Feeling supported is probably one of the best feelings on earth because it involves all sorts of other feel good emotions: love, respect, and confidence to name a few. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is something special about Ultrabikex Key Biscayne. Sure, they are my sponsors but through the years their unyielding support has come to mean a lot more than a sponsorship to me.
It started with Andreas at the Ultrabikex Studio in the fall of 2012. He gave me a RETUL bike fit for my then brand new bike. With his guidance, I began to grow as a cyclist, pay attention to numbers, get VO2Max tested and more.
Then came Bike Key Biscayne, a non profit organization I helped found to make Key Biscayne a bike friendly community. Ultrabikex jumped on board immediately. They offered the Studio as a place to hold meetings, and their store as a departure and arrival point for our community rides.
Finally, they opened the Computrainer Studio in 2013 and that is when my cycling really began to take off as I was able to train in a way that the Miami outdoors could not provide. I learned to climb mountains, even my pedal stroke, understand power metrics and more. I even rode the entire Ironman Florida course, all 112 miles of it, at the Ultrabikex Studio.
And then to top it off, Andreas raced Ironman Florida “with” me (just several hours faster.)
Ultrabikex is not a huge store carrying every item under the sun but they are MY store. They have done a lot for me, my family, and for my community therefore I’m 100% loyal. So when I first started to look for support for #ThumbsUp, the project where I help my quadriplegic friend Kerry Gruson be a triathlete I went to them first though I wasn’t sure if they would be able to help at this time.
The response was swift and decisive. YES!
So today I am tracking the order of the Wike Bicycles Special Needs Trailer which is bound to arrive next week. I must say, we found the trailer and was able to get it thanks to Care2Tri.org. They were instrumental in making it happen so quickly.
And what does that mean?
First, that our most important and single largest expense is taken care of. And second, that I can begin training with the trailer.
So far, I have done resistance training in the pool (using a parachute), on the computrainer at Ultrabikex (climbing steep hills with a heavy gear), and at Fitness Together building strength. The trailer will allow me to put some of this training to test outside, and it will help me get comfortable with the equipment.
I need to learn how to attach it to my bike, how to convert it from a bike carrier to a stroller, and how to ride and run with it. I will first practice with it empty, then with my kids as Dreamer weighs about the same as Kerry, and only then will I feel confident enough to get Kerry onto that thing.
But we do have a goal. We plan to race the Carnaval 5k in Miami on February 23. That will be our first attempt at running together and testing out our equipment. We are bound to find glitches but the point is to do it now rather than at the South Beach Triathlon.
What has Kerry been doing in the meantime? Well, she needs to stay healthy and continue promoting her #ThumbsUp attitude. She attended the Thelma Gibson Excellence Awards organized by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami Dade where a student she had nominated won the Student Award of Excellence. She also met Jane Pauley!
She keeps healthy by eating well, and is of service to the community. Here she is helping University of Miami Physical Therapy students hone their skills by practicing getting her on and off the boat.
So if we can pull this triathlon thing off, you can do anything you set your mind to. You can’t do it alone though. Kerry and I have the help of sponsors such as Ultrabikex, and of people who help us everyday so that we can focus on the task at hand. And chances are, for you to be successful at anything you will need your own village too.
We still need sponsors so if you would like to help us spread the #ThumbsUp message, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not take donations, we are not a nonprofit.
But with a humble heart, and an attitude full of gratitude, we will get there. And so will you.