Sunday, September 11, 2011

Malibu Triathlon- This is Why I'm Doing This

The Nautica Malibu Triathlon is in a week.  The Fundraising efforts are closing in on raising a million dollars to support Childrens Hospital Los Angeles's Pediatric Cancer Program.  Those who read me here or on Twitter or on facebook know why I'm doing this even if I can't do the whole thing quite yet.  I'm so thankful to my friend Jason who will compete in the run for me.

Yesterday, I completed my last real training with slightly over a mile ovean swim practicing entry and exit through the surf, tehn simulated start and race distance swim.  Then I rode the course between cloud bursts.  I fel tgreat.  I love that I am back able to do these things 8 months post my surgery, I am awed by the support of my friends and family.  However, when I need more inspiration I will just reread this email..


The event is coming up fast, wish I had trained more in June and July.  But the event is on my mind in a different and perhaps more meaningful way as I write this note.  Just yesterday morning as I was driving into work one of our cancer docs called me to say that our personal family friend’s child who he has been treating at CHLA lost their her battle with cancer.  Although the news was devastating, it energized me even more to want to work even harder for making the 25thAnniversary of the Nautica Malibu Triathlon that much more meaningful.

In just days as we gather on the shore at Zuma Beach in Malibu to test our skills against Mother Nature and our own athletic abilities, I will be thinking about doing my race in honor of our family’s young child.  I know she will be looking down upon all the participating athletes and giving them the inspiration to achieve their utmost.

I hate cancer, but I love the feeling of knowing that thousands of athletes and supporters of the triathlon will come together and make a huge difference in our battle to end cancer.

Thank you XXXX…

Remember thsi is why we are completing a triathlon to support Peds Cancer Research at CHLA.

Thank you to all who have already donated. If you still want to donate you may do so by following this link.  Thank you

Thursday, September 8, 2011

lap by lap, pedal by pedal, mile by mile, mm by mm

Lap by lap, pedal by pedal, mile by mile I slowly begin to feel more like myself.  Slowly that confidence that used to exude from my being but then got replaced by fear, doubt, anxiety has begun to return to me.  I am far from being the shape that I was in last year, but as evidenced by the miles I rode my bike and the miles that I ran this past weekend I am even further from the wheelchair bound version of myself of this past winter.

My vanity wants to wear my cute shoes again. My pride wants to be able to be back at work full time taking care of critically ill babies, but not yet.  I still must wait.  However, with each lap I swam this morning (and there were 80 of them) I could feel my strength coming back. Each mile I run reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to. I remind myself that great strides and accomplishments are not met by sitting on the sideline by staying with that which is safe.  You must risk to achieve. So, I risk. I choose not to sit on the sideline.

Still my real recovery is not measured by the miles I cover in my athletic pursuits. My real road to actual recovery to finding out what will be my new normal is measured in millimeters.  As millimete by millimeter the nerve regrows in my foot, the sensation has slowly begun to return to the bottom of my foot.  Will I ever recover any strength in my foot, no one knows, but there is reason to hope.  So while the rest of my body powers through miles, the nerves continue their millimeter a day progress. And I wait and to build the new version of me whatever it will be.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Talking to my physical therapist the other day, we realized that I will be doing my 2/3 of the Malibu Triathlon a few days short of 8 months after my surgery.  8 months, wow!  My PT says most people would be barely getting around 8 months after the type of surgery I had. However, I never strive to be most people.  Still 8 months...

Thinking back to where I was 8 months ago, a lump rises in my throat, my chest tightens and I remember the fear the anxiety that filled me in that time.  I didn't know what they were going to have to do to remove the recurrence of that silly cancer in my ankle.  I knew there would be no radiation this time, no other treatment, just cut it all out.

Fast forward, a month or two, I'm sititng on my parents porch still in a wheelchair, deciding that signing up for a portion of the Malibu Triathlon to raise money for cancer research is a good idea.  I recruit my friend to run for me and Team Lisa is born.  Crazy, maybe, a little, probably, yes, more than a little crazy.  However, I needed a goal.  My psyche, my health, my sanity needed a goal.  Thus, I started to swim as soon as they said I could, I started to ride my bike as soon as possible.  I found freedom, peace when I could be on my bike or in the pool.  Therefore, less than 8 months after my surgery I will swim and ride in the Malibu Triathlon and my friend Jason will run.  He has supported me through out this whole adventure,  kept me positive, kept me within my limits.  I am honored to have such a friend and blessed to be able to be on this road.  I may not be able to feel the bottom of my foot, I may have no muscles left in my foot, I may not be able to stand for more than a few moments at a time, but swim and ride, I can do that!

Still 8 months?  Wow, there is a lot about the last 8 months that I'd like to forget, there's a lot I don't remember, but this, as I said in my post about joining Team In Training, feels right to me.  It has given me strength and purpose.  I'm still shocked when others tell me they find my journey inspiring, because to me it was just about staying sane over these last 8 months. About not letting cancer take anything else from me.   I would be honored if you would help me support for Pediatric Cancer Research or any words of encouragement as race day approaches.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

To donate to the Nautica Malibu Triathlon follow this link.