Living my best life
In August 2011, at the age of 46, I felt that my world had come crashing down around me, as I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was livid!! Maybe the anger was my driving force as I faced my oncologist and demanded a get well plan, not my finest hour! So I had all the aggressive cancer treatment and rode the rollercoaster of emotions, too numerous to mention. I consider myself one of the lucky ones as I survive believing every day is a bonus and I would dishonour the friends and family who have not survived this dreadful disease, if I did not live my best life. After 5 years in August 2016, I no longer had to attend hospital appointments every month and nothing personal against my oncologist, but I was so over him!!!!
I felt that this was a significant milestone for me and that I should mark it by doing something I have never done before. Abseiling, wing walking, parachute jump and scuba diving all crossed my mind until I came to my senses 30 seconds later. I needed to find something I could have a good chance at surviving, when my very good friends Amanda Rushton and Debbie Bourke came up with the idea of a Sportive. Sure, I know how to ride a bike, and then I heard the words 30 miles and my eyes nearly popped out of my head like I was in a Flintstones cartoon!! I then imagined how I would feel and what an achievement this would be, the perfect way to prove I could say goodbye to the oncology ward with confidence. Fees paid, hoody purchased, I was going to take part in the very first Yorkshire Lass Sportive, little bit nervous but overall excited. It made it all the more special that this Sportive was also supporting and raising funds for the charities I had benefitted from. I instantly knew this was not only a special ride but it was being organised by some pretty special people.
The day arrived and Amanda, Debbie, Rebecca and myself were kitted up and raring to go, my challenge was on! The weather was glorious, the route was unbelievably easy to follow as it was so well marked out. However, what was not easy were those cheeky little hills! Even those did not stop me from loving that day, it was an amazing feeling to have cycled 30 miles and get a medal too.
The Yorkshire Lass Sportive has very special meaning for me personally, but it also remains special because of all the wonderful opportunities it has given to people by raising the funds for the charities it donates to. But if I was going to pick my favourite thing that the Yorkshire Lass Sportive does, it's that it encourages women to cycle and bring all of those clubs and individuals, with their own goals to achieve, together to support one another. It is and will remain one of my favourite moments in life, every year.