JERIBERI1   114,510
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JERIBERI1's Recent Blog Entries

Awesome last place finish

Saturday, September 06, 2014

My niece. She is 32 yrs old and has cerebral palsy. Her first 5K today. Her shirt says "excuses suck." Everyone stood and waited for her. A hundred plus people were cheering for her. Sorry the video is blurry. It's the best I could do

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETNEEY 9/14/2014 11:27AM


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ROXYZMOM 9/9/2014 7:33AM

    I love when people rally! emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 9/7/2014 4:22AM

    Worked great! Wonderful, she should be proud emoticon

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JOYINKY 9/6/2014 10:56PM

    Worked great and I'm so glad! A real heartwarmer! Thanks for sharing JERI!

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PHATPAT18 9/6/2014 9:43PM

    God bless her. What a great accomplishment. An inspiration for all of us. emoticon

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FOCUSD 9/6/2014 6:41PM

  I can imagine her pride...way to go!

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ANNEMAC5 9/6/2014 3:25PM

    Yes working thanks Jeri great cheering for her too

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JERIBERI1 9/6/2014 3:06PM

    I'm going to have to fix this video. Something weird is going on with my Sparkpeople account. Uggghh

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon Could not get the video to work, but so happy for your niece

Comment edited on: 9/6/2014 3:05:19 PM

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JCLJR4547 9/6/2014 2:43PM


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Having fun

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yesterday my daughter and I went for a 7 mile run. We came back with tree bark on us from climbing trees and swinging on vines. Her husband said, "You climbed trees? That's dangerous." Well, hmmm...

(swinging from a vine)

(trying to get off the vine, it's harder than it looks)

(being silly in the middle of the road)

(my daughter on a big tree stump)

(my daughter in a tree)

Good times!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETNEEY 8/18/2014 10:35AM

    This is the kind of endorphins running releases. This is why I run

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JOYINKY 8/17/2014 11:10PM

    Great fun! Thanks for sharing!

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ROXYZMOM 8/17/2014 9:52PM

    I love this blog! how fun!!

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WIFE48 8/17/2014 10:39AM

    Looks like you had a marvelous time and got some exercise in too! emoticon

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AMARILYNH 8/17/2014 9:28AM

    That looks SO FUN! Hmmm - I think I need to find a good climbing tree - it will take me back to my childhood which HAS to be a good thing, right? LOVE it!!

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TWEETYKC00 8/17/2014 9:26AM

    Glad you could have some fun!

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NEW-CAZ 8/17/2014 9:23AM

    All you need now is Tarzan to join you. Go Janes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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FHIOSAT 8/17/2014 9:22AM

    I love this! You look like you had lots of fun emoticon

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USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships

Monday, August 11, 2014

Saturday, August 9th, I got to participate in something I thought I'd never, ever do. I competed in the USAT Age Group National Championships, Olympic Distance Triathlon.

When I got the invitation to participate, I initially ignored it. I'd only done two other triathlons, and I really wasn't very good at it. Then I got another invitation, and it got me thinking. I figured I'm not getting any younger. I probably won't ever qualify again. So why not? My husband thought I was nuts. I don't have much experience with open water swimming, and a bicycle accident in 2000 left me very afraid of the bicycle. I'd only been working on overcoming that fear for the past year. But my husband saw it in my eyes, my mind was made up. I was going to do it. He reluctantly went along with the hairbrained idea. When I mentioned the invitation online, two awesome triathlete friends told me to "Do it!" If they believe I can do it, that was all I needed. Thanks to my coach, I had the necessary training to get it done. I wouldn't be fast, but I would get it done.

So on Thursday we made our way to Milwaukee so I could swim 1500 meters in cold Lake Michigan, bike 25 miles and run 10K (6.2 miles).

Friday was packet pickup. It was amazing! I was standing in line with all the "real" athletes who knew what they were doing. They had no idea I was so nervous. I pretended not to be.

