My 25th year of survivorship from cancer celebration will begin this July 5th, along with my 45th birthday. Two and half decades ago part way through my 20th year of life I was told I had a barely 50% chance of surviving to my next birthday. Well, I’ve blazed past that to the five then ten then twenty and now twenty-five year mark. This summer I will release my memoir of my journey from being a party girl during my first year of college and living in Southern California as I pursued my dream to be a model to my life now where I have earned a reputation as a powerhouse determined to be a catalyst for health in others whether it be of the body, mind, heart or soul –young or old – able bodied or not.
The art of learning to flourish throughout my life has been one of continual refinement and discovery. Putting down on paper the scenarios and life interactions I’ve had came about because a friend said to me just over five years ago. “People need to know what is possible.” His words were what finally made me click. Despite two and half decades of support group and yoga class members, fellow cancer advocates, my personal clients, and even complete strangers on planes telling me how inspiring my life experiences are. When I realized it would make a difference for others I knew I needed to do it.
Along with the release of the memoir I am connecting with cancer centers, support groups, yoga studios, bookstores, health food stores and like businesses to assist me in finding the right venues to share my anecdotes of life. My offering can be as vast as my personal background from a traditional book reading to instructing a yoga session to leading a group facilitated experience around whole health. I am open to any creative ideas being presented so I can best serve the communities I will be coming to. I am aiming for a route starting from my new home (moving in June to the panhandle of Florida ) heading West through Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico to Southern California and up the West coast. I am also doing it for the same reason I have wrote my memoir to enthuse and inspire others; and it is for that reason I am calling it the Inspire Tour West.
A side note if you know anyone or place you think would be a good connection for me in any of these locations especially – Houston/Austin, TX, Phoenix/Tucson, AZ, Los Angeles area, Portland, OR or Seattle, WA please let me know. I am in communication with folks in central California (Templeton area) and Mendicino about potential venues. I am booked to speak in Oakland CA mid-September at the Women’s Cancer Resource Center (WCRC). WCRC is the birthplace of my advocacy and activism of my work in the field of cancer survivorship and beyond. It’ll be like coming home. I hope all my Bay Area buds will be there!
One other way I plan to fulfill the mission of inspiring others (and myself) is by having the whole tour lead up to me doing my first triathlon in mid-September, as i mentioned in my last post. It will be the weekend after I am at WCRC and the way I have chosen to inspire myself this year. My training for this event to be held on the shores of South Lake Tahoe is in its infant stages. In case you haven’t taken a peek at the website It will be a sprint starting with a 400 meter swim in the snow melt waters of Lake Tahoe, a 25K bike ride on the mountain roads, and finishing with a 5K run in a place where I used to believe my lungs would keep me from climbing the local mountains I would stare at. This tri will be a huge accomplishment for me, since I learned to swim a couple years ago while living in Texas. Today one of my current clients, Nicole (thank you!) will coach me through my first swimming training session. Last year I began to run, barefoot style. It is slowly getting easier to breath while doing it. Good news is I got the cycling part down, after doing my first multi-mile rides as part of LiveSTRONG events I did while living in Texas five years ago.
I am on my way. And look forward to hearing your words of support and encouragement as I train and travel West. I have chosen to go West first because it is where I truly learned to blossom on my life path. I am very excited to return Tahoe especially since it is where I also popped my last chemo pills and have returned again and again as I grown in strength. Tahoe is home to me than anywhere else. It is truly my sanctuary and getting go back there strong, healthy and doing one the toughest physical things I have ever done is the icing on the cupcake! I plan to visit the rest of the country throughout the year to come, so please let me know if you have an idea for your local area.
I sign of for now with immense Gratitude for the Love and Support of YOU, my extended community.