Pedaling In My Sister’s Footsteps

My sister convinced me to do something crazy and now I’m proud to announce that SmartyPants is making a donation to my Pan Ohio Hope Ride .  So technically this is a sponsored post, but it is a charitable one. I am a proud member of #TeamSmarty and thank them for their continued support of families and well-being. My thoughts and words are my own. 

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I had a good childhood. Depending on the day, the time, and the atmosphere, I may try and convince you that it was a traumatic series of events that culminated (much like a superhero origin story) in the creation of the awesome being that is me. Truth is, I’m not awesome, I’m just an average guy who likes to have fun and tell stories. The bigger truth? I have an awesome big sister.

My sister has been my hero long before she got her driver’s license and plucked me from an afternoon at home to a trip to McDonald’s and the mall. Granted, I did show my gratitude by trying to get her arrested, BUT that is another story for another day. My sister has been a role model, a counselor, a co- conspirator, a dance partner (our interpretative dance of the Nutcracker ballet is legendary), and (during my dark days as a petulant little brother) an adversary. She has worn, and still wears, many hats. She is the best big sister a devious little brother could possibly ask for.

So imagine my feelings when she told me that she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The funny thing is that even in THAT conversation, she was the one counseling me, making me feel better. That’s the kind of big sister that she is. And during this time, she also started to lecture me about taking better care of myself. Eating better. Exercising more.

My sister is an avid cyclist. She loves to ride. Ironically, for years she had been participating in the Pan Ohio Hope Ride raising money for the American Cancer Society. And even now, as a cancer survivor, she continues to participate. And this year, I am going to join her. The Pan Ohio Hope Ride is a 4 day, 328 miles voyage from Cincinnati to Cleveland. Since I am a novice (and a little brother), this year I am only riding the last leg – a mere 74 miles. But the cool thing is that I will get to finish the race with my big sister – in our hometown.

Part of this journey is about raising money for a worthy cause. My sister and I are collecting donations for our ride and would appreciate any donation you could make to the “Ant Colony” (that’s the name of our riding team). The American Cancer Society has contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the US since the early 1990s – resulting in nearly 1.2 million lives saved. My sister and I are happy to be a part of the fight for more birthdays for more people.

Another part of this journey is finding that next chapter in my life. That part about my sister telling me to take better care of myself? That includes finding a hobby to get more active. This is my official foray into the world of cycling – and I am looking forward to it, One of the ways that I am supplementing this new stage is by taking a daily vitamin. I’ve written about SmartyPants vitamins before, but they have just come out with a new vitamin specifically for men – Men’s Complete. The all natural vitamin tastes great and is full of things like Omega 3s, Lycopene, and much more. However, it is actually more than the vitamin supporting me. The culture at #TeamSmarty is one that promotes family and well-being which is exactly what I need at this juncture.

My sister has always talked about how much she loves hopping on a bike and “getting lost” in the road. Now that I am pedaling in her footsteps, I can see what she means. Yes, it is hard work. Yes, hills stink. But the health benefits are amazing, and there is a calming satisfaction that comes with a good ride. I really should have taken her advice much sooner.

So what is my goal? I want to help her raise some money this summer, and turn this experience into a full fledged hobby. I’m not a runner. I’m not a crossfitter. But I think the bike and I are going to get along just fine. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to take my vitamins, stay active, and look forward to the privilege of crossing that finish line with my big sister.

PS. Stay tuned to my Instagram page. Later today I will be announcing a giveaway of Men’s Complete SmartyPants vitamins!

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