This ride probably wouldn’t be happening if I didn’t have the support from a number of amazing people.
Some days, you just don’t want to get off the couch. Well, you do, but your body really doesn’t. I have conversations with my body a lot.
“Get off the couch, Body.”
“Meh. In a little bit.”
“No, now! Move!”
“But we moved yesterday.”
“Hardly. We mostly just made pretzels yesterday.”
“Yeah, well, that was a lot of standing. And we had to roll out the dough.”
“Which, I might add, we totally failed at doing. Why’d the dough keep twisting and breaking like that? We had to settle for pretzel buns. C’mon, let’s go outside, I want to go outside.”
“But there are pretzel buns to be eaten!”
So obviously these conversations with my body go nowhere. Which is why I gang up on my body. For example, observe what happens when I have Sue on my side:
“Get off the couch, Body.”
“Meh. In a little bit.”
“No, now! We have to go ride. Sue’s waiting.”
“That’s right. We promised Sue we’d be there. Or else she’s gonna do that thing again when we were late and she took off without us and we had to chase her down all the way past Woodside.”
“Well… ok. But I’m doing this for Sue, not for you.”
So I try to surround myself with people who keep me motivated to get on my bike and to stay on my bike. And that’s just the easy part. I also need to surround myself with people who keep me focused on my goal, who help me pitch my crazy plan to strangers, who teach me to be a bit more extroverted so that I can spread the message about Be the Match. These are some of the people who help me get out of my comfort zone, both on my bike and off.
This is Sue! She can really make you stick to the plan. Not only do we go riding together on a regular basis, we also meet once a week to plan for Barbells Bikes and Bones. You should see what she can do with a pack of Post-Its. And she expects you to follow through on what you say you’re going to do, too. When I said that I wanted to go camping on my bike, she made sure that we went camping on our bikes. When I said I wanted to go on a week long bike trip, she made the hotel reservations and we were on our way to Santa Barbara. She’s also helping me make a quilt out of T-shirts that are too old to wear but too special to throw away.
This is Cortney! Cortney is fearless flying down steep hills. It must be all the motorcycle riding. She’s a source of limitless inspiration as she faces challenges head on. Go ahead, come up with a crazy idea, and Cortney will be there to race you to the finish line. And she’ll provide the music! You gotta be careful, though, because she’ll make you believe all your ideas are good ones. Make gorgeous salads every day and increase vegetable intake? Yup, that’s a good idea, and she’ll help you do it. Sit around binge watching The Biggest Loser and consume two bottles of wine while doing it? Yup, apparently that’s a great idea too! Cortney recently decided to up and move to Reno, sadly, but that’s what you get when you befriend crazy adventurous people.
Pictured here is just a small portion of the Prometheus CrossFit crew. In 2008 I returned home after spending a couple years in Thailand working for an outdoor school, spending most of my time sitting in vans and trains as I scuttled around the country, and I wanted to get back in shape. I asked my brother-in-law Troy if he would train me, and he said no. But he did introduce me to CrossFit, and the two of us structured our days around visiting different CrossFit gyms. People naturally flock to Troy for coaching, so rather than be hounded by athletes at other people’s gyms, he decided to just kick people’s butts in his own gym in his own garage. So started Prometheus CrossFit. The business is growing and, lucky me, I get to go along for the ride! This is the greatest group of people you could be surrounded by. Each one of them has done something to support my ride with Be the Match, whether it be by riding and training with me, hooking me up with contacts for sponsors, or just by listening to me as I fuss about my sore quads.
Kat and Hai-Yue moved down to the Bay Area from Corvallis, and I’m so glad they did. They are bursting with fascinating stories, from Burning Man to building solar cars. And everything you do with them turns into a fascinating story. Our first bike ride together was from Mountain View to San Francisco on an oddly hot and sunny day, which ended with plenty of beer and then a mad squiggly dash to get to the train station to catch our train back home. They teach me so much every day about how to live life with both passion and compassion. When my bike got stolen, they reached out to our CrossFit community, and I was so touched to see everyone contribute to buy me a new bike. They were determined to see I had all the appropriate gear for my ride, and when I discovered on the road that what I needed most of all was something fun to read or listen to, they sent me a care package!
