EVENT DATE: Sep 17, 2016
DEADLINE TO GIVE: Dec 17, 2016
We’re dedicating this event to the amazing women that my practice has been privileged to care for over the years. They have inspired us with their courage, perseverance, and ability to remain positive as their bodies heal. Come join us in Malibu on September 17, 2016 to cheer on all our teams as they compete and complete their part in the Nautica Malibu triathlon. This year we are distributing to these three charities that are dear to our hearts: First Decent, Pink Petals and Margie Peterson Breast Center.
Several years ago my husband and I were having dinner with Sheila, my Patient Care Coordinator and her husband. During our conversation we both discovered a mutual passion for exploring the ocean and immersing ourselves in nature. I also found out that she was a week away from competing in the Redondo Beach Triathlon, her first race of the season. I told her I was a runner but I couldn’t imagine doing a triathlon. I asked her how she does it and she said you must have resilience and the ability to overcome adversity. You need the mindset that you can conquer anything whether it’s chemotherapy treatment like our patients go through or crossing the finish line of a race, any race. She said sometimes its brutal, the water temperatures can dip into the low 50’s, the currents can be strong and the weather unpredictable. She stopped for a moment and looked around the room and said, So when I think I don’t have the strength to carry on I remember that I have a choice to keep going or to stop but those women going through chemotherapy and other physical battlers don’t have a choice, they are struggling to get their lives back so they have to keep pushing on.” I had never really thought about it before but she was right, the struggles that my patients and others go through are monumental. I told her I’d like to maybe give it a try sometime but my only hesitation is swimming in the ocean. She finally convinced me to try by being part of a team. During my part of the race that day when I was struggling through the hills, I thought about what Sheila said and it made me think about how resilient my patients really are. I went throughout the day with unbridled enthusiasm and I exceeded my perceived limits. Sheila said why not make this an office event next year, get a couple of teams together, have patients think up some names. I told her I’d be happy to sponsor the two teams and we’ll design t-shirts with our team names. The next year we had two teams, the teams consisted of staff and family members. We had such an amazing bonding experience that we were already planning the next year. We all got medals and we proudly displayed them in the office. As the weeks passed and the patients came and went Sheila continued to share her excitement of camaraderie and joy of the sport of triathlon. Each year the interest by patients grew and Sheila started talking to them about participating in the event. She knew they had the fortitude, bravery and moral fiber to push through an event like a triathlon. What they didn’t know yet was that the payoff was priceless. As the number of teams grew over the years Sheila started a training program to keep the patients motivated. We met on Saturday mornings with a sand workout at the beach concentrating on core strength and graduated to running. We watched the group grow and more importantly I saw my patients transform into these beautiful strong and confident women who put trust in themselves and their bodies. This year we have grown to 21 teams participating which includes patients and their families. Our one little team of Sheila and I has grown into something bigger than just a race. It is the birth of beautiful friendships and a lifetime of stories to tell your kids and the pride that nothing else can bring you like the accomplishment of saying I DID A TRIATHLON!