This Motivation Monday arrives just after the long-awaited arrival of daylight saving time. Even though snow and the rest of Old Man Winter’s mess remain on many streets and sidewalks across the country, may the extra hour of daylight remind us a new season is coming. Warmth is on the way. Soon we’ll shed the cumbersome coats, hair-wrecking hats and trade in the bulky boots for fancier footwear.
Need some more staying power to make it until the official start of the new season? Take a cue from the thousands of people who helped provide some serious ammunition in the fight against rare cancers by sweating it out in Cycle for Survival over the weekend. The indoor cycling event was founded in 2007 by Jennifer Goodman Linn, a Memorial Sloan Kettering patient and Equinox member, and her husband Dave. That first year, the New York City event raised 250-thousand dollars with help from 230 cyclers who rode shifts on 50 bikes. In 2009, Cycle for Survival became an official Sloan Kettering Cancer Center event, and Equinox became the founding partner.
Sadly, Jen lost her own battle with cancer in 2011, but her fight lives on in the thousands of participants who have turned what I’d describe as the biggest dance party on two wheels into one of the country’s fastest-growing fundraisers. Last year, 17,000 cyclers put the pedal to the metal on 4,020 bikes in 13 cities across the country to raise 20-million dollars. Today, I had the privilege of watching along with the cyclers and their supporters as MSK Cancer Center President and CEO, Dr. Craig Thompson, received a ceremonial check for just over 24-million dollars – and this year’s fundraising isn’t over yet.
It’s always a privilege when my professional world as a producer allows me to be a part of a fitness-focused event that does so much to help so many. The get-your-blood-pumping playlists and palpable energy of the cyclers had me and my crew cheering and dancing in our own space as we made our way around the floor to capture the spirit of the event. In addition to the unwavering enthusiasm of the cyclers – some even sweat through an entire four-hour shift solo – the other unique feature of this event is that 100-percent of all the money raised goes directly to rare cancer research, and it’s all dispersed within six months.
No doubt it’s been a long, harsh winter for many of us. For patients battling cancer and their families, any season can bring a relentless storm. Thanks to events like Cycle for Survival, we can put our passion for exercise to good use and help others in their fight to get back on their own path to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!