Tour de Mom

Mom and I at the highest point of Alabama
My parents are my best friends.  I feel really, really fortunate to say that.  While we drive each other batty (as all families tend to do), I have always been able to tell my parents anything.  And we always have fun whenever we are together.  No matter what endeavor I undertook, they were always supportive; whether that was a PhD application, a Half Ironman, or (when I was younger) needing a ride home from somewhere.

It's hard for me to think about this, but my parents are in their mid- and late-60's now (Daddy will be 70 this coming March.  They are so much fun, so active, and so young at heart that most people assume they are a good ten years younger than they are.  It is a nonstop laugh-fest when you are around my parents.  Everything is an excuse to smile, chuckle, chortle, guffaw, giggle, hoot, or grin.

Mom celebrating my 43-minute PR with me at the
Savannah Marathon - I think she was as happy as I was!
I want to be like them if I grow up.

This year, as part of my training for Florida Half Ironman 2012, I am doing the 50-mile ride for the Tour de Cure.  I am also raising funds for the American Diabetes Association.  The Tour de Cure will be my main 2012 fundraiser.

One of the reasons I pick TDC over and over is that my mom was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in her forties.  There was a big lifestyle change for my family when she was diagnosed; while we had always eaten plenty of vegetables, rarely ate fried food, and as kids we were limited to one "treat" (usually a snack food or a sweet) a day, managing her diabetes required more intense work.  We made a switch to a primarily whole-grain, vegetarian diet - for one thing - and we started incorporating physical activity almost every day of the week.

From then until just a few years ago, my mom cycled, swam or walked 5-6 days a week for about an hour a day.  Now, even in her mid-60's, my mom still walks or hikes an hour a day 5-6 days a week.   She still eats a diet that is high in whole grains, fresh vegetables and good fats.  She still keeps a close eye on her blood glucose and tries to find healthy variations of old family recipes and favorite treats - but she still finds a way to have her treats and keep her diet balanced.

My parents are my healthy lifestyle role models.  The biggest reason they look and act so young is that they keep moving, they eat to live, and they have positive outlooks on life.

So this year I am calling my 2012 Tour de Cure the Tour de Mom.  I'll be riding and raising funds in honor of the person who taught me how important it is to get the most out of life.

Thanks for everything! Love you, Mom!

If you'd like to join me, please do.  I am proud to raise funds to help others learn how to manage and understand their disease, like my Mom did.

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