What’s In It For Me?
It’s hard for me to believe in three short weeks I will be reveling in the aftermath of something that had been barely an idea to me only three and a half months ago.
Whether they admit it or not, I believe many people who start with Team in Training (TNT) do so for purely – or mostly – selfish reasons.
Reason such as…
They are new to riding and want to start learning more about the skills required to have fun and be safe. They want to ride, but not alone. They want to be better cyclists and are looking to do so with some coaching. They are not new to riding, but want to learn more about nutrition and riding in a group atmosphere in order to be more comfortable on some upcoming endurance rides. They are better than most on the team and hope, maybe, they can show the team a thing or two and hope, maybe, they can also learn the one thing they may not already know.
Although it has only been a few months, I feel like this part of my journey started so long ago. I don’t exactly remember which of those reasons pertained to me. Maybe a bit of all of them, I guess. (Well, let’s face it, certainly not the last one!) But one thing is for sure, I was one of those folks who walked into that first TNT gathering for mostly selfish reasons. I understood, of course, there was a cause behind the program. In my head, however, I had a “Yes. That is a great cause. But really, what’s in it for me, again?” attitude.
Yeah. I was ‘that’ girl.
I saw the minimum fundraising goal in the handouts and I wanted to know what I was going to gain for all of the (what I was certain would be) struggles and hardships I was going to have go through in order to reach that minimum. Surely my rewards would be plenty.
So I sat in the tiny group in the tiny lobby of the tiny gym. As shimmering and dripping and barely clad bodies wandered from the pools to the locker rooms and back; the steamed chlorine scent wafting over us as we sat off in a corner of the room. Nothing too distracting.
I sat in that group, but by myself. Taking it all in.
I’m a thinker like that.
I read. I watched. I listened. I thought. And, somewhere between the plethora of stats being read aloud, the requisite informational video and the heartwarming account of courage, endurance, patience and strength told to us by a woman/mother/wife/survivor who, following a frightening and painful battle, is now going on three years cancer free…
Once the presentation was complete, I made my way to the exit. While carefully avoiding the swimmer’s footprint puddles in my path, I accepted it. I was certain I wanted to – needed to – give this a shot.
If you’ve been following my journey, then you know I’ve been throwing comfort to the wind for a while now, and so far…well, it’s made me more anxious than ever. But I guess that’s better than spending 85% of my waking hours on a couch. At least that’s what the doctors all tell me.
So I gathered myself up and, with the help of a friend who is also participating – which was a pleasant surprise! – I made my way to the first training ride.
It didn’t take long before my selfish expectations began to subside, giving way to the excitement of actually, possibly, making a difference in people’s lives in my own way. However small or great that might be. As I’ve mentioned before, the funds raised by the group for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society stay within our area. That was a large selling point to me. Almost as if I might get to see the funds helping patients, their families and supporters first hand.
Every week, we begin our ride with a large team meeting for brief announcements and a “Mission Moment.” This is where we hear from people about how their life’s path has led them to this team. Therefore, each week we are empowered by the actions, circumstances, strength, heartbreak and triumph of the speakers as we get on our bikes and head off into the elements.
Each week, we are reminded of why we are here; why we ride with this team.
Reasons such as…
We want to learn more about the skills required to have fun and be safe. We want to ride, but not alone. We want to be better cyclists and are looking to do so with some coaching. We are not new to riding, but want to learn more about nutrition and riding in a group atmosphere in order to be more comfortable on some upcoming endurance rides. We are setting examples. We are showing others we meet or pass along our route a thing or two about perseverance, dedication, endurance, confidence and fortitude. We do all of this while supporting one another with humor and patience and, if necessary, tough love. We ride because there is still so much to be done.
We ride because alone we are strong…together we are stronger.
[teem-wurk] Show IPA
1. Cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause.