Posted by: sonewjersey | May 2, 2012

Triple Threat Inspirational Ride: I Did It!

On the morning of April 28th, at 7:00 am, the majority of my friends were sound asleep, cozy and warm in their beds. I, on the other hand, was splashing my face with cold water and drinking a protein shake in preparation for the 3-hour Can-Do Triple Threat Inspirational Ride.

While most 26-year-olds’ Friday nights probably consist of staying up late and being out on the town, my coworker, sister and I were “carbing up” and reading in our beds. We were asleep somewhere between 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm to make sure we had at least 8 hours of sleep before we had to spin.

We woke up (somewhat) refreshed on Saturday morning, and each had a small but healthy breakfast. My mom thought she was being nice by providing donuts and cinnamon buns, but I was good and had a protein shake instead. I wanted to make sure to eat something that could carry me through all 3 hours so I wouldn’t get hunger pangs!

We arrived at Can-Do in time to register, and we got our Spin Jerseys and tickets to get in. I started to get a rush of adrenaline (and a bit of nervousness, too) in the hour leading up to the event. Sure I had protein, and yes I’d been working out to prepare, but what if I didn’t make it through? What if, out of everyone in the class, I couldn’t complete the 3 hours? I did start to have my doubts but I tried to focus on other things and push them out of my head!

We all got on our bikes and I was instantly excited and energized. We all looked great in our colorful shirts, and seeing everyone gathered together for such a powerful event really set me straight and put me in the right mindset. I was ready to go!

The threat illustration

The entire 3-hour ride had been broken down into three “threats”/mountains, and they were illustrated on the wall. I clipped my feet into the pedals and off we went.

The first hour of our ride was instructed byBeverly, and she did a wonderful job of getting us warmed up and energized for the day. The first threat was made up primarily of switchbacks, or turns on a hill. They were tough but steady and I now felt adequately warmed up and confident to boot.

The second hour was led by Germaine, who I had the pleasure of meeting that morning. Her hour of the ride was tough, but I was at the peak of my energy for the day and I pushed through it!

So far things were going well. Everyone was energized, occasionally hooting and hollering in enthusiasm. Every so often I’d get a little tired, and wonder if I could get through the second half of the event. But then I’d look at our Special Olympics Athlete, Shaun Woolf, who was spinning on a bike in front of me. He was powering through our threats! His determination inspired me to continue even if I questioned whether or not I could.

Me on the left, with my co-worker (center) and sister (right)

At this point the last hour had finally arrived. Nancy took over the class, and kept us interested and enthused. My energy was definitely starting to wane by now, and we were doing 10-minute “standing hills”. Honestly the only way to get through this was to just close my eyes and visualize what I could. Visualize the hills, nice weather, maybe a road overlooking a river? Something scenic. I would visualize it in as much detail as possible, and before we knew it we would be done with that hill!

This went on a number of times until finally, unbelievably, we were at the end. Everyone was cheering, sweating, huffing and puffing, clapping, yelling, smiling. The energy in the room was probably at it’s highest at this one moment. Everyone was proud of themselves, proud of the person next to them, proud of Shaun.

Me (center) with instructors Nancy and Germaine

I made it through and was proud of myself and everyone else for being able to power through and finish the entire ride! From start to finish the entire experience (the preparation and event itself) was inspiring and I loved to see so many people come together for such a great cause.

It’s moments like these that I’m glad to have been a part of! I will definitely be signing up for another Special Olympics New Jersey fundraising event in the near future and hopefully will get to share my experiences with everyone then, as well!

Check out all of the Triple Threat Inspirational Ride photos HERE!

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