Texas 4000 2016 Team Volunteered at Tri-Rock Last Weekend
Upon joining Texas 4000 for Cancer, I was a socially awkward recluse that could not string together words to form a conversation, because I knew I would sweat and stutter under pressure. Fast forward about 12 months later into the Texas 4000 for Cancer program, I am still the same socially awkward, sweaty, and stuttering person, but I have learned to embrace meeting new people.
As a rider for Texas 4000 for Cancer, we volunteer at sporting events, i.e. Rookie Tri and TriRock. After the first hand full of times of volunteering and not talking to anyone, I always left unsatisfied. It wasn’t until this semester’s volunteering that I realized how fulfilling it is to meet new people and learn something that is seemingly small, but truly great about who they are.
Many of the tri-atheletes that I spotted at TriRock, were the same tri-athletes that I have seen at the other triathlons and biking events Texas 4000 for Cancer riders has helped volunteer at. Finally, opening myself up to dialogue – though it was full of sweat and stutters on my part – was a truly life changing event. I was able to meet athletes that endure the physical hardship of a triathlon – swim, bike, and run for miles all consecutively – because of a personal reason, all of which are profound to me. These athletes WANTED to swim for yards, bike for miles, and then run for miles, because they wanted to stay fit and healthy, to enjoy themselves while participating in a physical event, to complete a triathlon to prove to themselves they could physically and mentally endure such a fatiguing task, to complete it in honor of a family member that is fighting a disease (cancer-related, or not), to finish it because they conquered a disease or a loss of a limb, to donate to the charity that the event supports. The ability for someone to endure such a triumphant task is truly amazing, and their motivations were just so powerful to hear.
Triathletes, and others alike, are the epitome for what Texas 4000 for Cancer stands for. Each rider in Texas 4000 for Cancer will be biking to Alaska in honor of their friends and family that have been effected by cancer. They are our motivators to pedal 4,500 miles… But, why do we do it? To honor their life, their memories, their joy, their contribution to this world. To carry their names with us to Alaska.