Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

To soon to say "GoodBye" ...

Shawn Felty: great friend, cancer survivor and colon cancer advocate

I am numb and still not really able to accept the reality that another wonderful friend and teammate of CANCER to 5K has gone...


I could wax poetic and try to find some elegant words but frankly, I'm just too damn angry and sad. THIS IS NOT OK!

I had the opportunity to be a small part of Shawn Felty's very BIG and WONDERFUL life and have the privilege to call him a friend and teammate. I hardly feel like I can pull together the words to describe Shawn.

Shawn was the guy who knew everybody and who everybody liked. He was the "glue" that bonded people together who would probably never have met otherwise. He was ENTHUSIASTIC, ENERGETIC and SO IN LOVE WITH LIFE. (and PITT ALUMNI Baseball - LOL) He was a downright SPORTS FAN and was set on maintaining his fitness no matter what was going on with his health and that is what brought him my way.

Shawn was also ROLE MODEL and SPOKESMAN for Colon Cancer Awareness from the moment he was diagnosed. In 2008 at the Scope it Out 5K in Washington, D.C. Shawn encouraged his friends to come out with him and join Team NEVER FELT BETTER and ended up fielding the TOP FUNDRAISING TEAM in the event and the team placed 3rd Overall and Shawn walked the 5K event in 65:33.

In Fall 2008, Shawn joined CANCER to 5K to train with us. He was still in the midst of active chemotherapy but he was also still VERY ACTIVE with his Alumni Baseball Team and joined our group to help him regain and maintain his fitness. In November 2008, Shawn, along with the rest of the CANCER to 5K Fall 2008 Team, earned his CANCER to 5K Medal at the VA RUN Turkey Trot in a time of 36:56. While the competitor in Shawn was a little disappointed in his finishing time, he was still might proud of his accomplishment and celebrated by completing his chemo just a few weeks later.

Jessica T., Shawn F., Katy S., Denny C. and Andrea H. - post-race pride!

In 2009 , again with Team NEVER FELT BETTER, Shawn RAN the 5K race in a very respectable 33:02! (although he would tell you that was slow...)

In Fall 2008 when I first met Shawn, after he had joined the CANCER to 5K team, he told me about a calendar that he was hoping to be part of - the ColonClubs "COLONDAR" which featured young adult colon cancer survivors and their scars as a way to promote awareness and raise money and support for the Colon Club. Shawn's goal to be a part of the 2010 Colondar and to help raise awareness about Colon Cancer was a high priority to him and he really worked hard on putting on paper and in photographs, his story, hoping that he might be selected.

I am happy to share that Shawn was selected to represent MAY for the 2010 Colondar. It is no exaggeration to say the experience of shooting and being in the 2010 Colondar was life-altering for him. He made deep connections with some fellow colon cancer survivors that really changed the way he approached his survivorship and really stepped up and out from the role of cancer survivor to an active role as a colon cancer survivor and advocate.

Yesterday, the world lost a wonderful man but in reaching out and being chosen as MR. MAY 2010 - Shawn will continue to impact the lives of current and future colon cancer survivors.

Shawn, you will be so dearly missed. Rest in peace my friend. Thank you for showing us all how to LiveSTRONG and find joy and happiness in every single day.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I'm feeling rather odd these days...I'm UP and happy and super-motivated and then less than 2-hours later I am wondering "What the H*LL am I going to do now?" and I am DOWN and mopey and frustrated.

I think I'm still in the midst of some classic Ironman Blues...I GOOGLED and got all sorts of articles and they read like a personal laundry list of my day-to-day emotions...

This ARTICLE in particular was pretty helpful. Particularly this part:

"Let’s face it; Ironman is very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally. So afterwards you are just plain worn out. After such a draining event you need a rest. So you start to sleep in and go to the coffee shop, you stay up late watching TV, or go out. In short, you get out of the habit of consistent training. This makes everything just that much harder. If this isn’t enough to give you the blues, then tell me your secret!!

So with these special set of circumstances that accompany reaching your Ironman goals, we must approach it with an equally special attitude. When you have worked that hard for so long you are quite entitled to, and in fact should, remind yourself of your achievement every day. I’m not suggesting you shout it from the rooftops, or leave little memos detailing your successes to your colleagues, but just that when you conquer Ironman, keep it alive inside, because it helps to combat those post Ironman blues, and darn it, just simply because you’ve earned the right to! So too should you remind yourself that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that this is merely the natural cycle of things. Just as quickly as the last Ironman registers as a memory and not just something you did a couple of weeks ago, so too will you find yourself on the starting line of your next big Ironman challenge – and for those of us who have already done it – we all know that the feeling you have on that one day is worth everything else you go through before and after!"

Hey IronCAT, maybe you should hold off any big decisions "to race or not to race" for another week or two cause I am guessing your aura is as BLUE as mine these days... Being GOOFY might not be so bad after all. Just get in a few more LONG naps between now and mid-January.

Life is Good - I am an IRONMAN! (Hey, the article says I can share that more often!!)