Finishing an IRONMAN can make you feel a high, but giving back to others can make that high even greater — one that you can feel every day for the rest of your life.
At first, I set out to complete an IRONMAN to show cancer that it couldn’t beat me, that I could do anything I put my mind to. I was doing it to inspire myself and others. However, I received so much more in return from this journey. By doing an IRONMAN, it gave me a platform to raise money and awareness for programs that helped my family and me during our battle with my cancer (like the Holt Brothers Foundation). The experience of my journey battling cancer and training for an IRONMAN has made my family and me so much stronger.
Unfortunately, we are all affected by cancer’s horrible reach. It’s important to help and give to programs whose mission is to assist those fighting cancer. But it goes beyond that. We need to support family members and caregivers. And it’s not all about money. Often the best form of giving is through volunteering or reaching out to people you know who are in need. Helping can be as simple as mowing the yard, making the family a dinner, taking a child to sports practice, or hanging out with a patient during a chemo session. Any form helps and will mean more than you could ever imagine. Trust me on this.
I found it difficult to accept help when I was going through chemo, radiation, and surgeries. I didn’t want to let cancer think I was weak and needed help. But I quickly learned that it did not make me weak, but made me stronger than I could ever imagine. Strength came from simply letting others help and support in any way they desired. Just ask Torry or Terrence Holt, the founders of the Holt Brothers Foundation, and they will tell you there is no “I” in team because Together Everyone Achieves More!
Yes, the battle with cancer is a tough one both mentally and physically. This is why it is VERY important to keep everyone positive. No matter what the outcome, everyone is better off. You can trust me on this one, too — I’ve been on both sides with the loss of my father to cancer. The support we got was amazing. And the warmth in your heart you feel from giving has no match.
I was the recipient of much giving and support during my battle. It meant the world to me. So please do yourself a favor and join me by paying it forward. This is one of the few things in life that I can guarantee has no negatives, down side, or losers…just positivity and love.
P.S. I’m still competing in IROMANs. In fact, I just completed the IRONMAN Maryland on October 1. Check out the Holt Brothers Foundation Fab Five Triathlon. We’re raising money for kids who have a parent with cancer and kicking butt on the course.