(packet pickup included all my stuff, plus a really cool jacket)

Also on Friday, there was a practice swim. I can swim, but I haven't had much experience with open water or wetsuit swimming. I put off getting in the water as long as I could. Brrr!! It was COLD!! Even in the wetsuit, it was cold. The cold water set off an asthma attack. I went about a half mile, and then had to get pulled out of the water. I was so afraid the same would happen on race day. But I didn't spend all this money and drive all this way to take a dnf (did not finish).

Next on Friday's agenda was bike check-in. I'd never seen so many cool bicycles in my life!! My bike was just a regular road bike that costs several hundred dollars. The other bikes were in the $2000-$10,000 range. But I proudly racked my bike and walked off thinking, "Yep, it's really happening!"

(bike check-in on Friday)

Race morning I got up early and set up my transition area. I pulled on my wetsuit and waited with the rest of the pink cap ladies. At 7:51am we were off! I couldn't put my face in the water without setting off an asthma attack, so I struggled during the swim. But it wasn't unbearably cold, and I finally finished on my own.

(my husband took this awesome picture of my wave start, with the "pink cap" ladies)

I ran to transition and got out of the wetsuit and onto the bike. I was surprised at how well I was riding. Around mile 18 I got really hungry! Like, I thought I could eat an 8 course meal! But I was on a roll, steadily plugging along. I finished the 25 miles in a faster-than-I've-ever-gone time, and pulled into the transition area. I was so hungry I ate all kinds of stuff I'd left there -- chocolate bar, energy chews, gu. A volunteer came over and asked if I was okay. He said I'd been in transition a while (abt 3 mins). I told him I was just really hungry. Then he reminded me I still had my helmet on. I thanked him, took off my helmet, and then took off on my final leg -- the run. About 4 miles into my run, I met a 74 yr old woman keeping my pace. We ran together the final 2.2 miles. She was amazing! She didn't start doing triathlons until she was in her mid 60s!! And she was even scheduled to run the Sprint tri the next day! We both picked up the pace in the last .2 miles. I was giving it all I had when I crossed the finish line. I think I couldn't stop smiling! I think I may even have been crying!!

(crossing the finish line)

August 9th I played with the cool kids, and I held my own. I will do this distance again. And again. And again.

(I couldn't go to Wisconsin and NOT buy cheese!)

(It looks so calm and unassuming)

(most awesome medal EVER)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEESER22 8/25/2014 2:21PM

    Had to come hunt up your blog to see how you did. What an accomplishment for you--congratulations!

Loved seeing the Milw. photos. Indeed Lake Michigan is COLD! You wouldn't get me out there again.

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AMARILYNH 8/13/2014 4:05PM

    Well that makes three of us - I too have tears in my eyes!! You are amazing - I'm SOOOOO proud to know you!! You have proven for once and for all you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to!! Hugs, Marilyn

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NOTFATCAT 8/11/2014 8:03PM

    Jeri, I too have tears reading about your accomplishment. You must be so proud of yourself. WTG.

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JOYINKY 8/11/2014 3:56PM

    Oh JERI! I have tears in MY eyes! I love your blog and am so happy for you and proud of you! Cheese head and all, GO GIRL!! Oh, YOU DID!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 8/11/2014 12:24PM

    You ROCK Jeri emoticon emoticon

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JCLJR4547 8/11/2014 10:44AM


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SUZYMOBILE 8/11/2014 10:43AM

    You are amazing!

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Fishing, running, playing in hay

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Today was a beautiful day. We took the grandkids and my niece fishing and had a great time. Everyone caught fish.

Madeline even kissed a fish.

Fishing brings out the sisterly love.

And sister/brother love, too.

Playing on haybales is a lot of fun!

Finishing up a run in the early evening on a gravel road is the best feeling ever.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBTEPP 6/9/2014 9:15PM

    I love days like that!

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DJ4HEALTH 6/9/2014 1:54AM

    Fishing is so fun and I miss my husband because he was the one that got me into fishing and now that he passed I miss being with him fishing. Cherish the moments with family!

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ROXYZMOM 6/8/2014 9:14PM

    That looks like a beautiful day!! Making great memories!!

