Wow what a New Year it has already turned out to be. I am getting a lot of inquiries about coaching which is exciting. If you have ever been to one of my Xterra clinics or talked with me you know how much I love to spread the knowledge. I can't wait until I have enough money to build a training camp on our property. It will be absolutely worth coming to but I know it will take awhile. I need a lot of other things first . . . Like my new disable friendly bathroom!
This past weekend a local training and racing company called TBF (www.tbfracing.com) put on a New Years duathlon. They have been doing this for a couple years now and it is free to anyone that wants to participate. This year they took donations to help none other then ME! With over 200 racers they were able to raise almost $3000 which is a blessing because I need a new bathroom ASAP! I had a little fall a few weeks ago that scared me more then it actually hurt me. More people die from slipping in the bathroom then any other accident in the home. That is scary when you think about it! The worst part was that Courtney was in the garage and couldn't hear me screaming for help to get back up. When I think about it I really could have gotten hurt. My guardian angel sure was looking out for me that day.
I am so thankful for my friends at TBF. They have been an awesome support system. I got my start in triathlon with their help. It was back in 1998 I was at the CIM expo and they had a booth. I don't remember why I was there because I surely wasn't running the marathon but I was really interested in doing triathlons. That winter I joined their training group and met lots of neat and fun people that had the same desire. Mark Shaw (one of the owners) became my first tri coach. From there we became great friends and training buddies. Both he and Bill (another owner) have supported and helped my career in multisport. I only hope I can repay them for all of their generosity! I do recommend their training classes if you are looking to get into Triathlons and you should really consider one of their races or all of them! I will be out there this winter announcing the Chanoko Duathlon series and the Real Mountain Bike Tri! I hope to see some of you out there!
A day after the race I got a call from a guy who started Veterans for Sarcoma charity. We have been in and out of contact for the past several months. He too had a sarcoma which you can read about on his website www.veteransforsarcoma.com/donate vfs.aspx He has been wanting to help me out since he has been in a similar situation. He along with many others are on a mission to raise money for Sarcoma research. This is super important since people are continuing to die from this horrible cancer. The biggest scare when you get a sarcoma is if it has spread to your lungs. Being a soft tissue cancer this is the first place it likes to go. I have been blessed thus far with no sign of lesions on my lungs. This is also why I am being closely monitored and why my chemo was going to be so aggressive! He has offered to help me out so I can get the ball running on the bathroom/laundry room. Talk about being blessed. If you get a chance check out his website and help any way you can!
To top things off Courtney will be able to start taking Friday's off to get moving on the bathroom. It will probably start next month which doesn't matter to me at this point. Friends and family have also offered to help with the labor. It really seems like this is going to happen in the near future! I am so excited. It has been difficult trying to do the laundry and trying to be super careful while I try to step in and out of the bathtub for a shower. I can't even begin to describe how hard it is to sit on a toilet that isn't even standard height . . . Which is why I asked for a toilet for Christmas from my in-laws. I am all about practical gifts! They were a little perplexed and then understood my need for a proper toilet (chair height.) Soon there will me no more falling hard onto the toilet seat! YEAH!
Fleet Feet Sports in Sacramento has also been spectacular in raising money and spreading awareness. Pat and Jan (owners) have always been great friends . . . I have been going to the store since my high school running days! Together they raised almost $10k which went directly to medical bills and my increased health insurance. I guess medical insurance is like car insurance . . . If you get really sick the rates go way up. My Dad says no matter what I am still ahead because of how much everything costs! I agree and am not complaining!
Then there is the John Wayne Cancer Foundation who has also been a tremendous support with raising some money, sending gifts and making the "Go Jamie" stickers. I met Greg Graber at Wildflower last year and told him my story. He has been an awesome support! I can't Thank him enough either! Please check out his website (He is married to John Wayne's granddaughter) and help out if you can www.jwcf.org/ Courtney and I still joke about it being the Jamie Whitmore Cancer Foundation because we have the same initials!
I can't forget all of the individual support from all of you out there. We never would have made it through the year without it. Everything from financial support to magazines/books to cards and other gifts. I am so thankful and blessed. It gave me an opportunity not to worry about making the bills and eating to actually getting healthy! My sponsors were also key because they continued to support and pay me and everyone of them continues to stand behind me as I venture into coaching and camps.
So what have I been up to. Starting my coaching business of course. I am walking (still not enjoying it but doing it because I need to!) I am lifting weights which is something and playing Wii fit to help with balance and make yoga fun! I am also continuing to work on cleaning the house and organizing everything I put off while I was racing then when I got sick. Everyone I run into says I am looking great and my super high energy personality is finally back.
I still have moments where I start to think about racing. I get a little emotional until I push it out like you would push out the pain feeling during a race. I think my day to day dealings are like a race. I have to push through my limitations and constantly redirect my thought process. I must say no race has ever been this hard but at least I get outside assistance!
I hope all of you are embracing the New year and everything you have the ability to accomplish!
I almost forgot . . . If you are looking for an opportunity to get away and get some training in check out www.ictrinet.com It is a wonderful camp at the end of this month. I have been a part of for the past 3 years. I will be there again this year to tell my story and give my advice on training for Xterra racing. Courtney will also be there to help out with bike maintenance and riding skills. Please check it out and think about coming. It is also a Christian camp but you do not have to be a Christian to attend! There will be lots of fellowship and some of the most amazing Pastors (one of which has been there for me through all of my experience and was at both surgeries!) I am trying to raise $400 to take a young promising athlete along with us. He is such a hard working young man with a lot of potential. If you know of anyone that can help please let me know. It would be like a sponsorship program!
Until next time
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