This is Pua! Pua spent her first summer in California in 2011 and has still yet to get enough of it, even after coming back during breaks from school in New York. Pua’s first memory of me involved me screaming and sweating, hands dripping blood. She said it was a special hero WOD, but it sounds like a regular Saturday workout to me. Since my trek across America revolves around Swabbing and WODing, I asked Pua to be my Social Media Intern to keep all of you up to date with my ride, and she said yes! As a twenty-something, she’s more familiar with all that hashtagging, event-sharing, retweeting, and following business that I am too tired to do on the road.
These are my friends Kevin and Sunyoung! I know them through my sister Cindy, and Christmas of 2014 they joined our family for holiday festivities. As we sat around sipping eggnog and cold medication, I somehow talked them into using their vacation to join me on my journey! They rode the train from Seattle to Portland where we met up, and we had an amazing time riding our bikes to Boise! Experienced touring cyclists, they generously shared their wisdom with me. I learned a lot about how to strap a six pack of beer on top of all my other gear. I have so much to thank them for. For just one example, knowing that they were counting on me being in Portland by a certain date, I pushed myself to keep going and to be there on time. I might not have been able to stick with it if it weren’t for them!
This is James! I’ve known James since high school. He’s much more of a cyclist than I am, though he’d never tried a long tour before. I’m not sure if he ever was interested in touring, but, being the supportive person he is, he asked me if I’d like a riding partner for a section. He asked if I’d prefer someone to ride with at the beginning, when everything’s new and scary, or through the Rockies, when everything’s steep and scary. I requested a partner for the Rockies. And so he got all the gear and, going against rule number one for most touring cyclists, made his road bike carry it. Despite not having a touring bike, nothing broke! He rode with me from Cortez to Denver. He brought beer and whiskey with him. He did a CrossFit workout for the first time with me. He crossed the Rockies with me! He says his toes were numb for several weeks afterwards. Yeah, he’s a good friend.
All my Be the Match reps who keep me informed on all things related to bone marrow donation, make that first outreach to new areas I’m riding into where I don’t know anyone, and keep me in the loop with all the different marrow drives and campaigns happening out there. Nadya Dutchin and Frances Lee have done so much to turn my idea of a cross country awareness ride into a reality, and more and more Be the Match staff continue to get involved! Special thank yous also go to John Philpott in Utah, Rhonda Moore in Tennessee, Paul Biernacki in North Carolina, and Ashley Collier in South Carolina.
Mike Rhee is the brother-in-law of Lori Nam, a CrossFitter who is looking for a bone marrow. They started the Swab and Save Someone (SASS) campaign. As a CrossFit coach, Mike had pretty much the same idea I had – CrossFitters should totally swab and wod! So we’ve teamed up and together, we’re hoping to get as many CrossFit boxes as possible to hold a swab and wod event, ideally hosting the wod designed for Lori along with a registration drive. Mike is another excellent person to contact if you are looking to get involved in fighting against blood cancer. Check out the video he made, too – as more CrossFit boxes join his campaign, he’ll add them in!
And then, finally, the places that host me as I make my way across the country to spread the word and hold registration drives:
- Cal Courts in Eureka, CA
- Humboldt CrossFit in Eureka, CA
- CrossFit Fireside in Boise, ID
- Verdant CrossFit – with collaboration from Bronco CrossFit – in Boise, ID
- Defiance Strength and Conditioning – home of Glenwood Springs CrossFit – in Glenwood Springs, CO
- Bonfils Blood Center in Denver, CO
- Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver, CO
- CrossFit 719 in Colorado Springs, CO
- Progressive Fitness CrossFit in Colorado Springs, CO
- Devil Dogg CrossFit in Pueblo West, CO
- CrossFit Receptus in Pueblo, CO
- Riverwalk CrossFit in Pueblo, CO
- CrossFit Old 81 in Newton, KS
- Wheat State CrossFit in Wichita, KS
- CrossFit Springfield East in Springfield, MO
- Muddy Water CrossFit in Cape Girardeau, MO
- Vette City CrossFit in Bowling Green, KY
- CrossFit Elizabethtown in Elizabethtown, KY
- Blood Assurance in Cookeville, TN
- CrossFit Mayhem in Cookeville, TN
- CrossFit Knights in Cookeville, TN
- MEDIC Regional Blood Center in Knoxville, TN
- Rocky Top CrossFit in Knoxville, TN
- CrossFit Eternal Davidson in Davidson, NC
- Hendrick Marrow Program of Hendrick Motorsports in Charlotte, NC
- CrossFit MNC in Monroe, NC
- CrossFit The Athlete’s House in Sumter, SC
- CrossFit James Island in Charleston, SC
- Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, GA