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SUZYMOBILE 6/8/2014 8:08AM

    We should go with you. We never catch anything!

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NEW-CAZ 6/8/2014 3:25AM

    What a day to remember! Simple pleasures with those you love.

Have a great week hun emoticon

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JOYINKY 6/7/2014 10:07PM

    What a wonderful memory making day! emoticon

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SUNSHINE99999 6/7/2014 9:48PM

  what fun! emoticon

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Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change (fortune cookie wisdom)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Yesterday I stepped waaaaayyy out of my comfort zone. Way, way out. This is a journey 14 years in the making.

August 13, 2000. I thought it would be a good idea to get on a bike and ride it for the first time in about 20 years. I got about 2 houses down from my own house, and I kind of freaked out with the wobbliness, I slid in gravel, I hit a retaining wall, and I fell about 10 feet.

(this is where I fell, over that wall on the side of the road, into this yard)

The fall shattered my right shoulder, leading to an emergency replacement. The surgeon was very bad, and in addition to not putting in the correct size prosthesis, he also removed two of my muscles -- my pectoralis major and my supraspinatis. These are the muscles responsible for forward and sideways lifting. I ended up with an arm that just hung at my side. Six years went by, and the shoulder never stayed in the socket. It would get hung under my collar bone, and it would put pressure on the rod going down through my arm bone, and it kept fracturing it. Finally a doctor replaced it in 2006 and tried to make it right. He said it looked like a bomb had gone off in there. He really couldn't do much, but at least it quit hurting for a while. I still had no range of motion. My arm just hung at my side. In 2009, I fell in my kitchen and broke my arm again. This time they had new technology, and they replaced my bad shoulder with a reverse shoulder replacement. It reversed the position of the ball and socket, and allowed the deltoid to do the lifting. After healing from my surgery, I could actually move my arm!! For the first time in 9 years, my arm was about 80% functional! However, I ended up with a bacterial infection following the surgery, and I had a picc line for several weeks and oral antibiotics/anti fungals for a total of 6 months. What a mess. Eventually it all healed, and I still have about 80% function in my right (dominant) arm.

The bicycle accident really had an impact on me. I never wanted to get on a bike again. Not ever.

But last year, something clicked in my head. I was an injured runner. I love running, and between a hip flexor injury, a meniscus tear, and a fractured tibial plateau, I was out of commission all last year. I had to do something to maintain my fitness. I started swimming, and I discovered I loved it! I'm slow, but I'm actually quite good at it. And then the thoughts of a triathlon started popping into my head. What the heck?? I was scared, but I knew I wanted to do it. I wasn't going to let my absolute fear of the bicycle stop me.

I did a little practice tri in March. Indoor swim, bike, run. It was fun. But I knew one day I would have to get out on the road and ride like a grown-up.

That's the back story to yesterday's tri.

The day started with a scare. I let my dog out at 5:00am, and he was barking and carrying on at the neighbor's window. I went outside to stop him, and a drunk man stepped out of the shadows. I thought, "Oh crap!" I didn't know what to do, so I acted like I wasn't scared, and pretended I was in control. He turned out to be a nice enough guy, trying to talk to a girl in that house. Yeah, I'm sure she was impressed with his drunkenness at 5:00am.

I got to the triathlon, and my swim went really well. I was faster than I expected, but I hadn't learned how to pass people in the pool. So I slowed down in the bottleneck at the end of each lane. I'll have to figure it out.
My favorite picture of the tri is when I'm standing by the pool. You can see the surgical scars on my shoulder, and my lack of muscles where the surgeon removed them. And you can see my deformed toes where 30+ years of rheumatoid arthritis has destroyed them.

I was nervous getting on the bike. I took off down the bike path and onto the open road. A couple of men passed me on their bikes. Okay, I was alright with that. A car passed. I realized I was alright with that, too. Up hills, yes, they were okay too! Then I realized I was actually okay on the bike!!! My front derailleur, however, was not okay. While climbing a long, steady hill, my gears did not shift out correctly in the front. It was apparent that the derailleur was damaged last week when the bike rack (and bikes) fell off the car. I had to get off my bike and walk it up the hill. When I got back on, I got the gear working on the downhill. That was my only bike issue. I pulled into the transition area, and I was so happy to have survived the bike!!! I realized I could do it, and it wasn't a big deal!! All those years of being scared -- and for what?? Nothing. 15 miles over hills, with traffic, with other people. I was good with that!!

