I participated in last years event, and it was a blast! Felt really good to raise the money I did, and to complete the ride. I liked it so much, I registered for it again this year, and decided to push myself to the 50 mile ride instead of the 28. Started training and fund raising today. Set a steep goal this year of $500 as well. Last year, I raised just over $250. I am also using this as a way to get this weight off that I put on, for a few reasons.
2 1/2 years ago I weighed 140 Lbs. Felt great, riding my bicycle was easy and a blast. Since then, I have slowly put on the pounds. Last years Tour De Cure, I weighed around 180 Lbs. Right now, I currently weigh 220 Lbs! I would really like to get back down to the 140 range, but would be happy with 160. Biggest reason, I am on the verge of being a diabetic due to my weight. Diabetes really hits home for me.
My father has been a Diabetic for going on 20 years now, taking insulin each day. My mother was diagnosed with it as well about 8 years ago. She is able to take medication to help keep it under control. Both of theirs was due to their diets and weights. My dads brother was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3. My grandfather who passed away was diagnosed with diabetes a few years before he passed. My other grandfather was diagnosed with it a few years ago as well. The one person in my family that really gets me though, is my niece. She is about to turn 7 years old, and 2 years ago she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and it has been one hell of a battle. Daily insulin injections, sugar checks, and constantly counting carbs and sugars in food. Recently she had a seizure because her sugar level dropped too low. My sister divorced the father right before she was diagnosed, so that makes things even more difficult. They don't communicate well, so both deal with her diabetes differently, and her sugar levels are constantly all over the place.
I hate seeing her go through it all. Seeing it has made me really want to make a difference for those out there dealing with it day in and day out. So I'm asking for some help from you guys. I would really like to ride with some others in a group in the area, so if you ride a road bike, or even a mountain bike in the Knoxville area, hit me up, or join the Tour de Cure. Don't ride, or not in the area, you can still help me out by donating a little bit to the Tour de Cure through me. Just follow the link in my sig.
I am also in the process of setting up a blog to track my training progress. Started today, only managed 30 minutes on the trainer, but kept my heart rate up at 160 for a good 10 minutes. Not anywhere near what I was doing about 6 months ago, but not bad since I haven't been on the bike since I broke my hand back in August.