PHA Pathlight Spring 2014 - (Page 18)

AdvAncing the cAuse Member s o f Te a m PH Sh a r e Pe r s eve r a n ce Te ch n i q u e s W hen Team PHenomenal Hope (Team PH) crosses the finish line of the Race Across America (RAAM) - the "world's toughest cycling race" - they will have pushed themselves across 3,000 miles through nine days of grueling hills, barren flats and relentless head winds. The highs and lows of the race will give them just a glimpse of what it feels like to be a pulmonary hypertension patient. During the race, Team PH will conquer the endless miles, with a finish line nowhere in sight, by relying on the same determination, motivation and positivity that many PH patients cultivate in order to live and thrive with their diagnosis. Though Team PH will face their physical challenges for only a short time, PHA asked the team to share what they've learned so far from their training about perseverance and fortitude in the face of obstacles. PHA: What sources of inspiration do you rely on? Sara Harper: Knowing that there are people cheering us on, wishing us the best and supporting us is huge - it's truly difficult to put into words. Ryanne Palermo: I reflect on the PH patients for whom breathlessness isn't a choice. I have to choose to fight through my own suffering to bring them closer to a cure for theirs, and that really empowers me on the bike. Patty George: It is no understatement that I have been and continue to be inspired by the PH community, and I am also inspired by my teammates. On those rare days when I don't want to get on the bike, I think of the PH community and my team, and those are two important motivators to get it done. Anne-Marie Alderson: When I'm struggling through a difficult part of a race, or even a really hard training session, I start making a mental list of the things I'm grateful for. I always start with the big things like my supportive family and friends, my healthy body, my motivation and willingness to train and race, a particular piece of advice or conversation I've had with a mentor/athlete friend. something negative and have a positive outlook is everything. Ryanne: Reflecting on past experiences is crucial to control doubt and anxiety - that is why it is so important to train hard. Confidence comes from the little victories that are achieved along the way. Patty: In terms of determination - when you truly want something, when you feel it in the core of your being, like something you're meant to do - it is really difficult for something like doubt or fear to shake you from accomplishing it. Anne-Marie: Knowing that I am capable of more than I think I am. It is important to have faith in my abilities and the training time I have put in and knowing that if I believe I am capable of accomplishing a goal, I will be capable of actually doing it. PHA: Do you have any mantras you use to keep you going? Sara: "Can't Break Me." I had a mountain bike on campus a few years ago that someone tried to steal. Since the frame was aluminum, it broke. A good friend of mine gave me a magnesium-based bike frame. Then we painted it and put "Can't Break Me" on the top of the bottom tube. It helps to remind me that only I can put true limitations on myself. I have pulmonary issues myself, and I've spent most of my life not letting limitations stop me. Ryanne: I love the quote by Robert Pirsig: "If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion." It reminds me that the struggle won't be endless; life and racing are both dynamic processes, and whatever state we find ourselves in one moment won't necessarily define the next. Just keep going! Patty: "You are stronger than you know." PHA: How do you keep doubt from affecting your performance? Sara: The more I hurt, the harder I push. The ability to take 18 Anne-Marie: If I'm struggling to hold pace near the end of the race and am fighting the desire to slow down or ease up on the effort because of physical fatigue, I'll estimate the time to finish and tell myself, "It's five more minutes. You can do anything for five minutes, so hang in there!" w By Erin Wiegert, Former PHA Corporate & Foundation Relations Associate PATHLIGHT SPRING 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PHA Pathlight Spring 2014

PHenomenal Lives
Coping with PH
Health Matters
Ask a PH Specialist
Helpful Hints
Research Corner
Advancing the Cause
Support Groups
Special Events
Chapter Happenings
Persistent Voices
Community Classroom
Conference Preview
PHenomenal Youth
Family PHocus

PHA Pathlight Spring 2014