It’s Ride for Heart fundraising season again!
This year marks my fourth fundraising commitment to the Heart and Stroke foundation and participation in Ride for Heart, the best way to travel the Gardener Express Way and Don Valley Parkway — by bike. It is the second time I will ride a full 75 km and first time as part of the Heart and Stroke Young Leaders Group team!
I do this in dedication of my grandfather Ladislav Grosman (above picture), who fell victim to a heart attack and died in 1981, just days shy of his 60th birthday.
This year is extra special for me and I hope you will help me reach my fundraising goal of $500. This is my highest goal ever but I know it’s achievable because of last year’s generous donators who collectively gave over $600, which well surpassed my $200 pledge.
How is this year special you ask?
Last year’s ride was overshadowed by a janky bike. I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as prior years because my front tire kept deflating. My Ride for Heart time is usually spent marveling at fellow racers’ commitment to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and taking in the amazing scenery but last year my mind was focused on the bike’s front tire, constantly checking its air pressure, stopping at every bike mechanic checkpoint in the race, waving down other riders to see if they had a portable air pump I could borrow (many stopped to help me). The issue eventually led to a mid-ride tube change generously offered by one of the event’s sponsor bike shops.
This adventure proved that asking for help and accepting the generosity of others is the foundation to success. At Ride for Heart and in life.
There is another reason this year is special. In addition to honouring my grandfather I’m celebrating my own physical ability to ride and reap the benefits of exercise. I am extremely grateful for being able-bodied, not having to question my wants and desires to reach goals like this 75 km ride. I am riding for those of us who spend so much time obsessing whether our bodies look a certain way instead of focusing on what a privilege it is to be physically active. I can walk, run, swim, bike, lift weights, stretch — whatever movement I set my mind to, my body provides without question. How amazing is that!
And at the centre of these goals is the heart. In the physical sense, pumping oxygen throughout our bodies, enabling us to lead an active life. In the metaphorical sense, inspiring us to help others who are less fortunate.
Please support my 75 km journey to honour my grandfather and my personal journey towards body acceptance, heart-health and happiness.