BY DANA BRENKLIN
As I begin this story, let me tell you, I am not a cyclist. I know no more about a bicycle than peddling, stopping and starting.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me begin. I host a lesbian-centric online radio show and after two successful interviews with two awesome women and supporters of the show requesting her, I thought I’d try soliciting actress Traci Dinwiddie. Well, once we began corresponding she invited me to ride with a team (T-Bugs) of people for AIDS/LifeCycle 2014, called Team Goodisness.
I’ve always wanted to be sort of a fitness guru or maybe just get in great physical shape but that wasn’t in the cards for me as a child or even as an adult up until now. I was something of a sickly child and adult, among other things, however, I am not anymore. So, I researched this ride and saw how passionate Traci was about what she was doing and after much thought and anticipation, I said yes.
For years I’ve said that I was going to be in the best shape of my life by the time I reached the age of 40. I claimed it, just as I claimed the year 2013 to be my year, just as I’ve claimed everything in my life, as I walk by faith, not by sight. With that claiming, I don’t believe it is in anyway a coincidence that I am involved with this year’s ride. Upon deciding to participate, I have had to change my diet and habits, just as I had intended before this journey dropped into my lap. I realize that this is no joke. I am not in the best shape. My diet has had to change, my exercising has increased, my coffee intake is less and my water intake is much greater.
The physicality of this undertaking is overwhelming, but I am on my way and nothing is going to stop me. I have never been able to take on a feat such as this in my life and I am nothing but grateful for the opportunity to give my heart, mind and body to such a cause. I am certain I will be forever changed when we sail through to the finish line and I know I will be helping my brothers and sisters suffering from HIV/AIDS live more abundant and healthy lives because of the money being raised.
So far, I have been on one training ride (28 miles) that I thought was going to kill me, but I am still here and more motivated than ever. Come along and take this daunting and exciting journey with me. I am truly inspired and I think you will be too.
Each team member sets a goal for donations, which you can help them reach. Thanks for your generous support of Dana’s participation! To learn more about Team Goodisness, which includes Traci Dinwiddie, Cathy DeBuono, our own Shannon Wentworth, Nicole Conn and others, visit ToFightHIV.org.