Kelly, a very brave and hilarious friend of bebo mia, has decided to raise money for Damian’s Campaign by participating in her first triathlon while we read (and laugh) along with her. Below is her first blog post, there will be many more to follow until the big triathlon in the fall!
Exactly a year ago, my youngest son was 17 months old and had started daycare. I decided that it was time to get back to my real estate career, which I had been away from for a few years since my first son, about to turn 5, was born. First things first, I needed to get back to my former self in both body and spirit. So, while I put the wheels in motion to start the real estate business, I got a personal trainer. Since becoming pregnant with my first son, I had put on 30 pounds. I’ve never been the athletic type so this was going to be an uphill battle. In fact, it was going to be war, me versus food and the gym.
It was a brutal workout the first time I met Danielle. I had exercised a little during both my pregnancies, more so during the first pregnancy when I joined Baby and Me Fitness but, let’s be honest, yoga isn’t exactly a high endurance activity. I thought I was in better shape than I actually was. While I was being punished at the gym, with a glowing red face and barely enough air to drink water at the end of the workout, Danielle told me about the triathlon she was about to compete in. I thought “this chick is nuts…she actually sounds like she is looking forward to this”. Race day came at the end of August and Danielle came in 9th overall. I was so impressed, before I could put the words back in my mouth they came out. I said, “I would have loved to have done a triathlon when I was your age”.
What was I saying?! I wouldn’t have loved to do a triathlon! Why am I lying to this nice girl? Maybe because I wanted to sound more athletic than I ever really was? Maybe because I knew that ship had sailed long ago and there was no risk in such a ridiculous statement? Then, she said it: “You should do mini triathlon next year, the ‘Give it a Try’. It’s a 400m swim, a 10km bike ride, and a 2.5km run”. I laughed, and told her, “Listen, for one thing, I can’t really swim unless you count the doggy paddle, I haven’t been on a bike since 2004 when I went for a leisurely ride while on vacation, and my 38-year-old knees crack every morning as I walk down the stairs”. She said, “Nah, you can do it, I’ll train you.” I told her I would think on it, and hoped over the next few weeks if I didn’t bring it up, she wouldn’t either.
That September, friends who had tragically lost their baby boy, Damian, a year earlier sent an email describing the launch of “Damian’s Campaign” in honour of their son. They were raising money for a neonatal unit at Sunnybrook and were reaching out to friends and family for donations to their campaign.
When Damian died, it was a reality check on the important things in life. They had brought our group of friends closer than ever and put life’s small challenges into perspective for many. I had two healthy boys and couldn’t imagine their pain. I was so inspired by their actions. What an amazing, selfless act during such a difficult and personal time. Where did they find this spark to help others and honour Damian in doing so? All of this in spite of their grief. It was when “Damian’s Campaign” came to a close and over $100,000.00 was raised through personal and corporate donations that I decided that I could do more in my own life. I told my husband that next year I would do the “Give it a Try” and raise money for Damian’s Campaign. As usual, my wonderful, supportive husband said, “That’s a great idea. You have a lot of work ahead, but you can do it”.
As the reality of my commitment set in, I got a little nervous to say the least. What in the world was I thinking? I can barely get my butt to the gym for an hour twice a week, and I’m just getting back to work. I have 2 little boys, my house is in a constant state of renovation, I have enough laundry piled up to clothe an army. It was with all this in mind that I decided that I better keep my big mouth shut as to my intentions for the next couple of months until I ascertained that I could actually do such a thing. And so it began…
Stay tuned to see if Kelly can brush her laundry aside and jump on her bike. This year Damian’s Campaign is raising money for Holland Bloorview, A Kids Rehabilitation Hospital that would have been there for Damian and is there for so many other children in need. To support this hospital please click here.
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