Category Archives: Climate Ride

My First Month of Ankylosing Spondylitis

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A month ago, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. It’s amazing how much your life can change in the blink of an eye. One day I was recovering from what I thought was some stupid injury I got from pushing getting back into running too hard and the next day I was diagnosed with an incurable auto-immune disease. I went from RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to injections, pills, creams, and sprays. I went from “just take a week off” to this is how it’s going to be forever- we will work to find a way to manage the pain. Amazing. Just completely unreal. I went from I can do anything to you may not be able to do everything. Well, I’m sorry but I just won’t take that for an answer.

I am unique. I am individualistic, I love with passion, I work with desire, and I have an insatiable need to try new things, explore the world, and live my life as an adventure. I refuse to let AS define me. It may be a part of me, but it will only make me stronger and more motivated to prove to it who really is the boss.

I may need to give myself refrigerated injections once a week that sting like hell. I may need to carry three bottles of pills around in my purse at all times, and I may need to be armed with Benadryl spray and hand sanitizer, but so what? You may see them as weights dragging me down and holding me back but I see them as a way to get through the day the way I want to get through it- with vigor and vengeance.

On December 3, I will be walking the Jingle Bell 5K with my one of my best high school friends and a bunch of other Arthritis Foundation supporters. You can donate to or join our team here.

Next February, I will be running. Yes, I said running, the Pasadena Half Marathon. It begins and ends at the Rose Bowl- that imaginary place on the west coast that I grew up watching football games and parades near as a kid in Pennsylvania. In February 2012, I will be running 13.1 miles. It’s not too late to sign up here!

Next May, I will be biking from New York City to the capital in Washington, DC. It will be 300 miles over 5 days, camping and biking as part of the Climate Ride. I will be supporting environmental causes and bike safety. Help me raise enough to cover my expenses here or join Team SFS!

And that’s just the beginning. I look forward to sharing with you the trials and tribulations of Ankylosing Spondylitis as I take the world by storm. Living my life, the way I want to live it rather than the way AS tells me I should live it. I will not let AS define me.

Cruising Around Alexandria on a Bike

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Today was a good day. As I mentioned earlier, prednisone really seems to be helping out with the issues. I got up and went for a bike ride in Old Town today! It was good to be back on a bike and as we keep training for our Climate Ride next May, I want to be sure to train far enough in advance that I’m not “cramming” at the 11th hour.

So, today I followed Mount Vernon Ave and the Mount Vernon Bike Path down into the Huntington area. I ended up biking there and back for a total of around 9 miles; not too shabby. Just have to multiply that by 6 and do it for a week straight and I’ll be good to go. haha. The ride was tough; I am definitely out of shape but I’ll get there!

The ride took me down Mount Vernon Ave to Braddock Metro where I hung a right and then a quick left onto Pendleton street. From there, I road straight down to Royal Street. A right on Royal Street takes me quite a few blocks down across Princess, Prince, Duke, King, Oronoco, and others… and eventually slams right into the Mount Vernon Bike Path near the far side of Jones Point Park. There is currently a decent amount of construction going on in Jones Point Park so the path is closed through there, but you are still able to get the construction crew to wave you on through; they’re very nice- be sure to say hello in the event you bike that way! The bike path goes along the US-1 on-ramp and comes to an intersection where there are cement directions in the sidewalk pointing to Old Town, Jones Point, Huntington, and other places. I’ll try to grab a photo of it next time. So I followed this path down and along US-1 a ways and then pulled a U-turn and headed back up. It’s a great ride to do Saturday mornings, ending up at the Old Town Farmers Market.

Tomorrow we’re headed apple picking; I’m thinking about making one of these recipes but I’m still open to other ideas, so if you have any, let me know!