Then came the run. My legs were rubber for the first half mile or so. But then I got in my rhythm, and that cross country 5K was a piece of cake.

I was so pleased with my tri. All those years of being scared of the bike. I realized that most things we're scared of are really not worth being scared of. It wastes a lot of time being scared of something silly. Yes, that bicycle accident changed my life. It left me with a useless arm for 9 years. It gave me a panicky feeling just looking at a bicycle. But in the end, it was just a blip in the grand scheme of things.

Don't be scared!! Step outside your comfort zone, and face your fears!! It is exhilarating!

(body markings)

(the finish line)

(Did I mention I got an age group award?)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REDHATSHAPELY1 4/29/2014 9:06AM

    Jeri, You are amazing!
You are setting a great example of how to take charge of your life and overcome fear. emoticon emoticon

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MBTEPP 4/28/2014 10:44PM

    What you did is truly emoticon . It took as long as you needed to get back out and face the fear. emoticon on your personal victory!!

emoticon on the AG Bling! A strong swim is a great start.

Super Job!

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SEABREEZE64 4/28/2014 10:47AM

    Jeri.... as long as we have crossed paths and sometimes chatted over the years here on Spark - I don't remember your bike accident.

WTG girl...... Great report!

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MBSHAZZER 4/28/2014 9:49AM

    Way to go, Jeri!!! If you never got on a bike ever again, I can't say I'd blame you, but I love, love, love that you faced your fears and did it anyway! You must feel so fabulously empowered right now! HUGE congrats!!!

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BECKYANNE1 4/28/2014 8:15AM

    Way to Go Jeri! I will be getting out of my comfort zone in June.

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THRIVE2DAY 4/28/2014 3:43AM

    I'm speechless! You are AMAZING! Blessings and emoticon

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ANNEMAC5 4/28/2014 1:41AM

    I did not know the full story of your shoulder thanks for sharing. I never really learned to ride a bike properly and fell of my sisters one in the road when I was about 12 and hated them since. I was lucky no physical injury
What a fantastic achievement really proud of you and what an inspiration for your grand kids emoticon emoticon

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JENSHAY1 4/28/2014 12:06AM

    Jeri, I had no idea what all you have been through to get here. The tri is an accomplishment in itself let alone all the other obstacles you have had to face. You are an inspiration!

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JOYINKY 4/27/2014 7:57PM

    emoticon emoticon Jeri, there aren't adequate words to express how proud I am of you! You are absolutely unbelievable! What an inspiring journey!

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DEEJ4FITNESS 4/27/2014 6:24PM

    I've never been more proud of ANYONE... EVER! You are amazing and I'm so proud to call you friend! Admiration well deserved!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 4/27/2014 3:48PM

    Jeri, I can't even fathom doing all this! I gave up on running two years ago because my knee swelled up. I'm not the good a swimmer. And I, too, am intimidated by bikes. So, you see the problem.

Doesn't stop me being impressed with you, though!

Time to step out of one's comfort zone!

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MOBYCARP 4/27/2014 2:52PM

You are very inspiring. I don't think I could have done what you did, given what you had to overcome.

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COOP9002 4/27/2014 1:54PM

    Great job! Thanks for sharing your journey.

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TAMTAM64 4/27/2014 11:58AM

    LOVE reading this! You have had an amazing journey facing your bike fears! It is so exciting to see you overcome them! You are an OVERCOMER!


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NEW-CAZ 4/27/2014 11:38AM

    Truly you are an inspiration Jeri, emoticon emoticon

Great blog! So proud of you emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 4/27/2014 11:35AM

    Totally awesome! I love this blog!

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NEPTUNE1939 4/27/2014 11:29AM

    emoticon Great blog.

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