One of the greatest things about working on your fitness is that there are always new goals to accomplish and challenges to over-come. Whether you’re training for a marathon, or working towards a new PR on your squat.. you can always be stronger, faster or better in some way.
I’ve set and conquered many fitness goals over the years. Running a 5K, doing an unassisted pull-up and completing a mud run are just a few of the things I have accomplished. Right now I’m working on doing more unassisted pull-ups (5 in a row to be exact), hitting a dead lift PR of 200 lbs, and building muscle mass while losing body fat. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there.
It wasn’t until last month that I decided to challenge my fitness in a new way .. I decided to take up cycling. Not because I have a random new-found love of bikes… but because of my grandfather.
On June 17th, 2015 my grandfather lost his battle to cancer. He fought long and hard to beat this disease, but ultimately could not keep fighting. For the 5 years that he battled cancer, he was a patient of Smilow Cancer Hospital, where he was treated with love and compassion from every single nurse and doctor he came in contact with.
I could try to explain to you all the type of man that my grandfather was – but I will never do him justice. As one of his high school classmates said “He was a gentleman in every sense of the word.” He always spoke calmly, but with a sense of confidence that never made you question him. He had warm eyes and a sweet smile that made him easily approachable. He was the most intelligent man I have ever known and loved sharing his knowledge with others.
My grandfather was also one of the biggest supporters of my healthy lifestyle. He loved hearing about what I was working on at the gym and often taste tested some of my healthy recipes. I successfully got him to try zoodles but after a few bites he claimed (in the words of a true Italian) that they were “definitely not as good as pasta” ( I can’t really argue with him on that, but they’re a close second).
The point of this post is not just to talk about my grandfather, but to introduce you all to the Closer to Free Ride. The Closer to Free Ride is the primary fundraising and awareness event for the Smilow Cancer Hospital. The Smilow Cancer Hospital is a part of the Yale Cancer center- one of the only 40 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, and the only one in Southern New England. Comprehensive cancer centers are different from a regular cancer center, because they do a multitude of things including: scientific research, cancer prevention, and cancer treatment. Smilow treats more cancer patients than any other hospital in Connecticut.
Even though I know nothing about cycling.. and haven’t ridden a real bike in over 10 years- on September 12, 2015 I will be biking 25 miles as a participant in the Closer to Free Ride. I will ride in memory of my grandfather and all who have lost their battle to cancer, as well as for those who are currently fighting their battle. I have committed to raising $2,500 for the Smilow Cancer Hospital. I’m asking for your help to reach (or even exceed) this goal. 100% of the dollars I raise for the ride will directly support patient care and research at Smilow Cancer Hospital & Yale Cancer Center. You can donate right here, right now.
Cancer touches so many people throughout the world. The Closer to Free Ride is a great way to help fight this terrible disease. Please seriously consider my request for donation, and let your friends, family, and community know that you are joining in on this worthy cause.
For more on the Closer to Free Ride & my story – please visit my personal fundraising page.
“Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot destroy peace
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot suppress memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot steal eternal life
It cannot conquer the spirit”