From anticipation to actualization: Racing for Healthcare Heroes
Less than one day to go
I have pondered the idea of riding the Colorado Trail since I moved to Colorado. It was an idea in the air like a firefly floating overhead, as Peloton coach, Christine, talked about in one of her of her reflection rides. Then we faced the pandemic, and our lives changed. And as we emerged and found new hope this year, I realized it was time to capture that firefly of an idea and nurture it to really take flight. I went from “someday” to setting my intention and making it happen, and set my sights on the Colorado Trail Race.
A huge motivator to turn this “someday” into now was living through the experience of last year. As I worked alongside my healthcare colleagues, I felt and saw the toll that COVID-19 took on all of us. Many have re-examined our roles in life — both inside and outside of the hospital and clinic. All of us at one time or another have stared into the face of moral injury, a longstanding problem magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. We experienced losses of colleagues who died and other doctors and nurses who left the profession. And we still face repercussions rippling through our medical institutions and communities today. It will take more time to heal. The phoenix doesn’t necessarily rise from the ashes to instantly take full majestic flight. It tries, struggles, falls and tries again, like a fledgling making its way out of the nest and onto the branch to take that next major step. We too will struggle, but I have to believe we will take flight.
It is this spirit that led to the Racing for Healthcare Heroes campaign, a collaboration with Panache Cyclewear in Boulder, Colorado, to create a line of athletic gear that would honor our healthcare heroes.
Together we designed a cycling jersey and shorts, tech T and tank and hoodie as a tribute to those who have been on the frontlines of this fight. The wings were inspired by the healthcare worker murals seen around the world depicting angel wings on the backs of nurses or docs. The heart (with its QRS complex!) reflects how our healthcare heroes are the heartbeat of medicine. And thecolors and logo are those of an outstanding organization that I am honored to support: The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. The foundation is raising awareness about healthcare worker burnout and advocating for structural changes to help support healthcare worker wellness and save lives. There is a bipartisan bill making its way through both chambers of Congress.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to all who bought gear from our Panache Heroes’ Collection. Thanks to your purchases, Panache will donate the proceeds — $2173.00- to the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. And the gear arrived in Boulder yesterday (folks, it’s super soft and high quality — I think you’re going to dig it), so it should get sent do you next week.
Now comes the fun part and next step: When you get your gear, please wear it while doing something you enjoy, and show your support for our healthcare colleagues by taking a selfie and tagging it with #Racing4Heroes and tag the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. And hey, if you didn’t see our grassroots campaign to get gear the first time around, there will be another opportunity for some swag (two words: Trucker hats!), but as I’m just one person with a day job as a doc myself, it’ll be after the Colorado Trail Race.
If you want to support this effort by making a donation do the foundation, I invite you to contribute to the fundraiser here.
And by the way — you totally don’t need gear to snap a selfie and spread the good vibes in our #Racing4Heroes campaign. It’s all about the vibe and expressing yourself and your wellness. Feel free to post a pic and even share our fundraise and help raise $10 per mile on the Colorado Trail.
Okay, time to do my final prep and packing. This will likely be my last blog post until after the CTR. I will have no internet, no cellular, no wifi and little time between riding and recovery. So if you want to “follow the dot,” you can see where I am on Trackleaders.com — please continue to send vibes and prayers not only to me but to our brothers and sisters in healthcare.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your support.
Be well, friends!