much more focused and committed.  I work harder in my dance class.  I wanted to have a purpose this year beyond completing. Patrick focuses like the an athlete because he is an athlete.  He's all in.  I wanted to be all in.

So naturally because I was putting in what felt like a HUGE effort, I wanted HUGE improvements!!  I don't like do small things...I like to do big things.  Yet, when someone asked me the other day what the biggest difference was between this year and the previous two, it was a few really small, simple things that came to my mind.  Not big timing improvements, or big weight loss (I truly do believe I will forever be the most fit fat woman in America. Sigh), or having made it up a big hill.

To date, three very small things, make me unbelievably happy:

1.  I can stand up on my bike pedals.  
You have NO idea what a big deal this is.  My biggest problem riding longer distances on my bike is that between my belly hanging down and the pressure of what seems like the skinniest bike seat in the world, I soon loose all feeling to my nether regions.  In medical terms, I am one pedal stroke away from a labial infarct.  I am far too young.  So, I would have to stop riding and allow circulation to resume, start up again and try and get my speed back until the next near loss of future pleasure.  That was incredibly time consuming!  Now I can stand up on my pedals while I'm riding and resume circulation without stopping!!  Why didn't I do that the last two years?  I was not strong enough ( and I have lost 30 pounds since last year) to lift my weight off the seat and still stay balanced.  Now?  No problem!

2.  I am much quicker at the ladder...watch the videos.

3.  I can jump.  Yesterday I actually jumped rope in my dance class.  If you watch the video link above you will see my flying boobs and proof of jumping.

These are not big things, but they have changed my life immeasurably.  When I walked into the Stein's house 3 years ago, it was not a particularly different or special day.  It was a regular day.  And that simple, regular day changed my life immeasurably.
















My greatest accomplishment is nothing compared to Patrick's smallest.  Because in Patrick's life, everyday small becomes huge.

This Triathlon is a fundraiser for Patrick Stein.  PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING BY CLICKING ON THE DONATION BUTTON AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE.  PLEASE CONSIDER PASSING THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.  LET'S MAKE THIS THE BIGGEST DONATION YEAR EVER!!






1 comment:

  1. go, mary jo, go! proud of you, my endurance athlete...

    ReplyDelete