Shared Inspiration

June 03, 2011

One of our Age Group Ambassadors, Derek Jones, sent me this today. Wanted to share his note on inspiration…

People ask me a lot what inspires me to get up every morning at 5:00 am for my first workout of the day, and put myself through 20 hours of training a week.

I think inspiration comes in many forms and changes day to day. Some days it’s my two daughters, age 8 and 10. My wife and I have made a commitment to never let them hear us say we are on a diet. While we teach them about appropriate nutrition we want them to develop a healthy body image through an active lifestyle and sport. When they wake up in the morning they know they can find us on the treadmill or out on the road. Other days it is my wife that inspires me.  She works 50 - 60 hours a week as a pediatrician and still finds time to train for marathons while never missing one of the girls activities. Her career affords me the luxury of having the time to stay home with our girls and chase my passion. By giving it my best I honor her hard work.

Finally there is my cousin Teresa, a mother, friend, fighter, athlete, and cancer survivor. At the age of 31, Teresa had a life that I think most people would envy. She had a challenging and rewarding job in the HR department of a large company, her husband, Don, owned his own electrical company, and they had two boys, 3 and 4 months. In 2003 Teresa felt the lump that no women wants to feel, and was diagnosed with breast cancer. She under went surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation and entered remission. 2 years later doctors were concerned with changes to her uterus and performed a hysterectomy. After recovering, a former track runner, Teresa started running again. In 2006, Teresa and Don moved the family into a beautiful new home that they had built themselves. On a Sunday morning, Don was playing with the boys in the yard. He told Teresa he was not feeling well and went to the bathroom. She later found him in the bathroom, dead of a massive heart attack. After a period of mourning she realized she had to get her passion for life back and began training for and competing in triathlons. Through this all her father, Jerry, had been the shoulder she leaned on. Tragically, in 2008, Jerry died in a snowmobile accident. Some people give up, others fight, but not many can fight back 4 times like she has.

This weekend I will be racing in two events. On Saturday, I will be running along Teresa in the Susan B. Komen race for the cure in Madison, WI. On Sunday, I will be competing in an olympic distance Triathlon in Green Bay. I may not want to get out of bed one of the mornings this weekend, but I can promise you it won’t be Saturday.

If you would like to contribute to the Susan B. Komen and the fight against breast cancer in honor of Teresa please follow the link below. 


Derek Jones

Thank you Derek!

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