Sep. 7, 2010

Being a "domestique" for Team LIVESTRONG

Last year, my LIVESTRONG fundraising came along like a dream: I found a potential sponsor, who pledged a lot of money if we ever made it to the $5,000 level, lots of friends and friends-of-friends stepped in (as did said sponsor) and together we raised almost $4500 for LIVESTRONG! In cycling terms, I was part of a breakaway group who almost made it to a stage win.

This year, it's a lot tougher on different levels, so you might call me a "domestique" (for those non-cyclists of you, it's a cyclist who works for the benefit of the team, not for his own aspirations;-)

Once again, cancer is bothering some of my friends/loved ones, which makes the commitment even more personal and thus emotional for me. Secondly, I will be back on the bike (some call it my comeback season, which I absolutely love... feels like I were a pro cyclist ;-) for the Austin Challenge in October after almost 2 years of spine and shoulder issues. Never mind too many doctor visits... I WILL be riding the 45 miles and I WILL cross the finish line to receive my yellow rose! The road has become the journey more than ever. Getting to Austin was and will be a challenge.

I couldn't have made it this far without the help and support of good friends, who were kind enough to support my fundraising and/or who continue to cheer me up whenever I need a good laugh.

I couldn't have made it past the $1000 fundraising mark without people who have been pestered by cancer and who believe in my "comeback ride". I'll ride the Austin Challenge in honor/support/memory of a long list of friends and their cancer heroes, just because I can, while others cannot.

This year, it's becoming very clear that sometimes it's not about trying to raise $5,000 for a very worthy cause (although I wished I'd get there ;-). It's not about an ego to reach a certain fundraising level! I am and always have been a team player. I'm a member of a team of FANTASTIC fundraisers, some of whom will make the "Ride for the Roses" level again this year.

So for me, this year will be about riding because others can't, thriving after a long period of pain, making it to an AMAZING weekend and meeting LIVESTRONG friends (both old and new ones). It'll be about a bike ride... a 5k walk... and most of all about cheering for others, celebrating survivors, encouraging warriors and remembering angels!

I might not be a big fundraising success-story this year, but I'm still proud of what I achieved... and very humbled to have friends who support me. You guys are the best!!!!!

With 28 Millions around the globe fighting cancer right now, we need to remember that it can be YOUR personal fight in the blink of an eye!

Cancer does not discriminate against age, race, social class, income, education, gender, or sexual orientation. That's why I'll continue to ride, walk, raise money and fight with the attitude of a true
domestique ... supporting Team LIVESTRONG so that others won't have to fight this cancer beast.


Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

Annemieke said...

Dear Henrike,

You will always be a team captain, no matter how much money you raise!!! You coached me through my first (virtual) Challenge and inspired me to participate in this one. As a true team captain you raise the bar high so I have something to strive for. As you I set a goal for my Challenge ($ 3000) and wished I could make $ 5000 so I coudl take you with me to the dinner on Saturdaynight. But like you the most important thing to me is meeting other amazing LiveSTRONG Leaders who feel like my second family although I haven't met any of them in person yet. The experience will be unique and turnme into a better LiveSTRONG Leader and I will have you to thank for it. Both of us believe in the message of the LAF/LiveSTRONG and eventhough both of us want to raise as much money as possible to help them fight cancer, we do he best we can, domestique or team captian. And the best part is the amazing people at LAF/LiveSTRONG value all of us equal. Thank you for being the best team captain ever.