Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sunday arrival at Frisco Condo July 23 - Great place!

Photos from Frisco to Vail bike path

Teasing the iPhone upload - Leadville photos - sorry about dups

August 27 - Angie Rake flying in for our Leadville stage race

This morning I was up at 5:00, as usual.   I am so excited that Angie will be here soon and we will head up to Twinlakes and spend the the three nights there with the Dietrichs.

We have a house rented for all us.  Angie and I will be racing the three-day stage race for training for the 100 MTB on August 12.  This weekend is the same 100 miles divided up over three days.

I am so grateful to be here.

Yesterday I decided to sponsor three kids from Huntsville for 900.00 to team race this weekend.  They are 14, 15 and 17.  Team Parrish Reporting.  They are so excited because their parents could not afford it.  I am so blessed and happy to help any kids wanting to ride mountain bikes.  And now I have my first high school mountain bike team.  Photos will be following.

Just a problem uploading them from iPhoto!  

No time to proof!   Danielle and Janet are doing a great job at the office, and it is very busy.
I am not complaining.

Sober and ready to rock Leadville.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Kettle One memories at the bank yesterday!

Kettle One memories. I am in Wells Fargo and I see a guy who works at Kings Liquor Store on Berkeley and Santa Monica. I don't even know his name, but he has worked there since I moved here in 2005. I said hello, and he looked like he saw a ghost and very surprised. He says, Where have you been, I have not seen you forever". I snuck in close and told him that I have not had a drink in close to eight years. Very seriously, he says, "Thank God you are alive!"
This poor guy used to deliver Kettle One to my house every day in that black bag when I broke my femur and was in a wheelchair. I relapsed in 2006, and every day was a struggle. In 2009, Zometa (for cancer) caused my femur to break in half, spontaneously, come to find out it is a side effect.
I made sure I had the right walker that could balance my drink to get to the kitchen after getting out of the hospital rehab. Clearly, he got to see me at my worst bottom, wheelchair, walker, hospital bed in my living room, cancer, pain meds, and not able to stop drinking. Some of the darkest days of my life, no doubt. Later came the broken foot. Another story.
I laughed at first. Then I realized how serious he was, and shocked. How I am alive is beyond my own comprehension. Multiple myeloma, Percocet and Kettle One is not a friendly combo. I must have looked pretty bad by the look on his face. Why are people always thinking I am dead? lol
Never give up. Today my daily combo is mountain biking, trying Keto diet, working, and loving my job! I am so grateful for my amazing life today, my daughter, family, grandkids, most amazing friends ever! And I am actually going to race across the sky in Leadville, Colorado for 100 miles in August.
This summer will be cycling in Colorado and celebrating life one day at a time, with or without cancer, and definitely sober. Beyond grateful!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Flight 604 from Minnesota to Los Angeles - Rake Farms' Leadville training 7-6-17 Thursday

Flying back home with some uneasy turbulence.  Thinking on my recent nine days at the Rake Farms.   First, I cry. My heart is full.  I am so excited and nervous about our upcoming Leadville ride.  

Angie Rake is like no other woman or cyclist.  She is strong mentally, physically and motivates me to the moon.  I keep seeing us crossing the finish line. I can see myself falling to the ground and bursting out in tears.  I feel with Angie I can do anything. 
We are both Aries.  We are both business owners.  I am ten years older than Angie, but she is confident we can do this.  Angie has completed Leadville three times, I believe, and once on a tandem with Danielle.  
Angie says we have three advantages: 
    1 - We are mentally tough
    2 - We are scrappy (my favorite)
    3 - We never give up - ever - not today - not ever! 

Never have I  felt such love, peace, and a sense of calm, which I cannot explain, while being on the farm.  I will miss Chloe, Risky, Sam, and Minnie.  The horses, Frankel, and Ali. I had no TV in my room for this week, which gave me a lot of time to think.   I thought often of what I am going to do with the rest of my life, what is left of my life.  

I have been wanting to write, but as the feelings come up, the tears, the sadness, the fear, the happiness, the gratitude -- oh, dear God, it is more than I can handle.

Cancer screams out "fear me, I am coming for you“ . My heart says I have a beautiful daughter and two amazing grandchildren who love me and need me. I don't want to miss their life.   

My life road was paved with a broken family and shattered dreams.  My childhood was stolen from me.  I grew up with no father. I grew up with a strong mother who would, and did, do anything to feed five children and put a roof over their heads.  

My life is riddled with far too many regrets.   I scream in my dreams, Please let me go back and do it right, just one more chance”

Last night I had a dream that I was flying up and down single track (for bikes) but I was sliding on my body, sliding on ice, no bike. I was behind someone. I was flying up and down the steep trails with determination and momentum of just Cheryl! Certainly one of the strangest dreams I have ever had.

Every morning that I woke up at the Rake Farms, I looked outside the giant windows and saw a world I have never known. I saw something I lost  hope on long ago. I saw family, love, happy animals, happy people, blue skies, trees, and the white picket fence that goes on for acres.

Scott and Angie Rake open their hearts and their home to everybody.  They give it all back and never take.  In some strange way, I feel, maybe, just maybe,  this is my final great break — meeting the Rake family.  Scott told me before I left:  “The door is always open”…I almost cried.  Nobody has ever told me that. They would do anything for their friends and family.  They believe in me.  Angie has gotten me to push harder than every before.  Legs on fire, bring it on!  She has real grit.  We only met in January at the Coast ride, where we rode 600 miles in a week.  Oddly, It does seem as though we have known each other for a lifetime.

I have nothing to prove, except to myself, that I have what it takes finish the Leadville 100 MTB.  

I will be driving to Colorado the end of July. Angie and I will take on the three-day Leadville stage race first. Our goal is 10.5 hours in the three days in total, and possibly move up a coral for Leadville.  Angie flies home and returns two days before Leadville, August 10.  I will stay on and ride and train with my Leadville family friends.

My day is coming.  August 12 is my day!  I know mechanicals and weather can play a part and cause problems.   With the help of CTS and my coach Julia Priest, I am stronger than I have ever been.

So I am sitting in this airplane and heading home to my other life. A life of chaos and stress.  I will continue my training and get back to work so I can pay for this trip. 

Simply said, I owe my new life -focus to Scott and Angie Rake.  Angie believed in me when I did not believe in myself.  Now I believe in myself. I believe in us, as a team, will crush Leadville.  Angie gave me her Leadville necklace, which I will return when I get my own.  The gifts of the Rake generosity seem endless.

We rode our bikes on gravel and pavement.  We tested our limits.  We have no limits. 

I saw deer, fox, bunnies, cows, horses, pasture egg huts, wild turkeys, pig….

I met their friends and their family.  We shared stories of hard work.  We shared stories of family addiction and alcoholism.  We shared hope.  We shared dreams. We laughed. We hugged. I cried. Angie does not cry.