The 3 B’s. Or is it 4?

And just like the rest of the world, I’ve decided to start a blog.

And just like the rest of the world, I have a good reason for doing so! Really!

It’s all in the name: Barbells Bikes and Bones. Shall I explain?

Barbells are for CrossFit… no wait, where are you going?! Come back!!

I know, we all have that CrossFit friend. The one that can’t stop talking about the WOD (“Why does he keep talking about blowing his wad?”) and the superiority of Paleo diets (“I was under the impression that not having to fight saber tooth cats for the privilege to scavenge a rotting carcass was a good thing?”) and Annie Thorisdottir (“I thought Thor’s daughter’s name was Torunn?”). I like to think that I’m not one of those CrossFit crazies, but perhaps I flatter myself.

Lori and Lisa behind me seem to really trust that I'm not going to drop that barbell on them.

Lori and Lisa behind me seem to really trust that I’m not going to drop that barbell on them.

Honestly, I like to think of it as a great way to put in just an hour of your time, and you can get pretty darn fit, not to mention learn how to put that fitness to good use. It’s fun! And it leaves you with a lot of time to do other things. Like….

Bikes! Yup, probably because of all the CrossFit, I found it pretty easy to start riding my bike. And to keep riding my bike. A lot. It was always on my list of things to do to bike my way across the United States. I wouldn’t say that I had a set plan for tackling this goal, it was just one of those things that I knew I had to do someday, because the thought of looking back on my life at age 90 and not having memories of biking across the country was just too depressing to bear. The sad thing was, I never really spent a lot of time on my bike. But circumstances left me with a pretty good cardiovascular engine and some big chunks of spare time. So it was time to make it happen.

No hands riding with Sue on Highway 1 in Big Sur.

No hands riding on Highway 1 in Big Sur.

I’ve been training and should be ready to start off on this ride in April! I’m in no rush to get across the country, so I’m planning on taking about four months to complete the ride. Four months of pedaling and eating and pedaling and sleeping and pedaling. Gosh, that sounds kind of monotonous. And not very useful to anybody, either. I don’t like feeling useless. So I started thinking about how I could turn this ride into something useful. And that’s when it hit me.

Bones. That’s right, bones. Or, more specifically, bone marrow. It was sometime last year when my cousin told me that she was doing all she could to find a bone marrow donor for her friend. The least I could do was to join the bone marrow donors registry through Be the Match. I asked everyone I knew if they would consider joining the registry, and sure enough, some CrossFitters said yes. CrossFit strikes again! You love to hate it, but hey, it’s good stuff and good people.

You can pretty much talk these people into anything.

You can pretty much talk these people into anything.

So we took off for the nearest donor drive, not quite sure what we were signing ourselves up for. We had some questions. What would it take to join the registry? What would happen if we were a match for a patient? What would the surgery be like? But no matter, we were going to do it anyway, because lives are on the line. And we were stunned at how easy it was to join the registry! Just a cheek swab! Not only that, we were pleasantly surprised to hear that there is a non-surgical procedure for donating that could be an available option. I don’t know if I can speak for my friends, but I for one felt humbled by my own ignorance. I should have joined the registry years and years ago. Since then, I’ve shared my experience and have gotten a few more people to join. And so it occurred to me that I can continue to spread the word while I ride my bike! I contacted Be the Match and they’ve been nothing but supportive! I’m so excited to be able to do this ride to raise awareness for bone marrow donation.

So that’s what I’m up to these days. Before I got into barbells, bikes, and bones, I was teaching high school biology. That was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It would truly impress me if riding a bicycle across the country could be even half as hard as trying to capture the attention of 36 freshmen with protein synthesis. Before I got into teaching high school, I was leading outdoor education trips in Thailand. And before that, I was in the Peace Corps in Paraguay (Mba’eichapa to my Paraguay peeps!) which, until I started teaching high school, I thought would be the most difficult thing I’d ever do with my life. Before the Peace Corps, I was kayaking. And before that, I was a college student studying genetics at UC Berkeley.

This blog should be full of information about training rides I do, the fabulous people who train with me, the equally fabulous people who help me get organized as I plan my ride, and of course the ride across the country when it starts, probably at the end of April 2015. And occasionally it’ll be about my pet rats.

Forksy and Vixen snuggle in their hammock. If there was a way to take them with me across the country on a bicycle, I'd do it.

Forksy and Vixen snuggle in their hammock. If there was a way to take them with me across the country on a bicycle, I’d do it.


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